The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof – Zermatt, Switzerland

After returning to Zermatt from our hike, we only had an hour before dinner. Rather than going back to the hotel, we explored downtown and picked up souvenirs. We got some Swiss chocolate, and my wife bought a cuckoo clock, though the clock was invented in Germany rather than Switzerland.

Looking from the train station, I thought all the buildings were made of wood and in a traditional style. Clearly, I was wrong. The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, a five-star hotel, stood impressively in the heart of downtown. It has been serving guests since 1879.

Downtown - Zermatt, Switzerland

Downtown - Zermatt, Switzerland

However, a good part of downtown did have traditional-looking structures with wooden facades. Some of these are really tall, rising to several stories. I wonder if these are just modern, densely built buildings made to look old.

Downtown - Zermatt, Switzerland

There was more architectural variety than I initially thought, which made Zermatt more interesting. Ultimately, it looks like one giant, affluent tourist town. It’s not like Chur, which I visited a couple of days earlier, which seems to cater to a more varied demographic and is significantly larger.

Downtown - Zermatt, Switzerland

Despite its compact size, I didn’t have enough time to explore all of downtown Zermatt. However, this building on the right gets my vote for the goofiest — though not in a bad way. It just looks added on to combining modern and traditional elements. It may adhere to some required building code but probably not in the way the original lawmakers imagined.

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Last Update: 04/28/2024