by Emily Fraser
At 3466 metres high and nestled between the famous mountains on Mönch and Jungfrau, it’s no surprise the Jungfraujoch is often described as the ‘Top of Europe’. Offering incredible 360 degree views, an ice palace, restaurants and Lindt’s Swiss Chocolate Heaven, it truly is an alpine wonderland and should be on your must-see list when travelling through Switzerland.
Getting to Jungfraujoch:
The top of the famous col is only accessible by cogwheel train – board the Jungfrau line in Interlaken or Kleine Scheidegg and travel to the Jungfraujoch railway station, the highest in Europe at an elevation of 3454 metres.
The ‘Top of Europe’:
The station is connected to the Top of Europe building, which houses Europe’s highest-altitude post office, along with several restaurants, an exhibition on the railway and the Alps and offers spectacular views from the south side of the Jungfraujoch, overlooking the eternal snows of the Aletsch Glacier.
Sphinx viewing deck:
3,571 metres above sea level, the arrival atop the roof of Europe is a unique experience for every visitor to Jungfraujoch! From the Sphinx Hall, you reach the building with the fastest ski lift in Switzerland – within 25 seconds. The glass Sphinx observation hall provides a view of the glaciers in any weather. The Aletsch glacier is directly at the foot of this observation platform. At 22km in length, it is the longest glacier in the Alps. The terrace also provides a 360-degree panoramic view overlooking the neighbouring countries of France, Germany and Italy.
A blue revolving door leads to a blue staircase in which the rocks arched overhead transform into the glacier. The Ice Palace is located inside Jungfraufirn, one of the Aletsch Glacier’s three main arms. 20 metres below the viewing platform, at Europe’s watershed, ice masses build up. In the palace, long corridors open into cavernous rooms and halls. In the 30s, two guides began carving a huge hall from the glacier ice. The 1,000 square-metre area was carved by hand with an ice axe and saw but was never finished. The cave must be artificially cooled to minus three degrees, and the vaulted ceilings and arches of the corridors are regularly rehewn. The first ice sculptures appear in the niches and an eternal world of ice gleams a bluish hue.
Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven:
Lindt’s production and history are impressively displayed in this unique chocolate experience world at the Jungfraujoch, which was opened by Roger Federer himself on 16 July 2014. Have a turn on the conch, page through the magical Lindt recipe book and see what happens. From cocoa extraction to the production of the world-famous Lindor truffle – it’s all found there. There is even a virtual Lindt Maître de Chocolatier on location to show you how a chocolate bar is created. And of course, the Lindt Chocolate Shop – but enter at your own risk! Sweet seduction lurks upon the shelves.
We visit Jungfraujoch on our Alpine Discovery tour.
To learn more, and even watch the live mountain cam, click here.