What is the definition of “Belle Epoque”?
The period around the turn of the 19th century (approx. 1884 to 1914) is known as the “Belle Epoque” (French for “beautiful period”). European culture, economy and society flourished on an unprecedented scale. Tourism enjoyed its heyday. The first lodgings were established in decorative hotels; more and more visitors experienced the delights of the high mountains in what had until then been an inaccessible foreign country. The construction of Lötschberg tunnel around 1913 brought international recognition for Kandersteg. The first visitors from different countries arrived in Switzerland. Many of today’s popular winter sports were established. Fashion and architecture also adapted to the buoyant mood of the era. This ended abruptly with the outbreak of the First World War.