Construction work was underway at the highest cable car station in Europe - the Matterhorn glacier paradise - this summer.

The new expansion features a restaurant with accommodation facilities for mountaineers. The Glacier Restaurant can seat up to 120 people and accommodate 40. The building will comply with the Minergie P standard (the highest energy standard).

A special sewage treatment facility, the highest in the Alps, will ensure waste water is purified in an environmentally friendly way. The front of the Glacier Restaurant has been equipped with numerous solar panels to generate energy to heat the building. This means no external energy supply is required. Zermatt Mountain Cableways also have improved access; a new weatherproof, underground access with two lifts has been built.

Every year, around 550,000 people from all over the world visit the breathtaking Matterhorn glacier paradise vantage point. [R517R, Zermatt] Mountain Cableways says, "Until now, visitors were met with makeshift catering facilities, poor sanitary arrangements and, depending on their footwear, almost impassable routes through ice and snow up to the entrance of the glacier palace . . . people who go on such an excursion at an altitude of 3,883 metres above sea level expect something very special and unique."

Visit the Zermatt Mountain Cableways Web site for more information.