LAKE OF THUN, in the Swiss canton of Bern, the second lake (the first being that of Brienz) into which the river Aar expands. It lies in a deep hollow between (N.W.) the town of Thun (q.v.) and (E.) the plain on which Interlaken is built between this lake and that of Brienz. It is 112 m. in length, 2 m. in width, and its maximum depth is 712 ft., while its area is 182 sq. m., and its surface is 1837 ft. above sea-level. Most splendid views of the great snowy peaks of the Bernese Oberland range are obtained from the lake, while the beauty of its shores renders it a formidable rival in point of picturesqueness to the Lake of Lucerne. Its chief feeder is the Kander (swollen shortly before by the Simme), which in 1714 was diverted by a canal into the lake (south-western end). On or above the southwestern shore (along which runs the railway from Thun to Interlaken, 172 m.) are Spiez (a picturesque village with an ancient castle, and the starting-point of railways towards the Gemmi and Montreux) and Aeschi (admirably situated on a high ridge). On the other shore of the lake are Oberhofen and Gunten (above which is Sigriswil),, and Merligen, while above the Iake, near its east end, are the wooded heights of St Beatenberg, well known to summer visitors. The first steamer was placed on the lake in 1835. (W. A. B. C.)
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