Panorama of Gimmelwald.
|• Total||30.4 km2 (11.7 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,367 m (4,485 ft)|
|Population (December 2016)|
|• Density||4.3/km2 (11/sq mi)|
|Surrounded by||Wengen, Mürren, Isenfluh, Stechelberg, Lauterbrunnen|
Gimmelwald is a small village in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland, halfway up the mountain between Stechelberg and Mürren, at an elevation of 1363 meters (4472 feet). The village is at the foot of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area. Gimmelwald is an allemanic linear village and a walser settlement first mentioned in a bill of sale in 1346. Because of its very typical and exceptional townscape, Gimmelwald is part of the inventory of Swiss heritage.
Gimmelwald is one of the few villages left in Switzerland where access by car is not possible (there is no road connection) and which is therefore traffic-free. The Schilthorn cable car stops in Gimmelwald, where it is possible to board another cable car which runs between Gimmelwald and Mürren. Farming and tourism are the main source of income today. Farmers raise hay on tiny plots of land to feed small herds of cows. In winter, farmers often work as well for the Schilthorn cable car by performing jobs like running ski lifts or ski-slope grooming.
In the year 2003 the population of Gimmelwald was 130. The local school closed in 2010 due to the small number of students and students now attend the school in Lauterbrunnen.
Traffic and accessibility
There is a walking path between Gimmelwald and Mürren, but lacking connection to the main road system, the main transportation to Gimmelwald is the Luftseilbahn Stechelberg-Mürren-Schilthorn (LSMS) aerial tramway. The cable car travels down from Murren to Stechelberg on the floor of the Lauterbrunnen valley. At the bottom of the valley there is a bus to Lauterbrunnen where there are connections to the rest of Switzerland, and up to the town of Mürren and the Schilthorn.
The main source of income for Gimmelwald is tourism, and the village has a small hotel, former pension (now a British run hotel), a bed & breakfast and the Mountain Hostel. Gimmelwald was stopped from being developed into a large ski resort by having it declared an avalanche zone which is only partly the case. In summer, Gimmelwald is mostly visited from tourists from North America, and in winter is mostly visited by European and Swiss tourists for winter sports.
- Michel Hans (1962): Buch der Talschaft Lauterbrunnen. 1240-1949. Verlag P. Ruch-Daulte Wengen.
- BAK (2015): List of townscapes with national significance. http://www.bak.admin.ch/isos/03198/03215/index.html?lang=de#sprungmarke0_5 Archived 2016-04-13 at the Wayback Machine.
- Steves, Rick (August 2008). "Switzerland". Rick Steves' Best of Europe 2009. Rick Steves' Europe. Berkeley: Avalon Travel. p. 1100. ISBN 978-1-59880-105-7.
- Homepage Via Ferrata Gimmelwald-Mürren http://www.klettersteig-muerren.ch/
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