Gstaad (/ɡəˈʃtɑːd, ɡəˈstɑːd/ gə-S(H)TAHD, German: [kʃtaːt])[1] is a town in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland. It is part of the municipality of Saanen and is known as a major ski resort and a popular destination amongst high society and the international jet set. The winter campus of the Institut Le Rosey is located in Gstaad. Gstaad has a population of about 9,200 and is located 1,050 metres (3,445 feet) above sea level.

Gstaad in 2011
Gstaad in 2011
Location of Gstaad
Gstaad is located in Switzerland
Gstaad is located in Canton of Bern
Coordinates: 46°28′N 7°17′E / 46.467°N 7.283°E / 46.467; 7.283
1,050 m (3,440 ft)
 (Dec 2009)
 • Total3,200
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (Central European Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time)
Postal code(s)
SFOS number0843
ISO 3166 codeCH-BE
SFSO statistics

History edit

Aerial view (1949)

During the Middle Ages it was part of the district of Saanen (Gessenay) belonging to the Savoyard county of Gruyère. The town core developed at the fork in the trails into the Valais and Vaud. It had an inn, a warehouse for storing trade goods and oxen to help pull wagons over the alpine passes by the 13th-14th centuries. The St. Nicholas chapel was built in the town in 1402, while the murals are from the second half of the 15th century. The town was dominated by cattle farming and agriculture until the great fire of 1898. It was then rebuilt to support the growing tourism industry. The construction of the Montreux–Lenk im Simmental line in 1905 and the construction of ski runs (the Ski Club of Saanen open in 1905 followed in 1907 by the Ski Club of Gstaad). The first ski school in Gstaad opened in 1923. The Eagle Ski Club opened in 1957, and was funded by Charles Greville, 7th Earl of Warwick. In a short time, there were more than 1,000 hotel beds in the region.[2]

The residents, hoteliers, shopkeepers and tourist offices helped to promote Gstaad to international attention. They supported the construction of ice rinks, tennis courts, swimming pools, ski jumps, and ski and hiking areas. The first ski lifts at Funi opened in 1934-44 and were followed by a number of gondolas, ski, and chair lifts. The Gstaad Palace opened in 1913 as Gstaad's first luxury hotel. In 1942 the Saanen-Gstaad airfield was opened for military and civil aviation. Helicopter rides were added later and in 1980 balloon flights became available as well. During the World Wars and the Great Depression, the tourism industry suffered and many hotels closed. After World War II, many of the large hotels remained closed, but they were replaced with a number of smaller non-hotel accommodation (chalets, apartment houses, residences). Most of the modern resorts and small hotels are built out of wood and retain traditional design elements.[2]

The Gstaad Polo Club was founded in 1992,[3] and the Gstaad Yacht Club in 1998.[4]

Climate edit

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Gstaad has a humid continental climate, abbreviated Dfb on climate maps.[5]

Climate data for Gstaad (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 2.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.3
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −7.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 108
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.8 9.9 11.9 11.2 14.4 13.9 12.8 13.0 10.5 10.5 10.4 11.3 140.6
Source: MeteoSwiss [6]

Tourism edit

Mountain Railway Chalberhöni

Situated in the Berner Oberland, Gstaad is home to a large ski area in the Alps (220 km (137 mi) of slopes). The middle of the village features a picturesque promenade bounded by numerous shops, restaurants, art galleries, and hotels. Designer labels including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Chopard, Brunello Cucinelli (company), Prada, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, and Cartier all have stores in Gstaad, while many smaller boutiques stock labels such as Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Tod's, Burberry, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs.

Promenade Gstaad

Long known for its walking and hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty, the mountain air and ambiance attract guests year-round from around the world. Gstaad is also known for its ski and cross-country slopes and winter hiking trails.[citation needed]

Gstaad, named "The Place" by Time magazine in the 1960s,[7] is widely known for its famous part-time residents and vacationers.[7] Famous regular visitors to Gstaad have included Madonna, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, haute couture designer Valentino Garavani, writer William F. Buckley, Jr.,[8] and various members of the Cavendish family. Many British bands and musicians would play at L'Atelier, a club in Gstaad, in the 1960s and 1970s; one such band was Merlin 'Q' (later Edison Lighthouse), who stayed a whole winter.[citation needed]

Hotels edit

Gstaad is known for its luxury hotels, among them the Grand Hotel Park, the Alpina Gstaad, the Gstaad Palace, the Grand Hotel Bellevue, the Hotel Olden, and the Arc En Ciel. In July 2019, the Arc En Ciel came under fire for discrimination and later apologized after issuing a notice of rules directly addressed to its Indian guests.[9][10]

Regular events edit

Beachvolleyball Tournament Gstaad—court: Roy Emerson Arena

In Gstaad, the following regular events are held:

  • the New Year Music Festival of Gstaad, held by the Princess Caroline Murat
  • the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad classical music winter series
  • the Snow Bike Festival,[11] a winter snow biking event[12]
  • the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour - 1to1 energy Grand Slam, beach volleyball tournament
  • the Swiss Open, tennis tournament
  • the Ladies Championship Gstaad, tennis tournament
  • the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, classical music
  • the Hublot Polo Gold Cup, polo tournament
  • the Country Night Gstaad
  • the Gstaad Promenade Party in September
  • the Christmas Market Circus in December
  • the International Week - Hot Air Ballooning in January
  • the Gstaad Mountain Rides Open in January

Education edit

Several boarding schools are located in or have a campus in Gstaad:[13]

Notable residents edit

Roger Moore, 1973
Taki Theodoracopolous, 1991
Jane Randolph, 1942

Current and former residents of Gstaad include:

The Arts

Popular culture edit

  • The song “Zarasa Jhoom Lu Main” from the evergreen Indian film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is a shot in Gstaad.
  • Gstaad is one of the locations featured in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel Tender Is the Night (1934).
  • "Swiss Miss", the second-season premiere of the American animated television series Archer, takes place in Gstaad.
  • Season 4 Episode 8 of the TV Chuck has Chuck in Gstaad with a unique spy in order to try to recover the Intersect.
  • Richard Scarry had a studio in Gstaad where he drew many of his books.[30]
  • Philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti was an occasional visitor to Gstaad; he included the experiences of his 1961 visit in his diary Krishnamurti's Notebook.
  • Some scenes of Blake Edwards's movie The Return of the Pink Panther with Peter Sellers were filmed in Gstaad.
  • Many Bollywood movies in the mid 1990s and 2000s were shot in the town.
  • Dan Aykroyd famously said to Bo Diddley in the movie, "Trading Places", "This is a Rochefoucauld,” he says, “the thinnest water-resistant watch in the world. Singularly unique, sculptured in design, hand-crafted in Switzerland, and water resistant to three atmospheres. This is the sports watch of the 1980s. Six thousand, nine hundred and fifty-five dollars retail! It tells time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad!"
  • In Season 5, Episode 9 of New Girl, Schmidt and Winston get into an argument about which one of them has actually been to Gstaad. Regan (played by Meghan Fox) interjects and tells them to tell the truth about whether either of them has actually ever been to Gstaad. Feeling insecure, Winston presses Regan about whether she has been to Gstaad and she responds by saying "No I haven't been there. Should I be ashamed of that or can we all just tell the truth about whether we've been to "Shtaad."
  • "Gstaad Guy", an internet personality, parodies the nouveau riche and old money residents of Gstaad.[31]
  • In Frasier episode "Murder Most Maris", Niles encounters a photo of himself and socialite divorced wife Maris in front of the fictional Experimental Liposuction Center in Gstaad. He sighs that was where they got married.
  • In Fargo season 3, the antagonist V.M. Varga is quoted saying "You've no idea what rich means. Rich is a fleet of private planes filled with decoys to mask your scent. It's a bunker in Wyoming and another in Gstaad."
  • In The Santa Clause 3, Jack Frost lives in Gstaad
  • In Forgetting Sarah Marshall Brian Bretter played by Bill Hader suggests to Peter Bretter played by Jason Segel "Go to Gstaad. It's the best."
  • In Dynasty (1981 TV series) the 1984 episode "New Lady in Town" Dominique Deveraux (played by Diahann Carroll states saying "You were kicked out of a boarding school in Gstaad and spent several months working as an artist's model in Hamburg of all places." in conversation with Alexis Carrington-Colby (played by Joan Collins who replies "wrong it was Brussels of all places and all this is pure trivia."

References edit

  1. ^ Wells, John (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Pearson Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  2. ^ a b Gstaad in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  3. ^ Laffaye, Horace A. (2015). The Polo Encyclopedia. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 150. ISBN 9780786495771. OCLC 931799202.
  4. ^ "Home - Gstaad Yacht Club - Gstaad Switzerland".
  5. ^ Climate Summary for Gstaad
  6. ^ "Climate Norm Value Tables". Climate diagrams and normals from Swiss measuring stations. Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss). Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013. The weather station elevation is 1,045 meters above sea level.
  7. ^ a b "Coming Up Chic". Time. March 1, 1963. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  8. ^ "He Knew He Was Right". Newsweek. March 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  9. ^ "Harsh Goenka slams Swiss hotel for notice to Indians at buffet, adds note for tourists. Internet agrees". India Today. July 27, 2019. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  10. ^ "Swiss hotel apologises for 'racist' notice aimed at Indian tourists". HotelierME. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  11. ^ "Long-term partnership". Gstaad.
  12. ^ "Snow Bike Festival | About Us". Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  13. ^ "International schools" (Archive). Gstaad. Retrieved on April 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Switzerland gets only all-boys boarding school" (Archive). The Local. June 13, 2014. Retrieved on April 17, 2016.
  15. ^ Tschanz, Hans-Ueli. "The Berggruen Family and the Gstaad Connection to the Art World: An Encounter with Olivier Berggruen". Gstaad My Love.
  16. ^ "Switzerland: The Gstaad Mystique". The Washington Post. November 4, 1984. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  17. ^ "James Blunt planning Swiss move". January 17, 2007. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  18. ^ "Maja Hoffmann at W magazine". Archived from the original on 2013-07-07. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  19. ^ "Taki on Gstaad summers in the line of fire". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  20. ^ "Gstaad: Just a simple Swiss village - for Liz Taylor and Julie Andrews". April 16, 1989. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  21. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 28 July 2019
  22. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 28 July 2019
  23. ^ "Switzerland Is Yours". 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  24. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 28 July 2019
  25. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 28 July 2019
  26. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 28 July 2019
  27. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 28 July 2019
  28. ^ "Celebrities in Switzerland: Bernie Ecclestone". 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  29. ^ Stephanie Maida (February 10, 2020). "Sackler Scions Sell Manhattan Mansion & Flee To Gstaad, Switzerland In The Midst Of Opioid Blame". Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  30. ^ Scarry, Richard (2013). Best Lowly Worm Book Ever! (1st ed.). Golden Books. ISBN 978-0-385-38782-8.
  31. ^ Toresson, Gustaf Lundberg. "Gstaad Guy: The Apple Employee Living A Double-Life As The Creator Star For Billionaires". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-02-24.

External links edit

  • Gstaad – official site (in English, French, & German)
  • GstaadLife magazine (in English, with links to German sister publication, the "Anzeiger von Saanen")