A ladies day out has been well overdue here – and Mel and I headed off on Thursday to Baden for a natter and a mooch around. Baden is a sweet little town only 20 minutes from Zürich with the fast train. It’s also the HQ of the worldwide Swiss/Swedish engineering concern ABB.
We first headed to the home of Mr Brown of Uxbridge. Mr Brown was an engineer who came to Switzerland in 1851 to work for the engineering company Sulzer. He was successful and had 5 children, one of whom, Charles Eugene Lancelot went on to be an engineer himself and founded Brown Bovari and Company – a very successful Swiss engineering company which in 1988 fused with a major Swedish company to create the ABB industrial concern.
The original Mr Brown built himself a very nice – but not huge – house in Baden and his children and grandchildren spent the family money on impressionist art. The result is that today you can walk round the Villa Langmatt, admiring the Victorian furnishings, with Monets, Renoirs, Sisleys and all the rest at every turn. The only concession to security seemed to be that we had to hand in our handbags! Quite extraordinary – it would only happen in Switzerland! There are actually a few villas with amazing art collections in the area and a couple of years ago there was a very spectacular robbery in Zürich, so I suspect that things might actually start to tighten up a bit! It’s nice for now though, so we’ll enjoy it while it lasts!
Nearby Baden was worth a little look around too. This tower is really the highpoint.
But there were lots of narrow little cobbled streets with interesting shops and houses too.