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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Wengen

Wengen is a village belonging to the municipality of Lauterbrunnen. Measured by population, the town is the largest in the municipality.


The car-free resort of Wengen is situated on a sunny plateau and offers a breathtaking view to the Jungfrau and down the Lauterbrunnen Valley from the church.






The holiday resort lies on a wind-protected sun terrace at the foot of the Jungfrau, 1312 feet (400 meters) above the Lauterbrunnen Valley at an altitude of 4180 feet (1274 meters). Wengen is at the foot of the mountains Eiger, Möncg, and Jungfrau. The tradition-imbued, car-free holiday resort offers family-friendly skiing in winter and hiking in summer. The village is a rambling area around Männlichen and Kleine Scheidegg.


The snow of the Jungfrau




With its nostalgic timber houses, the many dispersed holiday chalets, and hotels dating from the belle époque period, this Bernese Oberland holiday resort has retained all the character of a picture-postcard mountain village. Opening widely to the southwest, the terrace guarantees above-average hours of sunshine. Since 1893, car-free Wengen has been able to be reached from Lauterbrunnen via the Wengernalp railway; cars remain parked in Lauterbrunnen.






Seriously??????!!!!!!!!!!! I suppose it is for the American tourists.



Edelweiss is a mountain flower belonging to the daisy or sunflower family in the family Asteraceae. The plant prefers rocky limestone places at about 1,800–3,400 meters (5,900–11,200 ft) altitude. It is non-toxic and has been used in traditional medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases, bronchitis, diarrhea, dysentery, and fever. Its leaves and flowers are covered with dense hairs, which appear to protect the plant from cold, aridity, and ultraviolet radiation. The excellent ability of the plant to protect itself from the harmful ultraviolet radiation makes it a great remedy for protecting your skin. The Edelweiss extract also contains antimicrobial properties that further make it useful for protecting your skin against infections. It smells sweet, but not as cloying as hyacinth. It is a scarce, short-lived flower found in remote mountain areas and has been used as a symbol for alpinism, for rugged beauty and purity associated with the Alps and Carpathians. It is a national symbol of several counties, specifically Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Italy. According to folk tradition, giving this flower to a loved one is a promise of dedication.


The unique furry petals and leaves of the Edelweiss hint at its romantic meaning, but it's the white color that gives it the symbolism of purity and innocence. It is widely used as a symbol of rugged individualism and exploring the wilderness due to its growth in the high altitudes of the Alps.



Over 500 km (310 miles) of marked walking trails and 15 mountain cableways in the nearby surroundings lead to the most beautiful vantage points of the Jungfrau region; take for example the classic panorama route between Wengen and the Kleine Scheidegg, which offers up a particularly impressive view of the rock massif of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Those who like things a bit more spirited might like to try their skill at paragliding, river rafting or canyoning. But for eye-popping amazement, you should walk the Eiger Trail at the foot of the Eiger north face, a medium-difficulty mountain walking tour.


In winter, Wengen is the ideal starting point for the family-friendly ski region of Kleine Scheidegg-Männlichen with 110 km (68 miles) of predominantly easy to medium-difficulty pistes, and the renowned World Cup piste on the Lauberhorn as its crowning glory. The neighboring ski areas of the Jungfrau region, Grindelwald-First and Mürren-Schilthorn are also readily accessible. The clean air, the long hours of sunshine – especially in winter – the toboggan runs and around 50 km (31 miles) of winter hiking trails also serve to attract non-skiers to the sunny resort.

"Since 1893, Wengen can be reached from Lauterbrunnen with the Wengernalp Railway . The village itself has no connection to the road network and is therefore almost car-free. The only vehicles are taxis, hotel vehicles and small company vehicles. Wengen normally has 1,300 inhabitants, but more than 10,000 in the winter high season and around 5,000 in the summer holiday season.


The town of Wengen was first mentioned in 1268 as "uf Wengen". The origin of the name cannot be determined with certainty, it could be Wangen (mountain slope like a cheek) or Wengen (watery meadows).


The residents lived a secluded, simple life. Nevertheless, the great plague wave in 1669 also reached the mountain village of Wengen. In addition, there were always natural disasters that the residents had to endure. In 1770, eight people lost their lives in a severe avalanche. In 1791, a landslide occurred near In Gassen, which cost human and animal lives. In addition, spring and autumn storms repeatedly destroyed the houses and forests.


The first "tourists" passed the mountain village of Wengen in the18th century on their way from Lauterbrunnen via Wengernalp and Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald. In 1859, the first inn was opened in Innerwengen. In the 1890s, the railway was built on the Wengernalp, which was the most modern means of transport at the time: to this day, there are no motor roads for access from the outside, but only within Wengen. A few electric vehicles drive on the streets of Wengen, mostly municipal vehicles and vehicles for hotel supply, which are brought up by train. The population rose from 210 (1783) to 811 (1900).


British and American airmen and Polish soldiers were interned here during World War II. After the war, tourism picked up again. In the first decade of the 21st century, Wengen experienced a construction boom. With the massive construction of holiday homes, urban sprawl is also progressing.


In addition to the Lauberhorn, Wengen is a highlight of the Jungfrau Marathon every September , where thousands of spectators cheer on the 4,000 or so participants in the 42 km (26 mile) run.


Active in Wengen are: a women's group , a trychler (bell ringing) club, a music society, a men's choir, a yodeling club, a folk dance group, the children's and youth club, the library club, a hockey club, a ski club, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004, the DHO ( downhill only, an English ski club), the tourism association, a running club, and a Scottish (CCWengen) and a Wengen curling club (CC Jungfrau)."


There is a tennis court, outdoor chess, and other games around the village.







There are only class 5 paths (field, forest and cycle paths) that lead from the valley to Wengen. The paths are not winter-proof, and are also not approved for private, motorized traffic.


The region has already been the victim of avalanches on several occasions . In the avalanche winter of 1999, 2 people died in Café Oberland. School was canceled for a week and the Wengernalpbahn had to stop operating for a day. At the beginning of February 2003, the situation was the same as in 1999. The avalanche commission closed individual roads and slopes. The situation calmed down after a few days, there was damage to the railway tracks and the forest. In 2007, a large avalanche control project was completed on the Männlichen.


In the week of August 22, 2005, as a result of two minor landslides, the power went out in Wengen for two days and both landline and mobile phones stopped working, which was an enormous challenge for the disaster organization. The only functioning means of communication was the radio system of the cantonal police in Bern, which set up a relay station on the Männlichen. This ensured communication with the local fire brigade. Apart from that, Wengen was completely cut off from the environment. A helicopter bridge primarily flew out tourists.


In the same year, flooding destroyed the valley floor in the direction of Interlaken. In 1999, hurricane Lothar caused major damage to the tree population.


Why not take the cable car up to Männlichen!





Avalanche barriers



There is no way I would stand atop the cable car!!!!!!!!!





Michael and I find looking down the Lauterbrunnen Valley quite "soul quenching"!


The Staubbach Waterfall is Lauterbrunnen's landmark and Switzerland's highest free falling waterfall.

With a height of nearly 300 meters, Staubbach Falls is the third highest waterfall in Switzerland. In the summer, warm winds swirl the waters around, so that the falls spray in all directions. These droplets of water spray gave the brook and the waterfall its name. (Staub = dust)


Early on romantics and nature lovers made a pilgrimage to Staubbach Falls at Lauterbrunnen, one of the highest free falling waterfalls in Europe. The poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is said to have been inspired to write his poem "Song of the Spirits over the Waters" by the Falls.


Staubbach Falls is one of the 72 waterfalls of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.




Across the valley, there is a cable car that goes from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald.


The magnificent Jungfrau.


Many chestnut trees around the village.



Handcrafted sleds


Always on the lookout for interesting signs.


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