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History

After the conquest of the Matterhorn in 1865, more and more people arrived to explore this unique mountain, now shown to be climbable. A consensus soon emerged that overnight accommodation needed to be constructed at the foot of the Matterhorn.

The first accommodation facility, the Hörnlihütte or Hörnli lodge, offering seventeen beds consequently came to be built at an altitude of 3260 metres in 1880. It was constructed under the supervision and on the initiative of the Swiss Alpine Club, Monte Rosa Section. Since its construction it has served many mountaineers as a starting point for ascents of the Matterhorn and as a refuge during changes in weather conditions.

In 1911 the civic community of Zermatt built the Matterhorn mountain hotel (Belvédère) in its immediate vicinity. Until 1987, both mountain lodges were managed independently of one another – which proved difficult at times. In 1987 the Monte Rosa Section of the Swiss Alpine Club and the civic community of Zermatt agreed that the warden of the Bélvèdere mountain hotel would also look after the Hörnlihütte.

Both lodges were rebuilt several times over the following decades to meet the increased demands placed on them and have been able to accommodate 170 mountain climbers since their most recent modernisation and enlargement in 1982.

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