In 1820, the Schwarzer Adler (Black Eagle) was the first hotel to open for business in Grindelwald. For a long time, it was one of the leading hotels in the village. In 1969, Sunstar Hotels bought the property and opened its new hotel there in 1971. However, the eagle has not quite flown away: our cosy à la carte restaurant, the Adlerstube, is still a reminder of the oldest hotel in the story of Grindelwald.
Twice a year, in mid-January and at the end of November[MG1] , the mountain and valley together put on an impressive natural spectacle: a ray of sunlight shines through the Martinsloch rock window and falls on the church in Grindelwald.
The Martinsloch is an opening in the rock about four metres wide and two-and-a-half metres high. It is located at an altitude of about 2500 m in the eastern ridge which falls steeply away to the lower Grindelwald glacier. It was named after Saint Martin, but is also called the “Heiterloch” (“bright opening”).
There are a number of explanations about how the hole formed. According to the legend, Saint Martin accidentally hit the Eiger too hard with a stick. Geologists tell us that remarkable shapes appear in our Alps as a result of the effects of water, heat and cold: hollows scoured out by glacier water and rubble, erosion of layers of rock that are not all equally hard, and yes, even holes pierced through compacted rock.
The natural spectacle can be observed every year in mid-January and at the end of November from around the village church in Grindelwald.