St. Peter's Island

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St. Peter’s Island
Twann am Bielersee mit Petersinsel.jpg
St. Peter’s Island as seen from Twann/Douanne
St. Peter’s Island is located in Switzerland
St. Peter’s Island
St. Peter’s Island
Location in Switzerland
Location Lake Biel
Highest elevation 474 m (1,555 ft)
Canton Berne
Districts Biel/Bienne

St. Peter’s Island (German: Sankt Petersinsel; is a peninsula and former island situated in Lake Bienne in the canton of Berne, Switzerland. It has a length of about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) and a maximum width of 800 metres (2,600 ft). Its highest point is 474 metres (1,555 ft) above sea level or 45 metres (148 ft) above lake level (429 m [ 1,407 ft ]). It was formed in the last Ice Age (see Pleistocene), when the Rhône Glacier reached as far as the Jura mountains. It is a promontory of the Jolimont, above Cerlier. Politically the island is split between the municipalities of Erlach and Twann-Tüscherz, the largest part belonging to the latter municipality.

In the late nineteenth century following the engineering works of the Jura water correction, the water-level of the three lakes of the Seeland have dropped enough to clear the until-then hidden isthmus, linking Cerlier to St. Peter’s Island, which has ever since become a peninsula, although separated from the shore by a canal.

Monks of the Cluniac order were the first inhabitants of the island, and built a monastery here in 1127.

Before his expulsion, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, spent two months on the island in 1765 calling it the "happiest time of his life".[1]


  1. ^ "Rousseau's Expulsion from the Ile Saint-Pierre" Edward D. Seeber M.L.N., Vol. 79, No. 5, (December 1964), pp. 539-543

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Coordinates: 47°04′15″N 7°08′33″E / 47.07083°N 7.14250°E / 47.07083; 7.14250