Zurich is supposed to be as calm as we would believe it to be, but that is, shockingly, not quite so. For when we think of a city in Switzerland, all we are supposed to think of is banks to stow away money from questionable means and boring bankers who hold they key to doing the former. But what many of us are unaware of is the more rebellious side of this peaceful place; back in the golden age of Rock ‘n’ Roll, when The Atlantis Hotel first opened its doors in 1970.
The Atlantis Hotel
After The Atlantis Hotel opened in 1970, an insurgence of big time celebrities found their names on the guest list – big time celebrities like, Elton John, Frank Zappa, Freddie Mercury, and many more such big names; basically everyone who constitute the who’s who of Rock ‘n’ Roll and, ironically, even The Who, who left their indelible mark by throwing the lobby furniture into the pool. This is not all that this wild hotel, in what was assumed to be a very calm and mostly boring city, saw; in fact, abstract patterns on the wallpaper that did not cease to amaze were the result of a food fight between progressive rock icons Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. But as the golden age of Rock ‘n’ Roll slowly began to fade, the hotel too lost its glory and, in the 1990s, became a student hostel, then a halfway home for immigrants, and finally closed down in 2004.
Possibly one of the most true to life drops of any Rock ‘n’ Roll icons and one that everyone in the field was afraid of: being forgotten and ending up washed out.
Much like style that goes out of fashion and comes back around sooner or later (mostly later) in the near or distant future (mostly distant) – that’s right, maybe we shouldn’t throw away old things after all – the Atlantis too has come back from the dead. Swiss hotel group Giardino has bought and renovated the old hotel. Since the style of the building is back in fashion, no significant structural changes had to be made – a little refurbishment had to be done to the lavish marble interiors as well as the winding spiral staircase that caught everyone’s eye. The walls in all the communal rooms donned portraits of guests like Abba and Ali – emphasising the almost celebrity-like feeling (unless you are a celebrity) The Atlantis provides to its guests.
Following In The Atlantis’ Footsteps
The boring city of Zurich has found its wild side again. Almost following in the Atlantis’ footsteps, Zurich soon began to get more reminders of its artistic past; what once seemed like a wasteland, has now revealed its true colours. The Lowenbrau brewery has become a gallery, the Schiffbau shipyard has become a theatre, and these are only the few to begin with. Soon, and it can be expected, Zurich will once remember the artists’ paradise it has always been. Or, much like any other trend, it will find itself in the cycle of life and death once again.
Only time will tell, and only our choices shall determine what the outcome is; choose well.