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The chalet is a rural house type that is widespread in the Alpine region . Chalets are traditionally made of wood or at least have wooden cladding. A flat gable roof with a wide roof overhang is typical of the chalet . In some municipalities in Switzerland , e.g. B. Lenk , Grindelwald , Saanen or Zermatt , in order to prevent building sins, only chalets may be built.


The word chalet (French; from Latin cala, "protected place") comes from French-speaking Switzerland and originally meant Sennhütte . Following the Latin usage, a chalet was a “sheltered place” like shelters for ranchers. Today's usage also includes holiday homes and apartments.


In the course of the romanticization of rural life and the mountain world in the 19th century, the European nobility and the bourgeoisie developed a growing interest in traditional wooden houses in the Swiss Alpine region. Chalets adorned the gardens of aristocratic residences, the chalet style was evident in villas, suburban settlements and in landscape parks, such as the “Schweizer Häuschen” in Anholter Switzerland, which opened in 1892 .

With tourism flourishing in that period , the chalet quickly found widespread use as a type of holiday home, especially in Austria and in the entire Alpine region, such as in South Tyrol and today's Trentino. Today the term chalet is therefore often used as a synonym for holiday home .

During the Second World War , 26,000 stone chalets were built in the Swiss Reduit , which in fact were superbly camouflaged bunkers, equipped with anti-tank guns.

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