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Issue 1 | 26 January 2018 CHF 3.50

EGGLI GONDOLA UPDATE Last objections have been cleared

IN PRAISE OF OFF-SEASON The positive side of the quiet in-betweens

NEW HIGHLANDER Cecilia Roger and her enchanting Japanese art



SALES | RENTALS | ADMINISTRATION THE ADRESS FOR YOUR HOME IN GSTAAD SINCE 1970. Gschwendstrasse 2 | CH-3780 Gstaad Tel. +41 33 748 45 50 | Fax. +41 33 748 45 51 |

BDG'S MOVE FORWARD The Saanenland is sporting some old cable cars. Old enough to be outdated but not old enough to be antiques. And if they should get to that second stage, I wouldn’t want to ride up on a mountain with them. The recent update on the Saanersloch gondola and the one on the Eggli in this issue show that the BDG won’t let it get that far. After the mountain restaurants and the snow making facilities, the cable cars are being replaced and modernised. Over the last few winters, additional offers were introduced for a better guest experience, be it an elaborately built and maintained fun park, family events, or a short and simple but effective Klangpiste (sound piste) to name just a few. Most importantly, though, everybody feels well treated by the friendly staff. Let me seize the occasion to thank them for the many times they made my life easier by helping my younger one onto a chair lift. That probably made the biggest difference to me. So this goes to all who make sure that we get to the top comfortably and safely. Thanks!

CONTENTS LOCAL NEWS Hôtel de Rougemont bought by Chinese investor


Two people die in avalanche


Progress for the Eggli Gstaad gondola


New service provider in the region


Storms passed through Switzerland


Saanenmöser: a regional center in the making?


ARTS & CULTURE Arturo Bamboo Portfolio


The curious story of the Saanen cannon


Maddox Gallery in Gstaad


The cello takes centre stage


Colourful extravaganza at Samhart Gallery


PROFILE New Highlander III – Cecilia Roger



No longer a teen

LIFESTYLE In praise of off-season


Innocence In Danger fundraiser places charity at  forefront of trauma research


Superfood from the Swiss Alps


Best regards,

COLUMN Markus Iseli, Publishing Director


Expat adventures

Cover Photo: Guy Girardet GstaadLife, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse 6, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, Management Board and Publisher: Frank Müller, Publishing Director & Editor in Chief: Markus Iseli, Contributors: Alex Bertea, Anna Charles, Guy Girardet, Anne Christine Kempton, Michaela Larosse, Arianna Proto Di Santa Dorotea, Sophie Rieder Layout: Epu Shaha, Aline Brawand Advertising: Eliane Behrend,, Phone: 033 748 88 71 Subscriptions: Annic Romang, subscriptions@, Phone: 033 748 88 74

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HÔTEL DE ROUGEMONT BOUGHT BY CHINESE INVESTOR In a media release, Andresen Hôtels SA, owner of the Hôtel de Rougemont, and Hôtel de Rougemont Management Sàrl, the operator of the hotel, communicate the sale of the hotel, which took place retroactively by 15 December 2017. The new owner is Royal Orchid Swiss Hotel SA, a firm owned by a Hong Kong-based investor. With the change of owner the operation was also transferred to Royal Orchid Swiss Hotel SA. Directing manager of this firm is Peter Butler. The complete staff, including the management, was carried over by Royal Orchid Swiss Hotel. No imminent changes have been planned. MARKUS ISELI / AVS

TWO PEOPLE DIE IN AVALANCHE Heavy precipitation over the last days and weeks raised the risk of avalanches to a 4 on the northern side of the Alps and to a 5, the highest number on the scale of the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, in wide parts of the Valais and the Grisons. It is an “extraordinary avalanche situation”, they report on their website. The road over the Pillon was still closed at the time the magazine went to print. The local measuring station on the Oberer Meiel showed 3.3 metres of snow, 66cm of which came down within 24 hours from 21–22 January.

Two people died in an avalanche on a tour in the region Seechäle over that weekend. Another person got caught by an avalanche in the Chaltebrunnetal as she was snowboarding off-piste. She could be rescued and got away with a few bruises. Winter sport enthusiasts should consult the avalanche situation and are strongly advised not to leave the ski runs in the current snow conditions, even if they remain close to the piste. Even unimpressive flanks can bear dangers. In the worst case, they might involve others in an incident.


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The approval process for the new Eggli gondola has taken a big step forward. The cable car operator BDG informs that after constructive negotiations the last of five objections was withdrawn.


atthias In-Albon, managing direction of BDG, is satisfied and relieved that all the disputed points could be resolved. He states that “we are very happy that we have found a constructive solution with those affected and we are grateful for the concessions they have made.” Environmental issues are also taken on board

The BDG stresses that environmental concerns will be taken into account in the implementation of the project. “BDG is grateful for the suggestions because close-to-nature management of the mountains and the preservation of the typical landscape of the region are of central importance to the company.” Waiting for the building permit

Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus



The Federal Office of Transport is currently examining the technical petition documents in order to issue the planning permission. After approval of the plan, the construction of the facility can begin. The constructions managers hope that this will be the case in the first half of 2018 and that the construction work will get the green light. Whether the construction work starts immediately after the permit is issued depends on various factors. “It is important that there is no interruption of operations,” explains In-Albon. The operating license and the concession of the existing cable car is valid until spring 2020. SOPHIE RIEDER / AVS

NEW SERVICE PROVIDER IN THE REGION Saanenland is now home to @ Your Disposal, a multi-faceted provider of commercial and personal services. From cleaning to gardening, concierge-related services to child care, @ Your Disposal delivers immediate and high-quality services that are tailored to your needs. Big or small, there is no task in or around the house that @ Your Disposal cannot tackle: move in/move out, repairs, spring cleaning, laundry, landscaping, surveillance, grocery shopping, babysitting, dog-sitting, personal assistant, party planner, office-related services, car wash and much more... Just say what you need and they will get things done. Their goal is simple: make their customer’s life easier! @ Your Disposal has a young and dynamic team of trusted and qualified professionals. They have the required and necessary skills to guarantee 100% satisfaction. Impor-

tantly, their insurance policy also makes sure the clients’ belongings are protected. @ Your Disposal also offers a wide range of transportation services including local and long-distance taxi (with wifi and pay-by-credit card), private chauffeur, car rental arrangements, etc. @ Your Disposal launched 15 December 2017 and is now open to all residents and visitors of the Gstaad region.

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The storm Burglind had Switzerland under its control a few days into 2018 as it dumped trucks, blocked streets and tore down trees, which caused major damage. Train connections were also affected. The Saanenland, however, managed to escape with little damage.


s the storm blew through Switzerland, the Bernese cantonal police received more than 700 reports of fallen trees and damaged roofs. At Lenk, a train full of people also fell victim to the storm as one of its carriages derailed and tipped off to one side. Twenty-two passengers were on the train at the time of the incident with eight injured and taken to hospital by ambulance. The accident is currently being investigated. According to initial findings a strong gust of wind had lifted the carriage off the tracks, as the Bernese cantonal police communicated in a press release. “The fire brigade of Lauenen were called out twice during the storm� says fire brigade commander Bern-


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A gust of wind derailed this train carriage (above) and the fondue chalets on the Rellerli were turned upside down (right).




hard Perreten. They had to remove a tree that had fallen on the road. Out of the many trees that fell during the storm two managed to fall on a chalet and damaged the roof. Luckily, nobody was injured. In Gsteig there were no damage reports as fire brigade commander Tom Schild says. According to the fire brigade commander Christian Brand, there were only a few call outs in the municipality of Saanen. During a turning manoeuvre, a car had slipped down the slope to the Louwibach due to the icy roads. The fire brigade had also been called for the train accident at Lenk. Since the train accident was not as bad as feared,




One of several trees that landed on a cable of the mountain railways

the Saanen fire brigade was able to return home without any active involvement. Due to the weather warning that was issued the BDG had decided early on the morning of the storm to only open the lower section of Rinderberg, the Lätzgüetli and the Zückerli and Rüttilift. However, as the storm grew, these lifts were gradually taken out of service until 1pm. Burglind caused damage throughout the ski areas. “Several trees have fallen onto the slopes, and tracks” said Matthias In-Albon, managing director of the BDG. When the wind flagged in the late afternoon, the employees of the BDG

saw the damage and started with the clean-up work on the Wispile. They were supported by the BKW. Most of the lifts could have been put back into operation the next day but due to the heavy rain fall and strong winds that were predicted only a few facilities were open. “At the moment, there are a lot of guests in the Saanenland, the ski schools are well booked – we want to offer them an optimal experience despite the bad weather” emphasised In-Albon. The three days of exceptionally bad weather were particularly painful for the BDG. With the amount of rain that had fallen, the natural snow slopes suffered noticeably. The Glacier 3000 had also been closed due to the storm. According to CEO Bernhard Tschannen, wind speeds were reaching up to 180km/h. Though the Glacier was also closed due to the storm, it received a good snowfall rather than rain. “The advantage of a glacier ski resort is the guaranteed snow – the big challenge is the altitude with its many storms”, Tschannen sums up. The Wassengrat was also closed due to three spruces that came down and needed to be removed. The train service to Montreux was interrupted due to a landslide in Rossinière. Although there was great danger of avalanche, the roads to Gsteig and Lauenen remained open. More strong southerly winds and another storm in the week of 15 January brought interruptions of the cable cars, fallen trees, and power cuts. The year thus began with unusually stormy weather and heavy precipitation, a lot of which came down as rain, rather than snow. SOPHIE RIEDER / AVS

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Structural plans for Aellenmatte, a new holiday resort including a large parking garage and hotel in Saanenmöser, have been drawn up. The project also includes renovating and extending the local train station.


ellenmatte “is an ambitious and forward-thinking project,” says local council president Toni von Grünigen. “It is especially progressive because it does not implicate any agricultural land: the project is to be realised on what is currently a car park, and it will not only positively impact the Saanenland, but the regions beyond it too.” The Aellenmatte resort project is essentially a consolidation of four individual projects: the Swiss Alpine Village holiday resort, the Möserhof hotel, the redevelopment of the Saanenmöser train station, and the Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad’s (BDG) revitalisation of the Saanersloch base station. “According to cantonal building laws, traffic and housing developments must be coordinated supra-regionally. The structural plan for Aellenmatte synchronises these four projects to create a regional center for sport, leisure and tourism in Saanenmöser,” explains regional planning director, Walter Matti-Zbären. “Swiss Alpine Village” Resort

The plans for Swiss Alpine Village are for a four-star holiday resort with serviced apartments on the current Saanersloch base station car park. The developers, Frutiger AG, are planning for a maximum of 150 apartments with a total of approx-

imately 600 beds, and a 900-space car park. A resort shop, restaurants, gym and spa are also included in the plans. “The whole resort is to be pedestrian friendly, directly linked to the new Saanersloch base station as well as the train station,” explains Jürg Wanzenried, Frutiger AG’s spokesperson.

Redevelopment of the Saanenmöser train station

Thanks to the axle-gauge changeover point at the Zweisimmen train station, it will soon be possible to travel from Montreux to Interlaken without having to change trains. As a result, trains are getting longer, and that has an effect on the Saanenmöser train station. Matti-Zbären says that the MOB is planning on replacing the existing tracks with a dual track, and extending the platform to 220 metres starting in 2022.

Wanzenried is convinced that this development would bring more visitors to the region. In fact, he expects it would generate up to 70’000 additional overnight stays and 35 jobs. “We want to strengthen the Saanenland’s position as a tourist destination. It is really important to us that the project has a positive impact on tourism over the summer months. We are convinced that the resort would have a significant impact on the BDG’s revenues. The mountain lifts should also benefit from the resort,” says Wanzenried. So far, estimates suggest that the project could sell up to 50’000 additional lift tickets.

Hotel Möserhof

The fourth part of the planned Aellenmatte development is the Hotel Möserhof, a 40 to 60 bed newbuild with a 60-car parking garage. The project was originally granted building permission in 1992 but construction never begun. The plans have since been revamped to fit in with those for the Swiss Alpine Village resort, and would allow for the two projects to share a gym and spa among other amenities.

Saanersloch base station

The second of the four individual projects that make up the Aellenmatte development is the new Saanersloch lift. The federal office of transport granted the project planning permission last September, and if all goes to plan, the current lift will be replaced by new 10-person cable cars by December 2018.

A long road ahead

Gemeinde Saanen



Costs for the entire Aellenmatte project are estimated to run around CHF 161.5m. Although the developers are optimistic about the project’s progress, there are still a number of approvals that need to be granted before seeking the federal office of regional planning’s approval of the project, hopefully by Q3 2018. Once that has been achieved, the next phase can begin: an architectural competition, applications for land rezoning, and eventually submitting the plans to the local community. ANNE CHRISTINE KEMPTON / AVS



ARTURO BAMBOO Arturo Bamboo is a creative couple, Arthur Groeneveld and Bamboo van Kampen, who live and work together. Ever since van Kampen found an old Olympus camera, the self-taught photographers have documented their travels around Europe. They rely on analogue photography, often working with expired film they source from personal contacts or flea markets. They admit that getting old analogue films for their vintage camera equipment, which creates the trademark style of Arturo Bamboo, becomes more and more difficult. For their current project they capture modern ski resorts in their typical vintage style. They also visited Gstaad. The pictures almost make you feel like travelling back in time, except that they don’t take you back in time. A tribute to the imperfect and non-digital, which always carries an element of surprise for the artists themselves.


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This is the third of a series of four articles where GstaadLife interviews “New Highlanders” – individuals from various professions who have come to live in the Saanenland and Pays-d’Enhaut. Coming from diverse backgrounds and bringing a wealth of experience, they add to the rich mosaic of our multicultural life.


n this article we sit down with Cecilia Roger, who is Italian, originally from Milan. Cecelia moved to the Pays-d’Enhaut with her husband ten years ago. She specialises in embroidery and has a studio in Château-d’Oex.

Cecilia, you have a PhD in paleography of the Middle Ages. Can you tell us a little about this field of study?

Paleography is the study of ancient handwriting. Originally people wrote on stones or special paper. After the fall of the Roman Empire, handwriting disappeared from Europe until it was reintroduced in the Middle Ages. For me it’s so fascinating because, in documents more than in books, the handwriting reveals the spirit of the person writing. When I read these ancient texts, I feel that I am physically present with the writer. My Japanese master likes to say that our hands are the exit of the spirit. I feel this is true with handwriting. How did you move from paleography to artistic embroidery?

I didn’t really “move” because I was always very interested in crafts and working with my hands. We have a family vineyard in Italy and managing that was another job I had. I always did embroidery but it was just a hobby for me, I had no official training. Then I decided to give this skill a chance so I embarked on a number of training courses. The first was with Ecole Lesage in Paris, the highest possible place to learn embroidery. Lesage Atelier was established in the middle of the nineteenth century and is now part of the Chanel group. Next I studied at another well-known institution, the Royal School of Needlework in London, founded by Queen Anne in 1872. It has graduate diploma courses that form part of official university courses.

Courtesy of Cecilia Roger




Then, about 12 years ago, on a visit to Paris I discovered the beauty of Japanese embroidery! This led me to my third big step in this life of embroidery: I decided I had to learn to do it. The training is long and has a very precise curriculum. I started with a certified teacher in France, who I am still very close to. She had studied at the Japanese Embroidery Center in Atlanta, Georgia, founded

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in 1989 by the Japanese Master Shuji Tamura. I then went to Atlanta for a special master class and was subsequently invited to Japan. I am now a certified teacher in the Japanese tradition. This requires teachers to be re-tested and to re-graduate every three years. I have therefore attended several re-certification master classes over the years. These are held either in Japan or Europe and we are trained to a very high level. Besides this, I have also participated in other workshops that have given me an opportunity to learn from many different but incredible embroiderers who share the same passion for embroidery. This heritage has been very enriching. What attracted you to this region?

I grew up in the Engadine valley in St Moritz and my husband grew up in Geneva. We used to come up here for a couple of weekends each summer and winter. I immediately discovered the pleasure of the changing seasons – St Moritz doesn’t have four seasons like here – and I loved these smooth quiet mountains. We subsequently stayed for longer periods, commuting between here and Milan. However, when it transpired that I had to leave my atelier in Milan we decided to move to the Pays-d’Enhaut. We found a beautiful place in Les Moulins and I rented an atelier from Anne Rosat. I was there for three years before moving to my current premises in Château-d’Oex. Coming to the region has been a very important step for me. Surrounded by nature and being part of this strong atmosphere of harmonious serenity and peaceful nature has

sort of drawn together all that I have previously learned and opened my mind to a new form of creativity.

the Château-d’Oex museum to study the decoupage of old masters. I don’t copy but I diversify.

Can you tell us about the type of embroidery you do?

What contributions do you think you can make to the region?

I do a lot of different things, but my primary focus is to produce works that are inspired by Japanese embroidery, like these you see on my walls here. They are done with silk and metallic threads and I refer to them as “needle paintings”. Some are done as hanging scrolls, kakekiju. The Japanese concept of impermanent decoration appeals to me very much. When a season is over or your feelings change you roll the scroll up instead of keeping it on the wall forever.

I don’t want to impose myself on the local artisanal culture but I do want to play my part as an artisan, using my hands. We share the same spirit, same attitude, even if the result is different. With our skillfully handmade products, we are a force for the economic concept that envisions the old traditions making a significant contribution to the future of the area. One of my personal goals is to have weeklong residential workshops in different textile fields, here in Château-d’Oex, for young designers and fashion students. The teaching could be part of the curricula of established schools like St Martins in London, where the students create within a big city environment. I would offer a complementary experience: creativity next to nature. We could include classes and workshops in the woods to get another kind of inspiration, to let the students feel the nature and learn from

I also work on embroidered handbags. At present I have a special little collection – commissioned by Caroline Freymond – on display in Gstaad at the Menus Plaisirs gallery. I also have bags in other shapes here for clients. What influence does the region have on your work?

It has much more than influence, it inspires me on many levels. For me the beauty of embroidery is deeply linked to the beauty of nature.

it. I would also like to exhibit the work of other artists in my studio. The Japanese embroideries on the wall behind you are absolutely beautiful and very intricate. How long does it take you?

Months, months, months! Not just because of the skills required but I need to really relax when I work. The stitches, the techniques, are so meticulous, so precise, that my concentration has to be totally one-pointed. I need a minimum of six hours to focus, concentrate and be completely absorbed in the work. Japanese embroidery has three aspects: first you have to deeply absorb the technique; then, when it is part of you, you awaken your artistic sensitivity and awareness; third you feel the unique touch of your needle to do, to be the embroidery and, because your spirit is complete, you relax. Where can people see your work?

People can come to my atelier in Château-d’Oex, 9 Grand Rue. I open in the afternoon by appointment. My website – – has more details. GUY GIRARDET

I also feel a strong bond with the rich artisanal culture of the region. I draw inspiration for colours and ideas from the geometric designs of chalet decorations, from the woodwork and even from everyday wooden objects in antique shops, like butter and biscuit moulds. I often visit

Courtesy of Cecilia Roger

I turn to nature – the beauty of leaves, flowers, woods – to help me feel my soul and express inner serenity and peace. This is one of the goals of Japanese embroidery. This beautiful nature is the right partnership for my creativity. I may take some embroidery to do in Milan but all the creativity – choice of colour, design, material, fabric – happens here, where I am close to nature.

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IDEAS OF STONE: GIUSEPPE PENONE’S ENC CONSIDER BALANCE AND GROWTH WITHIN Gagosian presents a remarkable outdoor installation of sculpture by Giuseppe Penone. Located next to the Hotel Le Grand Chalet, Idee di Pietra/Ideas of Stone is on view until March 30.

Throughout his forty-year career, Giuseppe Penone has consistently blurred the distinction between human and botanical life, revealing their shared status as vital sculpture. In his multimedia oeuvre, he investigates involuntary processes such as respiration, growth, and aging – revealing the effects of time on matter both living and inanimate. It is fitting, then, that two of Penone’s large-scale bronze tree sculptures – Idee di pietra – Olmo (2008) and Idee di pietra – Ciliegio (2011) – have been installed directly within the dramatic alpine landscape of Gstaad. The installation, a special project by Gagosian, is located on a hillside pasture above the main village, next to the Hotel Le Grand Chalet.

“A tree summarizes in an exemplary way the contrast between two forces: the force of gravity and the weight of life we are part of.” — Giuseppe Penone

As their titles suggest, these unique sculptures, which were both exhibited in Penone’s dedicated exhibition at Château de Versailles in 2013, are modeled after an elm tree [olmo] and a cherry tree [ciliegio]. Focusing on concepts of gravity, balance, and scale, Penone often manipulates the innate elegance of trees by twisting, deconstructing, hollowing, and uprooting the organic figures, merging natural and manmade materials. In Idee di Pietra, he expands on this inquiry by incorporating stone, considering its physical and aesthetic qualities in relation to the trees and the mountainous setting. The base of the crown of each tree cradles a large single boulder from Piedmont, Italy, secure despite the spindly branches that bear them up. Penone selected additional rocks from a quarry in the nearby village of Lauenen, placing them about the lush meadow in which the sculptures stand, acknowledging the processes out of which the Alps themselves formed in geological history. A protagonist of Arte Povera – the artistic movement that emerged in Italy in the late 1960s, exploring the use of “poor” or commonplace materials as a political stance – Penone's distinctive work evolved in direct response to the forests near his natal village of Garessio, Italy. By recognizing, al-


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CHANTING BRONZE TREES N THE ALPINE LANDSCAPE tering, recreating, and interacting with the natural cycles of the environment, he addresses the parallels between his physical self and the alterity of nature, through sculpture, performance, drawing, and installation. His famous Alberi works, inlaid in wood, bronze, and marble, have become part of various landscapes, including the Boboli Gardens in Florence in 2014. Sometimes gold-plated, sometimes inset with vegetation growing from the landscape in which they are placed, Penone’s trees create a new framework for their surroundings; at once making the landscape into a plastic object for his artistic intervention, and positing his works as a cohesive part of a natural order.

© Giuseppe Penone. Photos by Marcus Veith

On the rocky mountainside site of Gstaad, Penone’s bronze trees and carefully placed rocks are subject to the effects of the natural world: wintertime snowfall, wandering goats and sheep, and the touch of human hands from nearby inhabitants and passersby. Walkers, hikers, and skiers alike may stumble upon the two darkly organic forms, their bronze trunks standing out against the picturesque background. With his meditative sculpture, part fabrication, part assemblage, Penone causes the viewer to stop, and the eye to pause for a moment, as though to verify if what’s

being seen is natural or inserted, underscoring the everyday magnificence of biology. In their silent, eloquent way, Penone’s sculptures seem to demonstrate both the limits and the mysterious reaches of the human essence. Giuseppe Penone: Idee di Pietra is on view until March 30, 2018. A selection of works by Penone will be on view at Gagosian Geneva from January 30 to March 23, 2018.

The cannon on display at the entrance to the Saanen car park was long thought to be a relic from the Bernese arsenal’s efforts to fend off the French in the 18th century. That is until a restauration project carried out in the 1970s revealed that the cannon actually came to the Saanenland for quite a different reason.

The legend

When and how the cannon came to be in Saanen was somewhat of a mystery for many years. It was long thought to have been brought to the region to help prevent a French invasion of Bern in 1789. Following the fall of the Vaudois high plateau, the French planned to march through the Saanenland and Simmental toward Bern. Dragoon Colonel Beat Emanuel von Tscharner, the absconded governor of Aigle, was ordered to protect Ormont from the French, but he had inadequate armaments and poor supplies. Despite the difficult circumstances, Tscharner’s men were able to prevent the French from advancing to the Saanenland or Pays-d’Enhaut. After the Bernese troops were dismissed, rumors began to circulate in the Saanenland that Bern had nonetheless fallen to the French. Legend has it that, given the news about Bern falling, nobody in the Saanenland wanted to risk sending the cannon back to Bern in case it landed in enemy hands. And so the cannon remained in Saanen. Local residents believed this version of the cannon’s history until weapons expert and collector, Dr Pierre R. Zaugg, decided to find out the truth about the cannon’s origins and restore it to its original splendor. What really happened

After a significant amount of research, Dr Zaugg was able to confirm that contrary to the legend, the cannon had not come to Saanen during the defense of Ormont, but rather during the civil war that ensued.


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The cannon was in various places over the years and found its current abode at the entrance to the underground car park.

Guido Reichenbach



Dr Zaugg published an article in the Anzeiger von Saanen in 1983 that revealed the true story of the Saanen cannon. He explains that two cannons were in fact brought to Saanen during the war against the French, but that these were returned to Bern after the war had ended. The cannon that is in Saanen today was requested by the liberal Saanen inhabitants from Bern to help protect themselves from the canton’s conservative faction during the civil war. The war between the two fronts ended with the Sonderbund War in 1847 and a new Swiss Federal Constitution transformed Switzerland into a federal state in 1848. Why the cannon remained in Saanen after the war is still unclear today. On display in Saanen

The Saanen cannon has experienced and survived a lot over the years. After being initially used for defensive purposes, the cannon was shuffled around Saanen for many years. If it could speak, it would surely have a lot of stories to tell. Today, it belongs to the commune of Saanen and is on loan to the Saanen Museum. It is now housed in an alcove with a glass floor in the stairwell of the parking garage in the village for all to see. ANNE CHRISTINE KEMPTON / AVS

Maddox Gallery has found a new

Michael Doerr was responsible for the move and is managing the gallery in Gstaad.

home on the Gstaad Promenade. With six galleries in England, three of which in London, Maddox gallery has been a very fast growing business.


The whole move was very fast paced for the team but the gallery looks amazing on the inside and out. It is inviting and has an exceptional layout. Doerr is happy about the move to the Saanenland: “Gstaad had been on the table for about nine months but things only really kicked into gear about three months ago”. It was Gstaad’s “reputation for luxury brands”, says Doerr, that helped Maddox Gallery make the decision to open a store here. Many luxury brands have already been established here so they thought it was a great place to start their international agenda, as they are considered a luxury brand themselves. Maddox Gallery is a stylish, young and international art destination. Doerr explains that Maddox is a “modern, contemporary gallery”. They want everyone to feel welcome in the gallery, whether they have some knowledge about art or have never stepped into a gallery before. It is also a matter of growing people’s knowledge and appreciation of art and “take away the snobbish side” of art galleries. Doerr explains that he wants everyone to be treated the

Maddox Gallery

staad is the first international location for Maddox Gallery and it looks beautiful and fresh. You can see from just a glance that it is a luxury brand in itself, making Gstaad the perfect destination. GstaadLife met up with the manager Michael Doerr to talk about the Gallery and their plans.

The new location of Maddox Gallery in the Promenade

Maddox Gallery



same in the gallery and no one should be afraid to ask questions or talk about the artwork. Maddox Gallery likes to exhibit both well known and emerging artists. The first exhibition is dedicated to David Yarrow, one of the world’s leading photographers of wildlife. This will be the main exhibition over the winter period, which will be joined by another one or two artists alongside Yarrow. A son in law of Bernie Ecclestone is one of the behind the scenes advisors who help decide what artists the gallery should showcase. Doerr confirms that “he has a great eye on artists”. SOPHIE RIEDER

GstaadLife 1 I 2018


The 18th edition of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, which takes place from 26 January to 3 February, puts the cello into the spotlight. Over nine days the festival will offer intimate encounters between the audience, established artists, and young talents in the churches of Rougemont, Saanen, and Gstaad.

Benjamin Attahir was invited as the composer in residence and entrust-

ed with the task of composing an oeuvre for this occasion, which the young talents will interpret every afternoon at the chapel of Gstaad. The many talents of Attahir account for the versatility in his compositions. He is not only composer but also conductor and violinist. Amongst his ambitions for his compositions are the combination different traditions as well as a playful intertwining of the modern with the past.

Daniel Müller-Schott, this year’s mentor to the young talents at the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad

Sommets Musicaux

Daniel Müller-Schott, one of the leading cellists of our time, will open the festival with the chamber orchestra Wien-Berlin at the church of Saanen. He will also act as a mentor to the younger talents, a task he looks forward to: “I am happy to place my experience and my ability at the disposal of the younger talents.” The artistic director of the festival, Renaud Capuçon, is glad to have Müller-Schott as a mentor, whom he describes as one of the best cellists he knows.


COLOURFUL EXTRAVAGANZA AT SAMHART GALLERY Samhart Gallery opened its doors just before the New Year in Untergstaad. The gallery displays largesized portraits, sculptures and everyday objects turned into colourful pop art.

Corinne and Patrick Soussana already run three galleries in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, in Neuchâtel, Geneva, and Villars-sur-Ollon. With the assistance of Gstaad habitué Inge Leutscher, they recently opened their fourth gallery, in the Saanenland. Samhart Gallery specialises in urban and contemporary art. The current exhibition features established and young artists. Raphaël Laventure is a young French artist, whose sensual female portraits in broad strokes and punguent colours immediately attract attention. The portraits of Alexandre de Poplavsky, also French, may be less colourful


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but not lagging behind in intensity. The use of collage technique, finely structured lines, and gold foil gives them a refined look and makes the observer look for details.

Catelain, Miss Coco, Angelina Maia, and others blend in well together and provide a feast for the eyes that (almost) makes your eyes pop.

The styles of the paintings and sculptures by artists such as Christophe Owner of Samhart Gallery, Patrick Soussana, and Gstaad habitué Inge Leutscher in front of a portrait by Raphaël Laventure Jenny Sterchi




20 years ago, ten founding members met in the Hotel Olden to realise the idea of a Yacht Club in the mountains, which many people considered a strange idea. Two decades later the patron, His Majesty King Constantine’s mission is still underway: “Let’s create a global Yacht Club far away from waters instead of another local Club by the waters.”


anrico Iachia has been a member since the beginning of the second decade and is today’s Rear Commodore. At the recent annual general meeting he deemed the idea and the mission of the Club well under way: “Today the club has almost 420 members from more than 30 countries. We have over 30 relationships on four continents to clubs from Asia to South America, from Sweden to South Africa. I looked at the map and guess, I soon need to make a trip to Greenland.” Those who do know the GYC, know that it is an integrated part of the way of life in Gstaad. If it did not exist, one would have to invent it. Peter Erzberger, founding member and Commodore, emphasises that the very active and diverse club life in Gstaad balances well with the sailing programme on different levels. “When we founded the club we put a star boat in front of the Olden that came from somebody’s career in the past. Today we look into the future. Again we help three teams to realise their Olympic dream, youngsters to learn sailing on Lake Thun, and classic boats to race in the old Corinthian style in Saint-Tropez.” Erzberger and George Nicholson, another founding member and Honorary President, can be proud of their achievement. “We wanted to create a ‘home away from home’ with a marine flavour and found it after five years of the club’s existence. Our clubhouse is a common project that we realised with Le Grand Bellevue.

The star boat and the founding members in front of the Olden in January 1998. From left to right: Gérard Brianti († 2017), Thomas F. Ehman Jr., Liliane Erzberger, Peter Erzberger, Bernard Ecclestone, Alexander N. Goulandris († 2017), George Nicholson, TEB Sopwith, René Fatton, Marco Piccinini Gstaad Yacht Club



I am delighted to say that our clubhouse committee under the lead of the Rear Commodore and the Managing Director has succeeded in securing it for at least another ten years, and possibly more. It is an integrated part of our club life. With its style and elegance, it is a favourite place to be and to live for our members and for many guests.” In collaboration with Le Grand Bellevue and the catering by Robert Speth the club house will be further adapted to the requests and needs of the members and guests. Celebration activities will take place throughout the festive year, which starts on Wednesday, 28 February 2018 – exactly 20 years after the club’s foundation. GSTAAD YACHT CLUB

GstaadLife 1 I 2018


Why the Zwischensaison may be the best time to be in the Saanenland.


their rightful raison d’être, ie places that cars go around. The short drive from Saanen to Gstaad can easily be made in under an hour.

ff-season in Gstaad means different things to different people. To society mavens and inveterate guests, the January lull, lying between Rosey’s commencement and the beginning of February, represents a kind of social Kalahari, a Promenade replete with tumbleweeds and scavenger dogs. To the hoteliers, restaurateurs, shop owners and other service specialists, Gstaad goes dark twice a year: once between Easter and mid-June, and then again from mid-September until the Christmas frenzy. To the building professions, off-season is when everyone else is on-season. And to the Saanenland farmer, there is no off-season; the cows work yearround, and so do they.

Stay-behinds get to enjoy, almost privately and without fetter, the elite services that attract the haute monde in the first place. The excellent eateries, purveyors of fine produce, and outstanding service providers of all stripes are available at the drop of a hat. But beyond the similarities, differences do exist between the spring and fall intervals. In early spring the slopes clear, leaving immaculately groomed and manicured runs to the savvy locals and tenacious holdouts. Sunny lunch terraces offer tables for the asking, accompanied by delightful refreshment over which one can linger without qualm.

But whatever one’s understanding of off-season may be, all the definitions have certain things in common (except for the builders’ and the farmers’, of course).

Later, when the off-season spring snow turns to mush, and alpine skiing starts to resemble its more aquatic cousin, the Oberland continues its temperate march. The dramatic mountain peaks, Saanenland’s stunning ladies-in-waiting, hoist their white frocks and rustle into evergreen skirts. Hiking trails reappear, and one can savour the sylvan hillsides and take in nature’s spectacular belvederes in virtual solitude. Farmers ascend to the alps to ply

Life resumes a more languid pace as the ancient cycles of valley transhumance reassert themselves against the lockstep march of consumerism and commercialisation. Idled luxury boutiques and designer furnishing shops become a scenic, but unhurried backdrop to walking streets bereft of the general frippery of the four o’clock social stroll. Passersby greet each other cheerfully, and everyone knows everyone else. Traffic evaporates. No longer does one have to worry about getting trapped in a parking lot for forty-five minutes while inhaling rafts of diesel exhaust from idling Range Rovers, or spending seeming supereons waiting for a left turn on to the Untergstaadstrasse. Roundabouts are restored to


GstaadLife 1 I 2018

Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus


IN PRAISE OF OFF-SEASON their cheese making, their charges’ cowbells ringing in the van. The fall off-season is much of a muchness, albeit with fewer showers and increasingly languorous sunkissed afternoons. The alpine hiking huts have accommodation to spare, and drinks and delectable cheese can be had at select Berghäuser from the Wispile to the Rinderberg-Spitz. Farmers descending with their cows in the late September Züglete complete the postcard-perfect portrait. Threats to these paradisiacal periods loom heavy, however. Tireless development officials conspire and collaborate in their chalet-style warrens, unceasing in their attempts to encroach upon the pax Gstaadiana. Guest packages for mountain walking and biking are cheekily scheduled past Easter, and even the grand hotels and Bergbahnen talk about extending their seasons. Efforts like the Les Arts Gstaad complex portend a true four-season tourism potential, eroding the foundations of the idyllic respite. Imagine it – delightful symphonies, quartets, cantatas, throughout the year! Orpheus himself writ large in a Helvetic vale! O tempora o mores! Where is the outrage, the alarm? Zwischensaison, requiescat in pace. ALEX BERTEA

Innocence In Danger (IID) will be organising a fundraiser later this season – with the date to be confirmed – to raise funds for its art therapy and resilience summer camps. The 10-day camps host child survivors of sexual abuse from across Switzerland, France and Belgium, introducing them to a range of therapeutic activities, such as photography, music, yoga, cooking, equine therapy and mountain walking.


very year the charity’s Gstaad chapter hosts between 20–30 children, plus family members, providing respite and positive life experiences in a beautiful natural environment, while giving all participants the creative outlets and psychological tools to aid their progress beyond the summer camps. Results at the Swiss summer camp have been so successful that other chapters in the IID network have mirrored its approach. The therapeutic methods developed by IID at its yearly camps have received numerous endorsements from professionals in the field of child psychiatry and psychotherapy. A research study conducted over three years by the University of Applied Science in Koblenz, Germany, which based its findings on research conducted through IID summer camps, concluded that the time spent within its diverse creativity programme was highly beneficial and continued to

positively impact the healing of both child and parents in the long term.

potentially up to three generations after the primary trauma event.

IID’s dedication to assisting as many child survivors as possible means its work is a year-round commitment. Beyond the duration of the camps, the charity dedicates its resources to monitoring the progress of child abuse cases through every stage of the legal system. This process of intensive behind-the-scenes research allows it to support and sponsor over a 150 children a year across its European network.

Brain damage of this type, provoked by stressful and adverse childhood experiences, has far-reaching consequences on development and behaviour. Sufferers’ brains adapt to become focused on survival, greatly reducing their impulse control and leaving them at much greater risk of delinquency. Childhood trauma is also known to powerfully impact general health, with a potential 30-90 percent increase in the likelihood of developing cancer or other diseases.

In a new addition to IID’s activities, researchers studying the phenomenon of epigenetic transmission – or transgenerational trauma – have collaborated with the organisation to deepen their insight within the field. The scientific theory suggests that significant psychological trauma alters and inhibits the development of the brain, and that trauma can then be inherited genetically down a family’s lineage,

The work conducted by IID with survivors of childhood trauma aims at physically healing those parts of the brain affected. Creative tasks conducted within a nurturing environment prompt the hippocampus to form new neural connections, allowing it to repair itself. In the process it positively impacts mental and emotional development, improves overall life chances, and helps to prevent any onward genetic trauma transmission.




Researchers of epigenetic transmission have suggested that IID’s therapy methods have the potential to aid up to 100 million survivors of childhood trauma. In addition to IID’s central focus of hosting summer camps, funds raised will contribute towards its continued involvement in this arena, allowing it to pioneer further breakthroughs in the field of trauma alleviation. MICHAELA LAROSSE

GstaadLife 1 I 2018




SUPERFOOD FROM THE SWISS ALPS Healthy, good and local: this is the ultimate challenge on our shopping list.


uinoa, avocado, chia seeds, goji berries, etc – the new trends in health enhancing foods often come from faraway countries, but what about the superfoods that can be found right here in our region? A healthy lifestyle nowadays implies consuming a certain amount of foods that are meant to improve our vitality, our performance, our beauty, and our health in general. This theory is the result of research based on the alimentation of populations around the world that count the highest percentage of centenarians. The studies brought to evidence the benefits derived from an alimentation that is strictly local, mostly poor in calories and often based on herbs, seeds and roots. These foods have been studied and listed; they are widely renowned as superfoods and have become part of our daily diet. Unfortunately, some of them come from faraway countries and, as a consequence of the sudden raise in demand, they are often being cultivated with unethical methods and the transportation can affect their nutritional qualities before they reach our tables. Local food is far fresher and with more nutrients than the imported one, and


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the good news is that the Saanenland offers an amazing variety of superfoods that should be part of your daily diet. Some of this food grows spontaneously, some is cultivated or produced locally, and all of it has significant features and qualities that boost your health. At the top of the list is the most outstanding local element: the pure, fresh, clean water of the Alps. Even though it is free, we should not take it for granted. It keeps us hydrated and in good health. Plain water can be infused with alpine herbs for extremely healthy, detox herbal teas. Leaves and flowers from cultivated and wild plants, bring all the benefits of nature when tossed in hot water. Local herbs include mint, savory, lemon thyme, sunflower, wild thyme, calendula birch, rosemary, angelica, chamomile, etc, an endless list of scents and benefits. Alpine herbs infusions can be sweetened with local honey, which is a very powerful food with antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties. Our bees collect the precious nectar in unspoiled surroundings, far away from pesticides, antibiotics, traffic or other sources of pollution. The woods hold more treasures such as mushrooms and berries, which are

acknowledged superfoods. Berries deserve a special place on our tables. In particular blueberries, elderberry, and blackcurrant are among the richest in antioxidants. For those who are not vegan, Saanenland products such as milk, yogurt, butter and cheese from local cows, goats and sheep are a great source of calcium, B vitamin, proteins and lipids. Eggs are not to be missed either. For those who are not vegetarian, grass fed beef, naturally raised turkey, chicken, pork, and lamb from local farmers, and freshwater trout are also part of the local offer. For a final touch, alpine herbs are the perfect complement to spice up any dish. There is a bittersweet end to our healthy list. Dark chocolate may not be considered strictly local, since cocoa comes from abroad, but the Swiss chocolatiers are renowned all over the world: enjoying a mug of hot chocolate in front of a fireplace, after a day of breathing fresh mountain air, is something not to be missed when in Gstaad. It is not only a matter of antioxidants.



response at times of stress. As my husband wrestled with the controls, my hand clamped tightly around the door handle and for a fleeting second I considered leaping out.

here are a number of significant dates in the calendar: Christmas, Easter, the first day of spring, the summer solstice… you get the picture. For many, Halloween is a day for dressing up, trick or treating and watching horror films with friends.

Happily there was no need for such drastic measures. We were saved by the heated strip of road at the bottom of the hill. As we slid onto clean tarmac, my husband punched the brakes and we came to a controlled stop.

In our household it’s also the date by when winter tyres must be on the car. Eight wheels good, four wheels bad

But now we faced a new problem: our winter wheels were stacked in our garage up the hill. We solved the problem by rolling the tyres onto a large metal snow shovel. It acted as a kind of sledge and, one by one, we dragged the wheels down the hill to the car.

We weren’t always so organised. To the uninitiated, the Swiss have a bit of a ‘thing’ for tyres. Before I moved here the only time I bought tyres was when I bought a car. But here we were advised to get eight wheels: four for summer, four for winter. It seemed quite a faff, but at least we were set for the weather.

As we trudged up and down the hill I could feel the tut-tutting and head shaking from behind our neighbours’ net curtains.

But winter tyres must be on the car to make a difference. That first year the snows arrived in early November. It was time to get the tyres changed. I’d call the garage as soon as we got home.

Polar diesel

On winter journeys we play a ‘guess the temperature’ game. Whoever identifies the lowest temperature on the car’s display is the winner. This invariably occurs on a stretch of road


But it was already too late. I remember the moment in technicolour. My husband turned into our road: a steep, narrow lane. We had just passed the first chalet on the left when the car stopped moving forward. My husband pressed gently on the accelerator, but to no effect. The wheels made that stomach-churning whirring sound and the dread realisation dawned: we had absolutely no grip. Worse, instead of continuing our careful journey up the hill, we began to slide backwards. You’ve probably heard about the ‘fight-or-flight’

Anna Charles


EXPAT ADVENTURES between Rougemont and Saanen where it’s usually several degrees colder than the rest of the route. The last couple of winters have been mild, but a few years ago we had an achingly freezing January with temperatures of -25°C. One night that year I set off to meet friends in Gstaad. I came to the notoriously cold section of road by the airport and without warning the car just stopped. A couple of days later I heard from our mechanic: the weather was so cold the diesel had frozen in our car. That was the moment I learned about polar diesel. This is the stuff to use in the winter, apparently, though not every garage in the region stocks it. He told me cars had been dropping like flies across Switzerland with the same problem. But we’re like locals now and haven’t been caught out since. From that day to this, winter tyres are on our car by Halloween even in the balmiest of autumns. And while we’d only use polar diesel, since moving to the village we’ve found the best solution is not to drive at all. ANNA CHARLES


Hotel Alpine Lodge 033 748 41 51,

Le Grand Bellevue 033 748 00 00,

Hotel des Alpes Saanenmöser 033 748 04 50,

Park Gstaad 033 748 98 00,

Hotel Solsana 033 748 94 94,

The Alpina Gstaad 033 888 98 88,

Hotel Spitzhorn 033 748 41 41,

Ultima Gstaad 033 748 05 50,

Hotel Alpenland 033 765 91 34,

ERMITAGE, Wellness- & Spa Hotel 033 748 04 30,

Hotel Alphorn 033 748 45 45,

Boutique Hotel Alpenrose 033 748 91 91,

Hotel Bellerive 033 748 88 33,

Golfhotel Les Hauts de Gstaad 033 748 68 68,

Hotel Ermitage 026 924 25 00,

CLUBS Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12 noon Gstaad Palace (033 748 50 00), President: Rot. Pascal R. J. Rey (079 776 66 02) Secretary: Rot. Markus Iseli (033 748 92 08) Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12 noon for lunch or at 7 pm for dinner. Meetings in Ermitage, Wellness & Spa Hotel, Schönried, 033 748 60 60. For details and programme contact Arthur Reuteler, president, 033 744 51 33,, Soroptimist International President: Ursula Breuninger 033 744 05 80 Programme: Patricia Glauser Edreira 076 426 16 11 Club des Leaders President: Jean-Sébastien Robine

026 921 01 01,

Hotel Kernen 033 748 40 20,

Huus Gstaad 033 748 04 04,

Hotel Landhaus 033 748 40 40,


Valrose 026 923 77 77,

Hotel Saanerhof 033 744 15 15,

Ambulance 144, Police 117 Fire 118

Hotel Arc-en-Ciel 033 748 43 43,

Posthotel Rössli 033 748 42 42,

Hotel Bernerhof 033 748 88 44,

Sporthotel Victoria 033 748 44 22,

Hotel Christiania 033 744 51 21,

Hotel Restaurant Bären 033 755 10 33,

Hotel Gstaaderhof 033 748 63 63,

Hotel Geltenhorn 033 765 35 91,

Hotel Le Grand Chalet 033 748 76 76,

Hotel Viktoria 033 755 10 34,

Hotel Olden 033 748 49 50,

Hotel Wildhorn 033 765 30 12,

Romantik Hotel Hornberg 033 748 66 88,

Jugendherberge Gstaad Saanenland 033 765 30 12, gstaadsaanenland@

Hotel de Rougemont

Member of Design HotelsTM

Medical Emergency: 0900 57 67 47 Dental Emergency: 033 729 26 26 Police Station: 033 356 84 31 Car Accident: 033 744 88 80 Zweisimmen Hospital: 033 729 26 26 Château-d’Oex Hospital: 026 923 43 43 Veterinarian: 033 748 08 58 / 033 744 06 61


GstaadLife 1 I 2018

CHURCH SERVICES St Peter's Anglican Church English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 5.30 pm Contact:

Apartments to sell in beautiful Saanen

Schönried Magnificent Penthouse •  6,5 rooms •  ~112 sqm

•  Large south-facing balcony

•  Wonderful mountain views •  Sunny and bright

•  Excellent condiCon

•  Elevator, cellar, private laundry •  2 parking spots in the garage

Réf. B-24 – Price upon request BARNES GSTAAD VALLEY

Überbauung «von Grünigen Matte» in Saanen +41 33 744 06 03

CF IMMOBILIER COMPAGNIE FONCIÈRE SA Promenade 29, Gstaad – 033 748 10 02 -

Gstaad – Rougemont – Château-d’Oex – Bulle

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GstaadLife 26. January 2018  

The exclusive news and lifestyle magazine of Gstaad

GstaadLife 26. January 2018  

The exclusive news and lifestyle magazine of Gstaad

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