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Swiss Youth Hostels

At 52 locations throughout Switzerland we provide inexpensive accommodation and good healthy food to a high standard. Our youth hostels are often situated in prime positions. From castles and villas through to modern urban city youth hostels you will find everything your heart desires.

In the course of their 90 years’ history, the Swiss Youth Hostels have acquired an incomparable wealth of historic structures. Since their foundation in 1924, youth hostels have been accommodated in a remarkable range of historic buildings. Today, they are to be found in castles, palaces, former factory buildings, historic villas and chalets, a sanatorium, a “Gaden” house, a customs house on Roman foundations and important contemporary examples of modern architecture.

The importance of historic buildings is firmly rooted in the philosophy of the Swiss Youth Hostels Association and the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism. At the same time, the Swiss Youth Hostels have discovered that the general public and even their own members are largely unaware of the immense historic value of the youth hostels. In many youth hostels there is a lack of in-depth information for interested persons.

With this end in mind, it was decided to write up the histories of selected youth hostels since the day they were built. Thomas Pfluger, a trained architect and member of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects, has studied the extensive archive material, summarised it in the form of short texts and added pictures. These pictures and texts have been printed on Plexiglas panels displayed in the entrance areas of the youth hostels concerned. The stimulus
for the definitive implementation of the project was the “Historic Hotel of the Year 2008” prize awarded by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites). Zurich Youth Hostel received a special accolade “for a thoughtful and successful conversion of a 1960s building and an outstanding business philosophy in the area of social tourism”.

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