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The history of a landmark

The history of the Hotel Château Gütsch

A Lucerne Landmark

The Gütsch is a hill in the west of the city of Lucerne. Long ago, a watch fire burned here to warn the city in times of war or other dangers. The Gütsch tower was built in 1590 as the end point of the city’s fortifications and remained there until a fire in 1888. In 1859 Burkhard Pfyffer bought the land from the town and was granted the right to run an inn on the Gütsch. The inn was bought by Ignaz Businger in 1879 and expanded into a hotel. With the construction of the Gütsch railroad in 1884, it became easier for guests to reach the hotel.

In the great fire of 1888, a large part of the hotel was completely destroyed. In 1901, the Lucerne architect Emil Vogt gave the building its present appearance, modeled on Neuschwanstein Castle. During the First World War and until 1921, the Hotel Gütsch remained closed. During the Second World War, the château hotel at times accommodated refugees.


After the war, the Château Gütsch was again a popular hotel for guests from all over the world and an important place for festive life occasions for the people of Lucerne. In 2014 and 2021, the hotel underwent extensive renovations, which placed special focus on preserving historic details such as ceiling stucco, wood carvings, parquet floors and hand-painted wood paneling. The work has restored the hotel’s historic charm while enriching it with today’s comfort and lifestyle.

Over the years famous guests have stayed at the Gütsch. There have been kings and queens, diplomats, world stars and artists.

To this day, however, many well-known Lucerne residents also appreciate the Hotel Gütsch for business and family events, the accommodation of guests or a romantic dinner for two.

As early as 1841, the English painter William Turner painted the city of Lucerne from the Gütsch. This painting is today in the collection of the London Tate Gallery.

In 1868, the legendary English Queen Victoria spent five weeks on the Gütsch. Also among the guests of the Gütsch was the legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, who regularly stayed here during the Lucerne Festival.

More recent guests have included Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Henry Moore, Shirley Bassey Tom Jones or the world-famous conductors Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado and Ricardo Chailly.