Piccard Memorial

Piccard Denkmal

The Piccard Memorial, which was erected in 1989, reminds of the emergency landing of Professor Auguste Piccard at the Gurgler Ferner glacier on 27 May 1931.

The news of his rescue was published in newspapers all over the world. A festschrift is available at the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl tourist information office.


On 27 May 1931 Professor Auguste Piccard and his assistant Ing. Paul Kipfer start a scientific high-altitude flight in Augsburg. They are the first persons to reach the stratosphere at 16,000m of altitude in a balloon. Because of technical problems with the valve line the two scientists land at the Gurgler Ferner glacier in the Ötztal Alps by chance. Because of this event, which was in the news all over the world, this sleepy mountain village became known internationally. Auguste Piccard wrote in his logbook after his fortunate landing: "Nice, unknown high Alpine area, basket and balloon are on a glacier".