This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
In the tiny Swiss town of Les Avants, characteristic red cars travel up and down the funicular railway just as they have for over 100 years. Les Avants-Sonloup funicular was built in 1910, and though recently renovated, still uses its original carriages and machinery – unusual for a system this old.
The funicular links the railway station in Les Avants, part of the Montreux-Oberland Bernois railway, with an upper station at Sonloup. An electric engine powers the funicular for a distance of 532 meters (1,745 ft) on a gradient of up to 54.5%. Total one-way travel time is a mere six minutes.
The route is quite scenic, passing a stone viaduct with 11 arches. In May, the hillsides are covered in flowering narcissus.
Les Avants is also notable as a winter resort and host of the first Ice Hockey European Championship in 1910. Interestingly, Ernest Hemingway wintered in the village when he lived in Paris in the 1920s.Know more? Share with us!