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:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.