All posts filed under: Swiss Heritage’s “Loveliest”

hiking through Swiss vineyards

Walking Switzerland’s breathtaking Lavaux terraced vineyards. + Discover Swiss Heritage’s “Loveliest Walks”.

The terraced vineyards of the Lavaux region, stretching from Lausanne to Montreux, offer breathtaking views over land and lake that can be enjoyed on foot with relative ease. First terraced by monks in the 11th century, the region received UNESCO World Heritage-site status in 2007 and doubtless is one of the country’s most beautiful to explore. Together with my friends in the Internation Women’s Club of Nyon (IWCN) I walked the very popular portion through the vineyards that stretch from St. Saphorin to Cully. The journey took approximately two-and-a-half-hours at a leisurely pace and offered only a  few steep but shortlived inclines. Meandering paths cut through charming medieval villages and took us through vineyards where day-workers picked grapes and wine was available to sample and purchase. Easy to reach by public transport The Lavaux walks are easily reached by train: we boarded in Nyon, changed trains in Lausanne and uncamped at St. Saphorin, a one-hour journey in total. We descended to lake level shortly before Cully and walked along the beach towards the village, where we headed for …

Swiss swimming pools

Fancy a cool dip? Head for one of Switzerland’s “Loveliest Swimming Spots”

A major heatwave is descending on Switzerland this week so there’s no better moment to take a cool dip in one of the country’s loveliest swimming pools or outdoor nature spots. If you’re looking for something special near you, a pocket-sized French-German booklet published by the Swiss Heritage Society entitled “Les plus beaux bains de la Suisse” (Switzerland’s Loveliest Swimming Pools) will help you locate your ideal dip, one offering architectural distinction and most probably situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The 51 swimming spots profiled in the 108-page, A6-sized booklet are dotted throughout the country and feature architectural styles dating from the 19th century, including sleek, streamlined Art Deco examples from the 1920s and 30s (my personal favourites) as well as heavier 1960s concrete structures. Each selection is accompanied by a brief accompanying text offering historical information about bathing culture in Switzerland since the 1800s. Plan ahead for a refreshing day away You can order the booklet online at a cost of CHF16 for non-members and CHF8 for members of Swiss Heritage. Use it to plan a family or solo excursion that could turn out to be both fun and instructive, but most …

hotels in switzerland

Not your average B&Bs: Switzerland’s Loveliest Hotels at your fingertips

Just in time for the holidays a handy pocket guide has been published by the Swiss Heritage Society as part of its popular series of “Switzerland’s Loveliest…” booklets. This time the country’s most beautiful hotels are getting the star treatment. I love this collection of handy-to-carry A6-format paperbacks because they make it easy to discover off-the-beaten-track cafés, holiday homes, museums, swimming locales–and now hotels–of architectural significance, as well as parks, gardens and walking trails of outstanding beauty. The purchase of these booklets also supports the Society’s efforts to preserve the country’s important architectural landmarks. That’s something close to my heart. Out-of-the-ordinary hotels that are off-the-beaten path In actual fact, Switzerland’s Loveliest Hotels is now in its 4th edition and this latest update adds 27 new hotel discoveries and 13 B&Bs to the original list of 51 hotels featured in earlier issues. In making their selection, the Society chose hotels that take a “global cultural approach” that encompasses a distinct architectural style that reflects the region in which the establishment is found, a “convincing” management concept and a warm welcome. The layout and furnishings of the rooms are also given careful consideration. The Society isn’t looking to follow the trend …

Fancy holidaying in a former hay barn? Farmhouse or Alpine hut? If so, Swiss Heritage has you in mind

If this holiday season you’re interested in renting a home that offers something out of the ordinary then the Fondation Vacances au cœur du patrimoine (the foundation for holidays at the heart of heritage) may have just what you’re looking for. Founded in 2005 by the Swiss Heritage Society with one goal in mind — to purchase, renovate, and then rent as vacation homes endangered historic properties — the Foundation now boasts a list of 21 impressive buildings that are available to the public to rent. I love the look of the 200-year old “Scheune” barn at Beatenberg in canton Bern. You would never imagine that originally the upper floor served as a hay loft and cows were housed on the ground floor. It stood empty for 18 years and was in a state of collapse before being transformed into a sleek, spacious 2-person apartment in 2007. Its location makes it ideal for long walks in summer and autumn and for skiing in winter. I can just picture the fire place roaring and wine glasses clinking after a super day out on the ski slopes. Heritage with mod-cons included …

museum

Switzerland’s Loveliest Buildings built from 1960 to 1975

Musée International d’Horlogerie at La Chaux-de-Fonds. Photo ©Patrimoine Suisse   Another in the series “The Loveliest…” published by Patrimoine Suisse, the Swiss Heritage Society, The Most Beautiful Buildings 1960-1975 highlights both celebrated and lesser-known buildings that are often overlooked precisely because their history is so recent. Yet their existence bears witness to a period of social, cultural and architectural change that is possibly the most significant in the country’s history: the era when nuclear power stations, super highways, commercial centres, high-rise accommodation and vast lots of individual dwellings first began to dot the Swiss landscape. From a mountain cabin to a satellite station, from libraries to seniors’ residences, and from churches to concert halls, the publication looks at 50 architectural ‘gems’ representing every Swiss canton. The 120-page, A6 pocket-sized brochure, available with French and German text, can be purchased in the Swiss Heritage online shop for CHF16 (for the general public) or CHF8 (for members of Patrimoine Suisse). To accompany publication of the booklet, a dedicated website is available featuring beautiful full-spread, color photographs of the buildings profiled in the brochure along …

coffee and tea shops

The Loveliest Coffee & Tea Houses in Switzerland

The Swiss number among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, a beverage they consume in local espresso bars and cafés ranging from the traditional to the modern, many of which with their distinctive architecture and history make a rich contribution to Switzerland’s heritage. Patrimoine Suisse, the Swiss Heritage Society founded in 1905 to preserve important Swiss landmarks and promote good architectural design, publishes a series of booklets entitled “The Loveliest…” and this issue shines a light on the “Loveliest Coffee and Tea Houses” in the country. It tantalisingly serves up photographs of 74 architectural gems found in every region of the land, from Lower Engadine to Lugano, from Basel Land to Geneva. The selection is complemented by snatches of instructive text on the theme of coffee. The photographs invite us into a world of coffee/tea drinking and conversation (or peaceful solitude) and also remind us that these establishments, many with historical significance, deserve to be appreciated and treated with care. The 96-page, pocket-sized brochure, available with French and German text, can be purchased online for CHF16 (for the …