Grindelwald - Encyclopedia

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GRINDELWALD, a valley in the Bernese Oberland, and one of the chief resorts of tourists in Switzerland. It is shut in on the south by the precipices of the Wetterhorn, Mettenberg and Eiger, between which two famous glaciers flow down. On the north it is sheltered by the Faulhorn range, while on the east the Great Scheidegg Pass leads over to Meiringen; and on the south-west the Little Scheidegg or Wengern Alp (railway 112 m. across) divides it from Lauterbrunnen. The main village is connected with Interlaken by a rack railway (13 m.). The valley is very green, and possesses excellent pastures, as well as fruit trees, though little corn is grown. It is watered by the Black Liitschine, a tributary of the Aar. The height of the parish church above the sea-level is 3468 ft. The population in 190owas 3346,practically all Protestant and German-speaking,. and living in 558 houses. The glacier guides are among the best in the Alps. The valley was originally inhabited by the serfs of various great lords in summer for the sake of pasturage. A chapel in a cave was superseded about 1146 by a wooden church, replaced about 1180 by a stone church, which was pulled down in 1793 to erect the present building. Gradually the Austin canons of Interlaken bought out all the other owners in the valley, but when that house was suppressed in 1528 by the town of Bern the inhabitants gained their freedom. The houses near the hotel Adler bear the name of Gydisdorf, but there is no village of Grindelwald properly speaking, though that name is usually given to the assemblage of hotels and shops between Gydisdorf and the railway station. Grindelwald is now very much frequented by visitors in winter.

See W. A. B. Coolidge, Walks and Excursions in the Valley of Grindelwald (also in French and German) (Grindelwald, 1900); Emmanuel Friedli, Beirndiitsch als Spiegel bernischen Volkstums,, vol. ii. (Grindelwald, Bern, 1908); E. F. von Miilinen, Beitrdge zur Heimatkunde des Kantons Bern, deutschen Teils, vol. i. (Bern, 1879), pp. 24-26; G. Strasser, Der Gletschermann (Grindelwald, 1888-1890). Scattered notices may be found in the edition (London, 1899) of the "General Introduction" (entitled "Hints and Notes for Travellers in the Alps") to John Ball's Alpine Guide. (W. A. B. C.)

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