On May 21, 1871, Europe’s first mountain railway left on its inaugural ascent from Vitznau to Rigi Staffelhöhe, in Switzerland. Today, Mount Rigi and its cogwheel trains and airborne wire cars are a must for mountain trains enthusiasts.
To commemorate the important anniversary, the 21 of May, the ancient “steam locomotive # 7” will be set in motion, restored and brought back to its former glory on the historical journey from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm. The locomotive is also ancient: built in 1873 by the Swiss factory SLM, for 64 years, the train had climbed up and down the valleys until 1957 when it was withdrawn.
In July, in the open-air sector of Rigi Staffel, the celebration “Monte Rigi – Queen of the Mountains” will be held, which will lead to discovering the long history of the summit, such as the royal visit of Queen Victoria. It will be an opportunity to discover the place’s culture, history, folklore, and cuisine.
In this area crossed by the railways, the activities to try during your stay are varied. To the south of Rigi Staffel, lovers of walking will love the route of the former Vitznau-Rigi railway, which can be followed by walking up to the point where the route separates from the railway line: crossing the meadows, one arrives at the point panoramic by Chanzeli, a 1464 meters high. The panorama from up there is unparalleled, a scenic view from which to admire the four branches of Lake Lucerne. It is worth a short climb to reach the pretty village of Rigi Kaltbad.
There is so much to do in the area, and besides the train, you also try a cable car ride and go to the very top. Flora and fauna are extraordinary, and you will see flowers you have never seen before.