Avid for new experiences at high altitude, every new “path” that we discover is a chance to get our boots on and run to the nearest mountains. This impressive elevator with a look out point made us curious, even if it doesn’t necessarily offer the most challenging way to hike towards the top.
Hammetschwand Lift is located on the peak of Bürgenstock Mountain (1,127.8 m) in central Switzerland, near Lake Lucerne. Opened 105 years ago, this metal lattice tower with a surface area of 2×2 meters, 118 meters high and located on a 44 meter high rock pit, is known as the highest exterior elevator in Europe. The entrance, the engine room and the first 14 meters of this pit are completely on the inside of the mountain, while during the next 30 meters it elevates with a full breathtaking view of the Lake Lucerne and Swiss Alps. The whole trip with this elevator lasts about 50 seconds.
Getting there is easiest by taking a 45 minute boat trip from Lucerne, the most important city in the region, to Kehrsiten, situated at the base of the Bürgenstock Mountain. From there on a funicular is available, but to get to the entrance of Hammetschwand Lift you have to hike one of the six trails leading there for approximately one hour.