The Arlberg as the cradle of skiing

freedom | 02/20/2024

History & tradition around the Goldener Berg

The region around the Arlberg has been a popular ski resort since 1885. Forward-looking pioneering achievements have always ensured constant progress and the expansion of infrastructure. Read the latest blog article to find out which events we can still look back on with gratitude today, what the Alter Goldener Berg has to tell us as a witness to history and why we are proud to be part of this success story.

The history of skiing on the Arlberg

The year was 1885 when a Norwegian engineer brought the first skis to Langen. The three of them strap on their skis for the first time for pure pleasure and explore the mountains of the region. Despite difficult conditions, the passion for skiing prevailed - and the following milestones can now be looked back on: 

  • 1890 - Ski instructor and actor Johann Schneider is born. He later invents the "Arlberg technique" and goes down in the history books. He founds the ski school in St. Anton and appears in fifteen popular ski films, including "Der weiße Rausch" from 1930/1931.
  • 1894 - Pastor Müller from Warth brings the first pair of skis to the western Arlberg 
  • 1901 - the Arlberg Ski Club is founded
  • 1904 - the first ski race takes place, with ladies also taking part 
  • 1905 - Viktor Sohm runs the first ski course in Zürs, first for locals, later also for guests
  • 1921 - Hannes Schneider opens the first ski school 
  • 1931 - "Der weiße Rausch" is filmed and thrills the masses - the ski region becomes known far beyond its borders
  • 1937 - the first T-bar lift is built
  • 1937 - the world's first cable car designed solely for winter use goes into operation - it can transport 120 people per hour 
  • 1955 - the new Valluga cable car is built and goes down in the history books as the highest cable car at the time
  • 1983 - the Arlberg Jet now provides snowmaking for the perfect pistes 
  • 2004 - the world's first heated chairlift is built in Lech and Schröcken 
  • 2006 - the Funitel system revolutionises cable car construction and enables guests to access the lift at ground level 
  • 2013 - the new ski area connection provides even more comfort 
  • 2016 - Ski Arlberg becomes Austria's largest interconnected ski area with the construction of the Flexenbahn cable car 

And the story goes on!

Almost 600 years of the Alter Goldener Berg

The Alte Goldene Berg has been enthroned in Oberlech for almost 600 years. The old walls have been lovingly restored and are proudly run by us as a restaurant. 600 years. What an impressive number. This special place was chosen to settle in 1432. 

Lech was mentioned for the first time in 642, and there is documentary evidence that it was permanently settled from 1300 AD. The people who settled here were the Walser - coming from Switzerland, they made the land arable by clearing it. 

Over the course of history, the people faced various challenges. From 1806 to 1814, during the Napoleonic Wars, Lech was temporarily ceded to Bavaria. 

1885 marks the start of tourism. The development continues to this day - making the region one of the most popular ski resorts in the world.

Experience tradition & modernity - holidays on the Goldener Berg

Become part of history and visit us at the Goldener Berg. The Alter Goldener Berg serves regional delicacies, while the Goldener Berg - the hotel right next door - spoils you with wonderful services.

Click here for the rooms & suites.