The Gütsch is a hill in the west of the city of Lucerne. A long time ago guard fires burned here to warn the city in times of war or other dangers. The Gütsch Tower was built in 1590 as the end point of the city fortifications and remained in existence until a fire in 1888. In 1859 Burkhard Pfyffer bought the land from the town and was granted the right to run an inn on the Gütsch. The inn was bought by Ignaz Businger in 1879 and expanded into a hotel. With the construction of the Gütschbahn in 1884, it became easier for guests to reach the hotel.
A large part of the hotel was completely destroyed in the great fire of 1888. In 1901 the hotel received its present fairytale castle appearance with towers and oriels. During the First World War and until 1921 the Hotel Gütsch remained closed. During the Second World War it had to perform military service and accommodated in turn refugees, returning emigrants, and prisoners of war.
In 2010 the city of Lucerne granted the new owner Alexander Lebedev permission to extend and renovate the hotel and in 2014 the hotel reopened its doors after a thorough renovation. The last renovations in 2014 focused particularly on the preservation of historical details such as ceiling stucco, wood carvings, parquet floors, and hand-painted wood panelling. English interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard has been successful in Château Gütsch back its historic charm while enriching it with all the modern amenities that discerning hotel guests expect.
Over the last 130 years, our Château Gütsch has experienced an exciting history, accommodating famous guests including kings and queens, diplomats, world stars and, of course, the citizens of the city of Lucerne.
It was purchased by Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev in 2012, who turned it into a luxury hotel-restaurant.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.