Chalet. Nostalgia, kitsch and Baukultur

What exactly is a chalet? Is it simply a symbol of longing for Alpine nature – an invented concept, a myth? From 10 March to 30 June 2023, the NL presents the exhibition “Chalet. Nostalgia, kitsch and Baukultur” in cooperation with DAS GELBE HAUS FLIMS.

Weihnachtskarte Leupin
Key visual of the “Chalet” exhibition (Design: Gasser, Derungs)

Switzerland has a love affair with its chalets. Foreign visitors also associate their short-term stays during skiing and hiking trips with the charm of these small wooden houses. But what exactly is a chalet? Are there particular features that make a cosy wooden cabin a “chalet”? Is it the wide overhanging roof? The geraniums in front of the windows? The carved roof beams? Or is the chalet simply a symbol of longing for Alpine nature – an invented concept, a myth? The more precisely one tries to define a chalet, the fuzzier its boundaries become.

In the exhibition “Chalet”, the NL takes you on a tongue-in-cheek, educational and entertaining journey that explores this quintessentially Swiss phenomenon from three angles: nostalgia, kitsch and Baukultur. The exhibition shows how the chalet has become a romanticised image of nostalgia. It traces the path of the Laubsägeli-style chalet as it became a popular export and miniature souvenir. It also presents current buildings that freely interpret the concept of a chalet.

Collateral events

Public opening
9 March 2023, 6 p.m.

Museum night
17 March 2023, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

25 and 26 March 2023, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Exhibition open, free admission

Guided tour with the curator (in German)
2 May 2023, 5.30 p.m.

Background information and interesting insights on the exhibition in “Gegensprecher”, the NL’s podcast (in German). Available from all podcast providers.


Opening hours
10 March to 30 June 2023
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Free admission

Private tours on request:

Last modification 23.03.2023

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