13th Belle Epoque Week in Kandersteg
At the end of every January, the holiday village of Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland turns back the clock to bring the Belle Epoque era to life with sports and cultural events, and other highlights.
Curling will be enjoyed – in authentic costume, of course – on the large natural ice rink, there’ll be dancing in old-style ice skates to nostalgic tunes, and participants in the nostalgia ski races will use skis made of wood. In the afternoon, there’ll be a refined “Thé Dansant”, along with music and games.
Belle Epoque Week
From 22 to 29 January 2023
Belle Epoque Week in Kandersteg
What does Belle Epoque mean?
Belle Epoque (French for “Beautiful Era”) refers to the period at the turn of the 20th century (roughly between 1885 and 1914). During this era, the first tourists came to visit the region around Kandersteg and many winter sports that are still popular today, such as curling and ice hockey, began to establish themselves. Fashion and architecture from the Belle Epoque era also reflected the "good mood" of that special time, which came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of the First World War.
How long has Belle Epoque Week been taking place in Kandersteg?
“Everything was better in the old days” – this saying laid the foundation for the first Belle Epoque Week in 2010. The “good old days” were thus brought back to life in the last week of January in Kandersteg – with horse-drawn carriages, traditional meals and sports and social activities from the period around 1900.
What type of clothes should I wear?
There is no dress code for visitors to Belle Epoque Week; everyone can wear what they want to. However, the special atmosphere during Belle Epoque Week does invite you to dress in authentic attire as you stroll through the village, attend or participate in various sports events or enjoy entertaining performances.
Where can I find period attire?
People often find stylish original clothing in their own attics or cupboards, or those of their grandparents. An authentic Belle Epoque look can be quickly achieved by cleverly combining such clothes and adding some pieces from a costume hire shop if needed. Elegant attire, frock coats and top hats, as well as simple everyday clothing from the era, can be found in nearly all costume hire shops.
Do I need to register for Belle Epoque Week?
A varied and extensive programme of events is offered throughout the week in Kandersteg. In view of the great popularity of Belle Epoque Week and limitations on the number of participants, we strongly recommend that you register for all events. Reservations are required for all evening events in any case. All those who wish to attend the open-air sports events (curling, bobsled races etc.) are welcome to come and do not need a reservation.
Belle Epoque Bar
Stop by the cosy Belle Epoque Bar right opposite the railway station and get in the right mood for the classy afternoon and evening programmes.