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Rigi Scheidegg seen from Goldau

Goldau is a city in the community of Arth, canton of Schwyz, Switzerland. It lies between two mountains, the Rigi (known as Queen of the Mountains) and the Rossberg. Well known attractions include the Natur- und Tierpark Goldau[1] and the Arth-Goldau valley station of the Arth-Rigi Bahn connecting to the Rigi mountain.

Goldau landslide[edit]

Contemporary etching showing the situation after the landslide
Aerial view from 1000 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1919)

On September 2, 1806 heavy rains triggered a landslide from the Rossberg which destroyed Goldau and the adjacent villages of Buosingen, Röthen and Lauerz. The landslide comprised 40,000,000 cubic metres (52,000,000 cu yd) of material, with a mass of 120,000,000 tonnes (118,000,000 long tons; 132,000,000 short tons).[2][3]

Part of the mass hit Lake Lauerz (which had been created by an even larger landslide in the 14th century), and the resulting tsunami-like displacement wave caused more devastation towards Seewen. The event destroyed 111 houses, 220 barns, and two churches in a disaster area of about 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi), parts of which were covered with debris to a height of 30–70 metres (98–230 ft). It resulted in the confirmed death of 457 people.[2][3]

The disaster inspired the epic poem Goldau by American writer John Neal in 1818.[4] A museum outside the Natur- und Tierpark exhibits findings and photos of the event.[5]


SC Goldau is the city's football club.


Goldau viewed from Rigi Kulm
  1. ^ "Natur und Tierpark Goldau" (in German). Natur und Tierpark Goldau. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b The 1806 Goldau landslide Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine Bull Angew Geol 2006; 11(2):3-12. English abstract Archived
  3. ^ a b Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon. 14th ed., Leipzig, Berlin and Vienna 1894; Vol. 8, p. 125
  4. ^ Richards, Irving T. (1933). The Life and Works of John Neal (PhD). Harvard University. pp. 215–216. OCLC 7588473.
  5. ^ "Willkommen im Bergsturzmuseum Goldau" (in German). Bergsturzmuseum Goldau. Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°2′53″N 8°32′59″E / 47.04806°N 8.54972°E / 47.04806; 8.54972