Tag Archives: Switzerland

Cat Ladders of Bern

Cats love climbing, and they certainly need no human help to navigate precarious-looking structures. But in the Swiss city of Bern, cat owners are extra concerned of the wellbeing of their pets. All around the city you will see structures built specially for cats to climb. They look like fire exits, but of a more dangerous kind, attached to the outer walls, creating a path from the upper floor balconies or windows down to the street.

Switzerland-based graphic designer and writer Brigitte Schuster chronicles this unique phenomenon in her new book Swiss Cat Ladders.

bern cat ladders

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Why a Polish Billionaire Built a Museum in the Swiss Alps

The sprawling Muzeum Susch from above (© Claudio Von Planta courtesy Muzeum Susch, Art Stations Foundation CH)

Susch, Switzerland — It’s hard these days to stand out as a new museum. One way is to build a cultural outpost in a pristine natural environment, creating a unique synergy by appealing to tourists eager to experience both culture and nature. Another way is to add unique architectural features — like a bat cave that doubles as an exhibition space, for example. Welcome to Muzeum Susch, the newest in a long line of private museums that are becoming increasingly more prevalent the world over. But what’s at stake with the recent upsurge of private museums? That’s a question I endeavored to answer on a recent visit to … Read the rest

Gyrobus: The Flywheel-Powered Public Transportation

Back in the 1940s, Swiss engineers developed a new kind of zero-emission electric bus that used a large spinning flywheel to store energy rather than rechargeable batteries. The reason was simple—they wanted something quieter and cleaner, but most importantly they wanted a vehicle that wasn’t constrained by overhead power lines. Many Swiss cities at that time had trolley buses as public transport that ran on predetermined routes powered by electricity. But rails restricted movement and running overhead wires over new routes were prohibitively expensive. Battery technology too left a lot to be desired, just like today.

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A demonstration of the Gyrobus charging up the flywheel at the electric loadpoint, in Ostend, Belgium, in 1985 on occasion of 100 years off vicinal railways. Photo credit: Smiley.toerist/Wikimedia