Clinging to the vertical rock face of Switzerland’s Mt. Bürgenstock is the towering Hammetschwand Elevator, the tallest outdoor lift in Europe.
Since 1905, the vertigo inducing ride has been zipping passengers from an underground boarding station into an open-air shaft leading to the top of the mountain in less than a minute.
Created by a popular hotel destination nearby, the Hammetschwand Lift was first engineered to carry visitors over 3,700 foot above sea level to the beautiful vistas of Lake Lucerne.
The elevator has seen many incarnations since its inception, and has survived both world wars, as well as the hardy weather of its extreme location.
The elevator compartment was initially made of wood and sheet metal which would be drawn up the 500 foot shaft. Back then it took over three minutes to complete the journey.
Of course, such materials would not last a century of daily use and still be safe. Today, the elevator is made of expertly engineered metal and glass. The view from the transparent sides are just breath-taking.
Despite the sense of danger, the quick ride along the mountainside provides one of the most scenic views in all of the Swiss Alps, assuring that people will continue taking this ride for one hundred more years to come.