History of the Lauterbrunnen Valley


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Tolik on June 18, 2003

The inhabitants of the west side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley came from the Lotschen Valley. The first settlements were in Mürren, Gimmelwald, Trachsellauenen and Sichellauenen. Lauterbrunnen village itself, due to the unpredictable flooding of the untamed Lutschine river, was settled later than the higher slopes. Although Lauterbrunnen and Mürren have been known since they first appeared in official records in 1257, and Wengen in 1268, first mention of these emigrants from the Lotschental was found in a document dated in 1331. In 1349 there was a secret alliance between the people of Gimmelwald, Ammerten and Lauterbrunnen with Obwalden in an uprising against the monastery at Interlaken.

Around 1350 monks from the monastery in Interlaken succeeded in extending their sphere of influence as far as Wengen and Wengernalp and eventually the whole Lauterbrunnen valley fell into their hands. In 1487 a church was established in Lauterbrunnen and adorned with a bell that was ordered from their old home of Gsteig, which can still be seen in front of the newer church here today.

The year of 1811 saw the start of mountaineering in Lauterbrunnen and the 1st ascent of the Jungfrau. The last decade of the 19th century witnessed the opening of a number of railways in the Jungfrau region including the BOB - Bernese Oberland Railway - from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, and the Wengernalp, Schynige Platte and Mürren Railways.

In 1965 the first three sections of the Schilthorn cableway, from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald and then to Mürren, were opened. The last stretch to the peak of the Schilthorn was completed in 1967.

Lauterbrunnen Valley/UNESCO Trail

Interlaken, Bern, Switzerland

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