Friday, 29 June 2012

Schilthorn and Piz Gloria


The Schilthorn is a 2,970 metre high summit of the Bernese Alps, overlooking the valley of Lauterbrunnen in the Swiss canton of Bern. It is the highest mountain in the range lying north of the Sefinenfurgge. The Schilthorn lies above the village of Mürren, from where a cable car leads to its summit.
It has a panoramic view which spans from the Titlis, Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger, over the Bernese Alps and the Jura mountains up to the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest. Mont Blanc is also just visible.

To get to the Schilthorn from the valley floor either of a series of cable cars must be taken. The cable cars begin in Stechelberg leaving to Gimmelwald and then onto Mürren. From Mürren another cable car is taken to Birg, which is the final change before the Schilthorn. this cable airway is the longest and was the most technically challenging airway to be built. The other way up is to take the cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp and a train to Murren, from where the cable car must be taken. Between Birg and the summit, the cable car passes over Grauseeli, a small lake. It is also possible to hike to the peak, along the myriad of small, but well-marked paths to the top. The hike to the top takes roughly 5 hours from Gimmelwald for an experienced hiker.
There is a panoramic revolving restaurant, named Piz Gloria, at the summit, which is where the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service was set. A famous black ski run featured in the film starts at the summit and leads down to the Engetal below Birg. The restaurant revolves a full 360 degrees in 55 minutes.
After considering a number of locations, the stalled construction of the sports bar atop the Schilthorn was chosen when the film's producer financed the completion of the famous revolving platform for the right to use the facility for his next film, the first and only Bond film starring George Lazenby.
Quite a number of scenes in the film were photographed by cameraman, John Jordan, hanging below a speeding helicopter. Jordan had previously lost a foot to a helicopter rotor while filming the movie You Only Live Twice.
During the Winter the Schilthorn is the traditional start for the world longest down hill ski race the "Inferno" which started in 1928.
During the summer the Inferno Triathlon finishes at the summit after a run up from the Lauterbrunnen valley.

SCHILTHORN CABLEWAY LTD.Revolving restaurant Piz Gloria
CH-3825 Mürren
+41 33 856 21 56 (Tel.)

Höheweg 2, CH-3800 Interlaken
+41 33 82 60 007 (Tel.)
+41 33 82 60 009 (Fax)

Piz Gloria

Piz Gloria is the name of the revolving restaurant on the Schilthorn near Mürren in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. The cable car station and the restaurant were designed by the Bernese architect, Konrad Wolf. The Piz Gloria restaurant claims to be the world's first revolving restaurant, although others already existed, such as the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., which opened during the 1962 World's Fair

Given the difficult topographic and climatic conditions, construction units were prefabricated. The outer skin of the glass circular upper floor is of aluminium-skinned wooden panels, that originally was an aluminum-coated tent roof. The rotative mechanism — a 12m-diameter core with a 3.0m annulus that completely rotates the upper floor in approximately an hour — allows every guest to have a view. In 1990, the restaurant was enlarged to accommodate some 400 diners, while retaining its original architectural character.
The name Piz Gloria originated in Ian Fleming's James Bond novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963), wherein the hideout of the villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, is Piz Gloria, a mountain-top building containing an allergies investigation clinic. In the movie the location is implied as being near St Moritz where Romansh is still spoken, and "Piz" would be appropriate as the dialect name for peak. However the restaurant is actually located in the Bernese Oberland, where Romansh is not spoken and "piz" is not used.
The movie production team found the restaurant partly constructed, and financially contributed to its completion in return for exclusive use for filming the movie (released in 1969), where the building is shown quite prominently.
In the film, Bond's cover at the clinic is blown after he is caught seducing women, but he manages to escape the complex by skiing down the mountain sides despite the attempts of Blofeld and his men to kill him.
Afterwards, the restaurant retained the Piz Gloria name of the film location, and currently acknowledges the film's significant contribution to its commercial reputation; it features a James Bond exhibition, containing memorabilia and film clips, in the lower floor.
The world's highest revolving restaurant is now the Metro-Alpin restaurant at 3,500m (11,483ft.) at the top of the Saas-Fee lift system. The Piz Gloria is 2,970m (9,744ft.). Switzerland has a newer, third revolving restaurant, the Kuklos, above Leysin in canton Vaud.

1 comment: