Title ID 1426Collection ID275
TitleHolidays in Switzerland
DateAugust 1948
CollectionH A Voss
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
KeywordsBoats Bridges Buildings Castles Harbours Holidays Lakes Landscape Roads Rural Areas Ships Tourism
LocalDover La Fère Rheims Beaune Lausanne Ouchy Pully Chillon Sierre Brig Gletsch Grimselpass Meiringen Susten Pass Vitznau Küssnacht am Rigi Lucerne Zurich Uetikon
RegionalKent Aisne Picardy Marne Champagne-Ardenne Côte d'Or Burgundy Vaud Valais Alps Bern Schwyz Luzern Zurich
NationalEngland United Kingdom France Switzerland Europe
ProductionH A Voss
CameraH A Voss
FormatColour Silent
Duration11 min. 39 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


On a drive to Switzerland, this film records visits to French towns before a tour of the ports and villages around Lausanne, Lake Geneva and the Rhône Valley. A visit to the Great St Bernard Pass in the Alps is followed by stays in Lucerne and Zurich.


This record of a holiday to Switzerland begins with at the docks in Dover where a queue of cars wait to join the ferry for Calais, each car being winched aboard. Voss's first visit is to the town of La Fère in Aisne, Northern France where the car is checked and refuelled. Voss films from the car on the drive south towards Rheims before visiting Beaune where a wedding is happening at the cathedral. Voss's family explore the town on foot. The next scenes are of the cathedral and university at Lausanne, Switzerland, and panoramic shots of the town and its buildings. Voss next stops at Ouchy on Lake Geneva, filming its waterfront. Continuing his journey, he passes vineyards before stopping again at Pully for views across the lake and the nearby Chateau de Chillon which sits out on a rocky island. The family then continue their journey up the Rhône Valley to Sierre where Voss films street scenes and his wife buys provisions.

In the next part of this film, Voss visits the Great St Bernard Pass through the Alps and the monastery founded by the saint after which the valley is named, at the pass's highest point. Voss films the landscape from the winding roads. Near one village he films boys herding cattle before arriving at the monastery and hospice on the banks of Great St Bernard Lake, and the kennels of St Bernard dogs kept there. Travelling north, from the town of Brig near the Italian border to the Rhône Glacier at Gletsch, Voss films people working in the fields around the villages en route, where streets are lined with wooden buildings and people carry belongings in barrows. Voss's family pose for the camera and admire the scenery at the glacier, before continuing their journey through the mountains over the nearby Grimsel Pass up to Meiringen. From here the family travel over the Susten Pass, where Voss films a rainbow stretching across the alpine landscape. The family next visit the villages of Vitznau and Küssnacht on Lake Lucerne, where Voss films steamers crossing, as well as the parks and buildings of the villages. In Lucerne, Voss films a panorama of the city from the lakeside before street scenes featuring trams, city squares and Lucerne's landmarks, Chapel Bridge with the 13th century Water Tower behind it. Yachts on Lake Zurich are filmed during a brief trip to the city, followed by a visit to a lakeside restaurant terrace in nearby Uetikon, with his friends Dr. and Mrs Schnorf. The Schnorf family owned a local chemicals company and Voss, who worked for the British Phosphate Commission, very likely had professional ties with them.


A still from 'Holidays in Switzerland' (1948)