The Thrilling World Of James Bond
World Travel|June July 2019 Edition
The Thrilling World Of James Bond

Schilthorn provided the backdrop to James Bond’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Fifty years later fans can channel their inner secret agent at this mountain top shrine to all things Bond.

Danni Landa

In the late 1960s, a location scout was traipsing through Europe looking for a suitably dramatic mountain location for the next James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. A casual conversation with a hotel concierge brought his attention to the thrillingly theatrical scenery of the Schilthorn. The future of the mountain and Bond was sealed. But it would take a little Swiss ingenuity and Bond-esque dealings to finally create what can only be described as the most dramatic movie set of all-time.

Before tourism hit the Bernese Alps in the mid 19th century, it was the exclusive domain of serious mountaineers and daring scientists. Railways opened it up to sightseers who came in increasing numbers, including a teenage Tolkien where a hiking holiday across the Alps gave flight to his imagination. Eventually, a summit cableway was installed finally giving the public access to the stunning Schilthorn vistas. Construction on a revolving restaurant had been halted but the producers behind the new 007 project saw its potential as the perfect setting for the secret HQ of Blofeld – Bond’s arch-enemy – and his ‘Angels of Death’, a troupe of lethal henchwomen, including a young Joanna Lumley. In the original book, Ian Fleming gave it the name Piz Gloria and it stuck. In exchange for shooting rights, the film company agreed to finance the completion of the restaurant as well as the installation of a helipad.

Their prescience paid off in spades. The Schilthorn provides a stunning backdrop for some of the most memorable scenes in the entire Bond movie canon. At almost 3000 metres above sea level, one impressive revolution of the Piz Gloria restaurant presents diners with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the surrounding mountains – the monumental Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau to the east and even the distant Mont Blanc way out west. This year sees the celebration of the 50th anniversary of both the movie’s 1969 release and the opening of the restaurant, a truly symbiotic partnership.

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June July 2019 Edition