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Liftsessel vom Mittag aus dem Museum Kempten

Mittagbahn chairlift near Immenstadt in the Allgäu

In 1879 the Mittag peak (1451 m) above Immenstadt was made accessible to summer visitors by means of a ridgeway.

In 1879 the Mittag peak (1451 m) above Immenstadt was made accessible to summer visitors by means of a ridgeway, which the Austro-German Alpine Club had constructed between the Stuiben and the Steineberg.

Winter accessibility, however, had to wait another five decades, until in 1932 the Immenstadt Ski Club 1908 e.V took the initiative of forging a track through thick forest to provide a ski piste on the Mittag. After the Second World War the ski industry experienced an enormous boom, with cable cars being built in several locations in Bavaria. By providing such an ingenious means of transport, this new invention played a decisive role in the success of the tourist industry in general.

In Immenstadt an interest group, the Mittag-Schwebelift G.m.b.H., decided to build a chairlift to the nearby Mittag peak. The new lift was inaugurated in perfect winter weather conditions on 23rd Januar 1949. Skiers and mountain walkers alike were delighted by the speedy ascent and the freedom of soaring up the mountain in the chairs. The Mittagbahn had 30 seats and could carry approximately 150 people up and down the mountain every hour. Because of the impractical position of the bottom lift station (it was a 30 minute walk from the railway station) the lift did not work out, and was subsequently sold.

The new owner, Georg Waller, a hotelier from Oberaudorf, extended the lift to include two sections and moved the bottom station. In 1952 it was reopened, with the bottom station now located on the original 1932 ski piste. Just one year later an inn was built at the middle station. The ski runs too were subsequently extended and improved. In the middle of the 1950s Immenstadt had become an attractive winter sports resort which, thanks to its easy road access, attracted many day skiers who travelled here by special trains. This chairlift was in operation on the Mittag until 2004.

Author: Astrid Schwarz M.A.
Kempten City Museum

Literature: Treutwein, Christoph/Vogel, Rudolf: Fremdenverkehr, in: Vogel, Rudolf (Hg.): Immenstadt im Allgäu. Landschaft, Geschichte, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, kulturelles und religiöses Leben im Laufe der Jahrhunderte, Immenstadt 1996, S. 421-432, hier S. 422f u. 428f.

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