The melting glacier in the Swiss Alps caused the closure of an old hotel
The mountain hotel Belvedere is located on the Furka Pass, the most snow-covered region of Switzerland. For many centuries this picturesque place attracts countless fans of mountaineering, skiing and hiking in the ice labyrinths hacked into the Rhone glacier. But global warming provoked a catastrophic melting of the ice, and now it loses 10 centimeters every day, and the tourists leave with it.
The picturesque winding mountain pass through the Furka Pass (Furka), towering 2436 m above sea level, has been a connecting link in the Swiss Alps for many centuries. The first mentions of this serpentine and its important role date back to the 14th century, even then it provided direct access from the Valais valley to the famous Alpine Gotthard pass.
Over the course of three centuries, it expanded and, over time, turned into a very lively transition. Its steep bends, simply “embracing” the mountain, in one of the sections pass only 200 meters from the Ron glacier, in which a fantastic grotto is cut.
It is carved from the purest part of the Rhone glacier, which is more than 11,000 years old. In its depths, the frozen water is so pure that you will not find a single pebble in it. This man-made creation is cut down at a depth of about 100 meters and when sunlight penetrates through its crystals, the whole tunnel is illuminated with an incredible blue light. This pass is not the only attraction of Switzerland, its picturesque places, monuments of culture and architecture have already been written on the pages of Novate.ru.
Over time, these magnificent places began to attract travelers, so in 1882 the young businessman Josef Seiler decided on a very risky construction and created a hotel on one of the turns of the mountain serpentine. For decades, his creation, called Belvedere, was one of the most famous hotels in the Swiss Alps. And the road leading to him, became famous thanks to the extreme chase on cars in the film “Goldfinger” about the adventures of James Bond.
Nowhere in the world could one ride so close to the edge of the glacier, settle in a hotel room with a magnificent view from the balcony to a huge frozen stream of ice, and then go down the stone-paved path to the incredibly beautiful ice grotto, which was only a couple of hundred meters below the hotel .
The panoramic location of the Belvedere Hotel attracted a huge number of holidaymakers who, during the summer, rented accommodation for several weeks to enjoy the incredible beauty of the surrounding mountain landscape.
At the beginning of the 20th century, when the hotel industry flourished throughout Switzerland, Josef Seiler decided to renovate and expand the hotel, adding two additional floors and renovating the roof, which gave it a more modern look.
At the beginning of the 20th century, visitors to the Rhone glacier and the hotel became more and more due to the opening of two new railway lines – the Furka Oberalp railway line and the Glacier Express.