• Deborah Kade

Iseltwald - the Pearl of Lake Brienz

This is the first time Michael and I have visited Iseltwald.


A few years ago Jen, who used to work where we are staying, told me the hike from Iseltwald toward Giessbach was magical and a favorite of hers. She certainly was correct!





"Iseltwald, is the only village on the left bank of Lake Brienz and is rightly called the pearl of Lake Brienz. With around 420 inhabitants, the pretty fishing village is one of the small communities in the canton of Bern."


"The village of Iseltwald lies on a delta at the south bank of Lake Brienz. It is 14 km (8.7 mi) from Interlaken, the road mostly running along Lake Brienz. Besides the village of Iseltwald, the municipality includes the hamlets of Furen, Sengg and Isch, as well as a number of scattered farm houses."


We didn't know which path to follow. I suggested we walk by the lake toward Giessbach.




"The municipality's area also includes a large area of mountainsides along the south shore of the lake, of which the lower areas are heavily wooded. These slopes extend up to the summit of the Faulhorn mountain, at an altitude of 2,680 m (8,790 ft)."


We took the boat from Interlaken Ost and disembarked at Istlewald.






" Iseltwald is first mentioned in 1146 as Iseltwalt."


"During the Middle Ages, a castle was built on the peninsula near the village for the Lords of Matten. In 1146, King Conrad III gave Interlaken Abbey one quarter of the village. Over the following years, the Abbey attempted to expand their power in the village. After the Swiss Confederation gained de facto independence from the House of Habsburg, the Abbey remained a strong supporter of the Austrian dynasty. The Abbey launched several raids into Unterwalden to support Habsburg ambitions. In response, in 1342, troops from Unterwalden attacked and burned Iseltwald. A few years later, in 1348-49, the village unsuccessfully rebelled against the Abbey. In 1528, the city of Bern adopted the new faith of the Protestant Reformation and began imposing it on the Bernese Oberland. Iseltwald joined many other villages and the Abbey in an unsuccessful rebellion against the new faith. After Bern imposed its will on the Oberland, they secularized the Abbey and annexed all the Abbey lands.


Since 1948 it has been part of the large parish of Gsteig bei Interlaken in Gsteigwiler.


The traditional local economy relied on fish from Lake Brienz, farming in the valleys and seasonal alpine herding and farming in the alpine meadows. A glass blowing factory opened between 1680 and 1696 and operated until 1715. Beginning in 1871, tourists began coming across the lake on steam ships. However, there was only one large road into the village until 1988. Today the local economy is based on tourism, agriculture, fishing and timber harvesting."


Walked by quaint homes and beautiful flowers.



Yes, that is a wood carving.



Beautiful wood carvings.










Birth announcements are placed on the house. These are quite old.











This is the location of the town offices.


Easy walk along the lake.











This is a hot tub boat



The mask to ward off evil spirits


You can even buy fresh local cheese along the way.





The walk through the woods was quite magical.









We were curious as to where the path on the left went.


What a surprise!



Two grills



Firewood to only be used here. An ax and some paper to help start the fire. You only need matches or a lighter.


Michael and I are talking about bringing some brats to cook next year.








I decided we should take the bus back to Interlaken. All the bus drivers are fearless and quite amazing drivers!!!!


There are curves and bumps everywhere but these drivers try to keep to their schedule.



This evening, we had dinner with Christine and Timo and their three children in Bönigen. What enjoyable evening!!!!! Great conversation and a delicious meal!!


Another extraordinary day come to a close.

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