The Grande Dame of the alps

The Oldest

Cable Car In

the World

The Predigtstuhlbahn in Bad Reichenhall is affectionately known as the Grande Dame of the Alps. It is the oldest of its kind, still preserved in its original state, and rightfully protected as a monument. From the beginning, the Predigtstuhlbahn was regarded as a model of a perfect cable car and was the epitome of elegance in cable car construction. This has hardly changed to this day. Its skyward-reaching monumental supports, as well as the mountain restaurant and the mountain and valley stations, are stone witnesses of the “New Objectivity” – a brief architectural epoch that replaced the playful Art Nouveau and is considered a companion of the Bauhaus movement.

Alois Zuegg

The emergence

The Predigtstuhlbahn had several founders in the chic spa town of Bad Reichenhall. After World War I, hyperinflation, and the departure of important customer segments, they set out to catch up with competing resorts by installing a cable car to a mountain. Alois Seethaler from the Hotel Axelmannstein and spa director Josef Niedermeier brought various experts to Bad Reichenhall in 1926 and 27, including Alois Zuegg, the ingenious inventor of modern cable car technology. The Predigtstuhlbahn still benefits from his wealth of experience to this day because Zuegg was never satisfied and always sought improvements. He formulated the demand to realize the best and most efficient concept, as “in consideration of the demanding spa audience of Bad Reichenhall, elegance and comfort must not be lacking.”



In the 1920s, engineer Alois Zuegg and manufacturer Adolf Bleichert, the world’s largest cable car manufacturer at the time, perfected cable car construction with the “Bleichert-Zuegg System” through several innovations. With the Predigtstuhlbahn, they achieved a masterpiece, partly because Wilhelm Kahrs, the director of the construction company Hochtief, could be enlisted as the architect for the buildings. Incidentally, Kahrs was simultaneously constructing the Echelsbach Bridge, the longest-spanned Melan arch bridge in the world at that time. The design of the characteristic monumental supports was undertaken by the engineering office of Otto Streck and Alfred Zenns, which also contributed to the construction of the Echelsbach Bridge.

Adolf Bleichert