This year, majestic Switzerland is celebrating 150 years of winter tourism. The birthplace of it all is credited to the resort town of St. Moritz, where in 1864 a hotel owner promised his summer guests that they’d be able to enjoy the sun even in the winter. A year later, the first winter guests arrived at the Kulm Hotel — and they haven’t stopped coming ever since. To celebrate, we’re taking a walk down memory lane, with a look at photos from yesteryear and from today at some of Switzerland’s most popular winter destinations.
St. Moritz has a long-standing tradition of winter sports involving horses. According to CNN, it started in 1907 with a series of horse races in which “skijorers” rode behind their horses on skis. To this day, the annual White Turf races are some of the most anticipated events of the year.
The town of Arosa is the largest interconnected skiing region of Graubünden, but that’s not all you can do there — curling is also a big draw. And as you can see from the two photos below, the equipment and attire for curling have definitely evolved over the last century or so.
The resort town of Champery, like many others in the country, has held onto its historic charm. These days, adventure seekers can get an adrenaline rush with ice climbing and paragliding over one of the world’s largest skiing areas.
Winter tourism in the glacier village of Grindelwald got a boost toward the end of the 19th century thanks to the construction of roads and railways. Each year it hosts the World Snow Festival, during which teams of Swiss and international artists create sculptures out of massive blocks of snow.
Getting around town certainly doesn’t pose a problem in Nendaz — which has built no fewer than 92 transport facilities and around 250 miles of pathways for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports over the years.
Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Alps,” Saas-Fee sits nearly 6,000 feet above sea level. You can see how many more have come to love the glacier village in the past decade and a half. These days, when they’re not flexing skiing muscles on the slopes, visitors love grabbing a table at The Allalin — a revolving restaurant that provides 360-degree views of the Alps.