The new ultra modern, eco-friendly Monte Rosa Hut, at 2810 metres, is now offering a full service to guests.

This "mountain hut of the future", perched above [R517R, Zermatt], is spread across five floors, has 18 rooms for guests with 120 beds, four toilet systems, two washrooms, and four showers.

The innovative building with the nickname ‘Bergkristall' (mountain crystal) looks like a glass crystal and is over 90 percent energy self-sufficient. The €4.2-million building, replaces the old hut 80 metres to the south, and uses solar technology for most of its energy and heat requirements.

It will continue to serve the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) as a research project in the fields of energy and building services engineering.

The Monte Rosa Hut is built above the Gorner Glacier in the shadow of the Matterhorn. It is a metallic, crystal-shaped building which will impress visitors from around the world with its innovative energy concepts at high altitudes. The project is exemplary in terms of sustainable energy generation and resource conservation.

Launched in 2003 as a project of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) to mark the 150th anniversary of Zurich's Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), the hut was officially inaugurated Sept. 25, but only began offering a full guest service from March 10.

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