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Wolfenschiessen dorf.jpg
Coat of arms of Wolfenschiessen
Coat of arms
Wolfenschiessen is located in Switzerland
Coordinates: 46°54′N 8°23′E / 46.900°N 8.383°E / 46.900; 8.383Coordinates: 46°54′N 8°23′E / 46.900°N 8.383°E / 46.900; 8.383
Country Switzerland
Canton Nidwalden
District n.a.
 • Total 92.77 km2 (35.82 sq mi)
Elevation (Wolfenschiessen village) 510 m (1,670 ft)
Highest elevation (Titlis Glacier) 2,880 m (9,450 ft)
Lowest elevation (Niederrickenbach Station) 488 m (1,601 ft)
Population (Dec 2014[2])
 • Total 2,107
 • Density 23/km2 (59/sq mi)
Postal code 6386
SFOS number 1511
Surrounded by Beckenried, Dallenwil, Engelberg (OW), Innertkirchen (BE), Isenthal (UR), Kerns (OW), Oberdorf
Website www.wolfenschiessen.ch
SFSO statistics

Wolfenschiessen is a village and municipality in the canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland. Besides the village of Wolfenschiessen itself, the municipality includes the settlements of Altzellen, Büren ob dem Bach, Dörfli and Oberrickenbach, together with a large area of high alpine land, mountains, lakes and glaciers.[3]

Coat of arms[edit]

The municipality's coat of arms is Azure, a Wolf rampant Argent pierced by an Arrow in bend sinister Or. This is an example of canting where the name of the municipality is translated or represented on the coat of arms. In this case, Wolfenschiessen means "to shoot the wolf."[4]


Looking down from the summit of Mount Titlis over the Trübsee into the valley of the Engelberger Aa. Wolfenschiessen village is in the deepest part of the valley, in the top right corner of the image.
The Bannalpsee

Wolfenshiessen encompasses both sides of the deep valley of the Engelberger Aa river downstream of Engelberg, with high alpine areas encircling Engelberg to the north, west and south. The settlements of Wolfenschiessen, Büren ob dem Bach and Dörfli lie in the valley, whilst Altzellen and Oberrickenbach are on higher ground to the east.[3]

The Bannalpsee lake lies above Oberrickenbach to the north of Engelberg, while the Trübsee is on high ground to the south of Engelberg. The southernmost part of the municipality reaches high up the flank of Mount Titlis, including part of the Titlis Glacier (Titlisgletscher).[3]

Wolfenschiessen has an area, as of 2006, of 92.8 km2 (35.8 sq mi). Of this area, 40.8% is used for agricultural purposes, while 33% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.2% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (24.9%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).[5]


Wolfenschiessen has a population (as of 31 December 2014) of 2,107.[2] As of 2007, 9.7% of the population was made up of foreign nationals.[6] Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 0.3%. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (93.6%), with Albanian being second most common ( 2.7%) and Serbo-Croatian being third ( 1.4%).[5] As of 2008 the gender distribution of the population was 51.7% male and 48.3% female.

As of 2000 there are 674 households, of which 348 households (or about 51.6%) contain only one or two individuals. 111 or about 16.5% are large households, with at least five members.[7]

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the FDP which received 89.3% of the vote. The next two most popular parties were the local, small right-wing parties (10.7%) and the SPS (0.1%).[5]

In Wolfenschiessen about 58.6% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).[5]

Wolfenschiessen has an unemployment rate of 0.88%. As of 2005, there were 228 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 94 businesses involved in this sector. 138 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 26 businesses in this sector. 268 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 61 businesses in this sector.[5]

The historical population is given in the following table:[7]

year population
1960 1,647
1970 1,470
1980 1,524
1990 1,765
2000 2,041
2005 1,999


The municipality of Wolfenschiessen is served by two railway stations on the Luzern–Stans–Engelberg line. Besides Wolfenschiessen station itself, there is Niederrickenbach station, a request stop, to the north. The former Dörfli station to the south was closed in 2013. The hourly InterRegio service between Luzern and Engelberg stops at both stations, while the half hourly S4 service from Luzern terminates at Wolfenschiessen.[8]

A post bus service within the municipality links the villages of Wolfenschiessen and Oberrickenbach, with eight services per day. From Oberrickenbach, a cable car provides access to the Bannalpsee.[3][9] Many other cable cars provide access to higher dwellings, farms and tourist destinations on both sides of the valley.

The Trübsee lake is an intermediate stop on the cable car system that links Engelberg and the summit of Mount Titlis.[3]


The main sights of Wolfenschiessen are the St. Maria parish church, the St. Joder chapel in Altzellen, and the Hechhuis and Grossitz mansions.



  1. ^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
  2. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistics Office – STAT-TAB Ständige und Nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Region, Geschlecht, Nationalität und Alter (German) accessed 31 August 2015
  3. ^ a b c d e map.geo.admin.ch (Map). Swiss Confederation. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  4. ^ Flags of the World-Wolfenschiessen accessed 4 September 2009
  5. ^ a b c d e Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 04-Sep-2009
  6. ^ Nidwalden Statistical Office-Population (German) accessed 4 September 2009
  7. ^ a b Nidwalden Statistical Office-Municipalities (German) accessed 4 September 2009
  8. ^ "Luzern–Stans–Engelberg" (PDF). Bundesamt für Verkehr. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  9. ^ "Wolfenschiessen–Oberrickenbach (Linie 331)" (PDF). Bundesamt für Verkehr. Retrieved 2013-01-22.