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In the same way that skyscrapers characterise the cityscape of New York, the chalet architectural style is typical of the Destination Gstaad, giving the villages a traditional charm and homely style.

Stringent building regulations have applied since the 1950s to ensure that the typical character of the region is maintained. Alongside many originally maintained chalets, all new buildings also have adhere to the chalet style. Only timber-built houses and panelling in keeping with this style are permitted.


  • Historical village of Saanen
    In 1575 the village was almost completely destroyed by a raging fire. Some of the houses date back to the period of reconstruction.

  • Obersimmental Chalet Trail
    This themed walk takes you through the entire Obersimmental valley, offering a wonderful insight into its outstanding carpentry skills. The Obersimmental Chalet Trail brochure is available in the Gstaad Saanenland Tourist Office.

Historical village guide with an audio guide

The village of Saanen, the historical heart of the Saanenland, owes its unique character to its narrow streets and lanes, lined with old timber houses . The Church of Saint Maurice, dating back to the 15th century is also an impressive building. Tradition, a rich heritage of craftsmanship, and history all lend the village its particular charm.

Instruction for use of the audio guide

Via 28 stations, the audio guide takes visitors through the significant history and architecture of the chalet village of Saanen.
Using a specific app on their smartphone, at each station visitors find out in brief about the essentials of each object’s history. An information panel is placed at each station, containing QR codes.

And that’s how it works:
1. Download the free app „GPS Tracks“ from the App Store or Google Play
2. After the successful download, choose the function „QR code scan“ in the app.
3. Scan the QR code that represents the language of your choice on the information panel with the code scan function. Facts and figures will now be delivered about the object in front of you.