The 'typical' Swiss chalet we all know and recognize instantly as Swiss turns out to have been created by 19th century architects from England, France and Germany who created 'idealized' versions of widely-varying Swiss wooden buildings.
Researching in the archives of the Zurich ETH university Daniel Stockhammer found that before the 1860s, Swiss wooden buildings were so varied they couldn't be called a style: they were "regionally so different that one could at most speak of local and regional traditions..."
In the late 18th and 19th centuries, more outsiders began visiting Switzerland, including architects such as Britain's Peter Robinson; they began to draw and document the buildings, and then later, in their studios, drew renderings that reflected their idealized view of Switzerland...and that's the Switzerland that other Europeans came to know and expect.
So, in the late 19th century, with the advent of mass tourism, the visitors came with expectations, and the Swiss builders, using English drawings, began to build hotels, railway stations and more in the style we now think of as Swiss.
“To a great extent, Switzerland owes its national style, and its success, to tourists,” concludes Stockhammer. For more, from TheLocal.ch, click HERE
Photo: Cristo Vlahos / Wikimedia