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World's steepest funicular railway opens in Stoos
Way up there in the Alps a stunning railway line has opened, taking the title for 'world's steepest funicular railway' in the process. The incredible feat of engineering is located in the Alpine resort of Stoos, in the north-east of the country, 45-minutes drive from Lucerne. It cost CHF52 million and was officially opened by Swiss President Doris Leuthard on 15th December, with the public getting their first experience of the mind-boggling new railway a couple of days after the opening. The line replaces an old system built in 1933 and runs from Schywz to the mountain village of Stoosexternal, which stands 1,300m above sea level. Designers at engineering firm ABB created the circular carriages so they can adjust their floors allowing passengers to remain stand upright while they climb towards the Alpine plateau at inclines of up to 110%. It's not the only funicular here in Switzerland, there are lots more spectacular high-rise attractions up in the mountains, some of which are listed here. instagram.com/_seilbahnench_ The train follows a 1,720m track, climbing or descending for 743m and it reaches speeds of up to 10m per second with the entire trip lasting around six minutes, costing CHF 22 for a return trip. Swiss Rail half price passes can be used. Children 6 – 15 are half price and those under 6 are free. Switzerland isn't short of exciting mountain attractions, in fact our guide here reveals many more Alpine treats. President Leuthard opened the f
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The best Swiss art galleries and museums
Whether you like your art ancient or modern, classical or contemporary, applied or outsider, there is an eye-popping array of world-class Swiss art galleries and museums. From the Paul Klee and Vitra Design museums to prestigious events like Art Basel, the Swiss art scene is vibrant. With both a collecting culture that stretches back centuries and the planet’s most important annual contemporary fair, Basel city has traditionally been the Swiss scene’s Chanel-clad grand dame, snapping up Warhols and Bacons for her Rhine-side apartment. But worldly Zürich has hit a bold new stride in the last decade, with the immaculate regeneration of the city’s former industrial zone serving up a bevy of cool white cubes where cutting-edge contemporary art from every end of the Earth is making itself right at home. Nor are Geneva and Bern art slouches. Their venerable palaces of painting and plastic arts have long earned their global reputations, and each city also has its own flourishing crop of temples to the contemporary, both civic and indie. And the national art appetite keeps on growing. While Renzo Piano hasn’t been called upon just yet to turn the spectacular Fondation Beyeler he built in Basel and Bern’s Zentrum Paul Klee into a megamuseum hat-trick, major institutions are adding new extensions and taking over bigger buildings, while art spaces are breathing vital new life into urban industrial edifices.