20 Crazy Cool Buildings on Top of Mountains

Some of them look like the extravagant home of a notorious Bond villain, while others have all the hallmarks of an eerie edifice straight out of a Lord of the Rings movie. There are a lot of remarkable buildings on top of mountains – We’ve put together a selection of 20 architectural and technical masterpieces. Watch videos of all the mountaintop buildings here!

Coohl |

Monte Rosa Hut, Zermatt, Switzerland

The new hut on the Monte Rosa massif was inaugurated in 2009. It’s a hi-tech hut built with wood, and covered with an aluminium shell. The hut is almost self-sufficient energy-wise, and can produce up to 90 percent of its energy i… Read full text

Monte Rosa Hut, Zermatt, Switzerland

The new hut on the Monte Rosa massif was inaugurated in 2009. It’s a hi-tech hut built with wood, and covered with an aluminium shell. The hut is almost self-sufficient energy-wise, and can produce up to 90 percent of its energy itself. Going to Monte Rosa Hut requires a hike of at least 4 hours, and involves glacier crossing.

Alpine Shelter, Skuta Mountain, Slovenia

Designed by architectural firm OFIS and students from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2016, the Skuta Hut is a mountain shelter located at the mountain tops of Mount Skuta in Slovenia’s Kamnik-Savinja alps. The purpose of the… Read full text

Alpine Shelter, Skuta Mountain, Slovenia

Designed by architectural firm OFIS and students from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2016, the Skuta Hut is a mountain shelter located at the mountain tops of Mount Skuta in Slovenia’s Kamnik-Savinja alps. The purpose of the bivouac is to serve as a shelter for mountain climbers.

The Goûter Hut, Mont Blanc, France

The Goûter Hut is a mountain refuge located at 3,835 meters, on the way to the summit of Mont Blanc. The new hut was built in 2013. It can be reached in five hours by foot from Nid d’Aigle, terminus of the Tramway du Mont Bl… Read full text

The Goûter Hut, Mont Blanc, France

The Goûter Hut is a mountain refuge located at 3,835 meters, on the way to the summit of Mont Blanc. The new hut was built in 2013. It can be reached in five hours by foot from Nid d’Aigle, terminus of the Tramway du Mont Blanc. Hiking to the refuge is a real alpinism course, only suitable for experienced mountaineers.

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Margherita Hut, Monte Rosa, Italy

This alpine refuge has been called Europe’s highest hotel. At 4,554 metres (14,941 ft) above sea level, it is also the highest building in Europe. It has 70 beds and is open from early June to early September every year. There’s a… Read full text

Margherita Hut, Monte Rosa, Italy

This alpine refuge has been called Europe’s highest hotel. At 4,554 metres (14,941 ft) above sea level, it is also the highest building in Europe. It has 70 beds and is open from early June to early September every year. There’s also an unmanaged winter facility with 12 beds. The hike to the hut is very difficult, and requires good alpine knowledge.

Messner Mountain Museum, Kronplatz, Italy

The museum was designed by the British architect Zaha Hadid and features a permanent exhibition dedicated to mountain climbing. MMM Corones opened in 2015, at the top of Kronplatz mountain. It’s located at an altitude of 2,275 met… Read full text

Messner Mountain Museum, Kronplatz, Italy

The museum was designed by the British architect Zaha Hadid and features a permanent exhibition dedicated to mountain climbing. MMM Corones opened in 2015, at the top of Kronplatz mountain. It’s located at an altitude of 2,275 meters above sea level.

Snøhetta Viewpoint, Tverrfjellet, Norway

The viewpoint, Norwegian Wild Reindeer Center Pavilion, is designed by Snøhetta architect office, and was opened in 2011. The building is accessible during the summer, and can be reached after a 20 minute walk from the car park at… Read full text

Snøhetta Viewpoint, Tverrfjellet, Norway

The viewpoint, Norwegian Wild Reindeer Center Pavilion, is designed by Snøhetta architect office, and was opened in 2011. The building is accessible during the summer, and can be reached after a 20 minute walk from the car park at Tverrfjellet. Snøhetta Viewpoint has won several international awards and was named one of the buildings of the year at the World Architecture Festival in 2011.

Winter Cabin, Mount Kanin, Slovenia

Located at around 2,200 meters above sea level, the winter cabin on Mount Kanin can accommodate up to 15 people. From the bivouac there’s 360-degree views over Slovenia and Italy. You can see Triglav, Soca Valley, and even the Adr… Read full text

Winter Cabin, Mount Kanin, Slovenia

Located at around 2,200 meters above sea level, the winter cabin on Mount Kanin can accommodate up to 15 people. From the bivouac there’s 360-degree views over Slovenia and Italy. You can see Triglav, Soca Valley, and even the Adriatic sea. To enter the cabin you must pick up the keys at Kavarna caffe in Bovec. 

Phugtal Monastery, India

The Phugtal Monastery (often written as Phuktal) in the Himalayas was constructed around a natural cave believed to have been visited by numerous wise men and monks around 2,550 years ago. This Buddhist monastery can only be reach… Read full text

Phugtal Monastery, India

The Phugtal Monastery (often written as Phuktal) in the Himalayas was constructed around a natural cave believed to have been visited by numerous wise men and monks around 2,550 years ago. This Buddhist monastery can only be reached by foot.

Skylodge Adventure Suites, Cusco, Peru

The Skylodge Adventure Suites consists of three transparent capsules that hangs from the rocks of the Sacred Valley mountain. There’s also a main capsule that serves as the hotel’s restaurant. This hotel can only be reached by tak… Read full text

Skylodge Adventure Suites, Cusco, Peru

The Skylodge Adventure Suites consists of three transparent capsules that hangs from the rocks of the Sacred Valley mountain. There’s also a main capsule that serves as the hotel’s restaurant. This hotel can only be reached by taking via ferrata (a trail with iron clamps fixed to the rock) 400 meters up from the ground level. The check-in requires basic knowledge of mountaineering, but the hotel staff will train guests before the ascent up to the capsules. After their stay, guests “check out” by leaving on several connected zip lines.

Eremo di San Colombano, Italy

Eremo di San Colombano is a hermitage located in Trambileno, Italy, on the side of a mountain. The caves around the hermitage has been used since the year 753, but the hermitage itself was completed in 1319.

Eremo di San Colombano, Italy

Eremo di San Colombano is a hermitage located in Trambileno, Italy, on the side of a mountain. The caves around the hermitage has been used since the year 753, but the hermitage itself was completed in 1319.

Summer House, Storfjord, Norway

This is an extraordinary summer house in the mountains of western Norway. A part of the rock wall behind the house is literally a part of the house, forming one the walls of the living room. The house is only accessible by foot.

Summer House, Storfjord, Norway

This is an extraordinary summer house in the mountains of western Norway. A part of the rock wall behind the house is literally a part of the house, forming one the walls of the living room. The house is only accessible by foot.

Sphinx Observatory, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

The Sphinx observatory above the Jungfraujoch is one of the highest observatories in the world. It’s located at the Sphinx summit at 3,571 meters (11,716 feet) above sea level. The observatory can be reached via the Jungfraujoch r… Read full text

Sphinx Observatory, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

The Sphinx observatory above the Jungfraujoch is one of the highest observatories in the world. It’s located at the Sphinx summit at 3,571 meters (11,716 feet) above sea level. The observatory can be reached via the Jungfraujoch railway station, the highest train station in Europe.

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel, France

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe (which translates to St Michael of the needle) is a chapel on a 85 meter high volcanic plug in Aiguilhe, close to Le Puy-en-Velay in France. The chapel can be reached by walking 268 steps up a stair c… Read full text

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel, France

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe (which translates to St Michael of the needle) is a chapel on a 85 meter high volcanic plug in Aiguilhe, close to Le Puy-en-Velay in France. The chapel can be reached by walking 268 steps up a stair carved into the rock.

Restaurant Tusen, Ramundberget, Sweden

Restaurant Tusen is located at the mountain Ramundberget, at Fjällgårdsbanan’s top station (a high speed chairlift). The facade material is sprung from nature with hand-clad birch trunks that form a protective screen against the n… Read full text

Restaurant Tusen, Ramundberget, Sweden

Restaurant Tusen is located at the mountain Ramundberget, at Fjällgårdsbanan’s top station (a high speed chairlift). The facade material is sprung from nature with hand-clad birch trunks that form a protective screen against the northern winds. The restaurant offers amazing views from Skarsfjället over Helags to Mittåkläppen. The building was chosen as the winner in the “Holiday” category at the 2009 World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.

Gornergrat Kulm Hotel, Zermatt, Switzerland

Located 3,120 metres above sea level, The Gornergrat Kulm Hotel previously contained two observatories. The hotel has two restaurants and a small shopping mall. It can be reached via the Gornergrat railway (its terminus is 100 met… Read full text

Gornergrat Kulm Hotel, Zermatt, Switzerland

Located 3,120 metres above sea level, The Gornergrat Kulm Hotel previously contained two observatories. The hotel has two restaurants and a small shopping mall. It can be reached via the Gornergrat railway (its terminus is 100 meters from the hotel).

Taung Kalat, Myanmar

Taung Kalat, a Buddhist monastery and temple complex, is reached by climbing 777 steps to the summit of a 225 meter high volcanic plug. The monastery is a popular pilgrimage destination.

Taung Kalat, Myanmar

Taung Kalat, a Buddhist monastery and temple complex, is reached by climbing 777 steps to the summit of a 225 meter high volcanic plug. The monastery is a popular pilgrimage destination.

Britannia Hut, Saas Fee, Switzerland

Opened in 1912, the Britannia Hut is a mountain hut located at the foot of the Allalinhorn at a height of 3,030 meters above sea level. It’s easy to access the hut from the Felskinn cable car/metro station, via a one hour hike on … Read full text

Britannia Hut, Saas Fee, Switzerland

Opened in 1912, the Britannia Hut is a mountain hut located at the foot of the Allalinhorn at a height of 3,030 meters above sea level. It’s easy to access the hut from the Felskinn cable car/metro station, via a one hour hike on the Fee Glacier.

Gervasutti bivouac, Mont Blanc, Italy

The Giusto Gervasutti bivouac is located on the Mont Blanc massif at 2,835 meters above sea level. It can only be reached by climbing by foot. The new, futuristic bivouac was built in 2011. The mountain hut has a dining room and t… Read full text

Gervasutti bivouac, Mont Blanc, Italy

The Giusto Gervasutti bivouac is located on the Mont Blanc massif at 2,835 meters above sea level. It can only be reached by climbing by foot. The new, futuristic bivouac was built in 2011. The mountain hut has a dining room and two dormitories with 12 beds. It’s designed by architects Luca Gentilcore and Stefano Testa, and part of a project whose purpose is to create modular and eco-sustainable bivouacs.

Drehrestaurant Allalin, Mittelallalin, Switzerland

At the Mittelallalin summit, 3,500 meters above sea level, there’s a revolving restaurant which is the highest such restaurant in the world. The area is reached via the Metro Alpin, an underground funicular that’s also considered … Read full text

Drehrestaurant Allalin, Mittelallalin, Switzerland

At the Mittelallalin summit, 3,500 meters above sea level, there’s a revolving restaurant which is the highest such restaurant in the world. The area is reached via the Metro Alpin, an underground funicular that’s also considered to be the highest subway in the world as it’s running completely underground.

The Meteora, Greece

The rock formation Meteora is the site of six Eastern Orthodox monasteries (originally there were 24), built on top of huge natural pillars. It is located near the town of Kalabaka in Greece. Meteora is part of UNESCO’s world heri… Read full text

The Meteora, Greece

The rock formation Meteora is the site of six Eastern Orthodox monasteries (originally there were 24), built on top of huge natural pillars. It is located near the town of Kalabaka in Greece. Meteora is part of UNESCO’s world heritage list.

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