The Hammetschwand elevator located on the Peak of Bürgenstock Mountain (1,127.8 m) in central Switzerland is the tallest outdoor elevator in Europe. The device that takes passengers to the top of Bürgenstock (a mountain that overlooks Lake Lucerne) in Switzerland offers stunning sweeping views of the Swiss Alps, the Serpentine Lake, and the city of Lucerne.
The Hammetschwand elevator was created by the owners of the Burgenstock Hotel in the year 1905. The hotel located at 847 meters above sea level has been a popular vacation spot since 1872 and its beauty was further enhanced by the path along the vertical rock face and by an outdoor open lift. Originally constructed from wood and zinc material with a 500-foot shaft, this device could transport about eight passengers up to the top within 3 minutes.
In the year 1935, the device was upgraded and its speed was increased from 3.3 feet per second to its current speed of around 9 feet per second. The up gradation process made the lift once of the fastest devices in the world.
Presently, the elevator is constructed from sturdy metal and glass and can carry up to a total of 12 passengers at a time. The filigrain, metal lattice tower with a total surface area of 2×2 meters, 118 meters high is located on the top of a 44 meter high rock pit. The entire trip starts at a rock pit inside the mountain that is accessed from a hiking path. The engine, entrance and the first 14 meters of this pit are completely located inside the mountain and the next 30 meters when it elevates offers stunning and breath-taking views of the Lake Lucerne and Swiss Alps.
To this day the lift and the path have lost none of their attraction. The peak of the mountain is 3,714 feet above sea level. The new elevator was built by the Schindler Group and it takes passengers 153 meters up to the peak of the Hammetschwand in less than one minute. The passengers reaching the top have to cross a bridge that leads to the mountain top. The elevator is illuminated at night during the summer season and still holds the number one position as Europe’s highest outdoor lift.