A Historical Tour Through Interlaken
The very small little municipality of Interlaken Switzerland is well-known today as being a tourist destination, mainly for the purpose of skiing, but the quaint little village also has a very rich history. Interlaken for a long time has been a ski enthusiast mecca, and the beautiful views of the Swiss Alps make the village worth visiting, to be sure. But one should take time to get to know the history of Interlaken when they visit there as well, after all, within close vicinity are numerous Swiss heritage sites that tell the story of Interlaken’s history. The sense of nostalgia you will get from visiting these sites, not to mention the wonderful facts about the area that you will learn, will make such sites an important part of any vacation you take in the country.
Interlaken’s history goes as far back as well before the 19th century, but it did not start out with the name Interlaken. It was not until 1891 that the town received its current name, and a well-known name that is today. Interlaken started to bring in tourists even before it received its new name, beginning to be known as a tourist town in the early 1800’s. Then, tourism dwindled in the midst of World War I, around 1914. Tourism in the authentic Swiss village did not start to bounce back until the mid-1950’s but since has been growing steadily.
Whether you visit museums, or take a tour of the old homes and Swiss chalets in and around the village, visit one of the many sites and buildings that are on the Swiss National Heritage registry, or you want to shop for a souvenir antique, you will find what you are looking for when you are there, and maybe even a few things you weren’t looking for too. Having the beautiful natural scenery, the great skiing, and the rich history that Interlaken has, there is little doubt that you will come away from your journey of Interlaken happy. There are a few special places for you to visit in Interlaken if you would like to take a trip back through Interlaken history.
- Historic Buildings – There are a number of historic buildings that dot the beautiful landscape that is Interlaken, many of them with even more impressing interiors than the spectacular exteriors, but certainly nothing compared to the natural scenery. To be sure, the numerous old chalets are a historic sight to see, but churches, palaces, and castles carry with them a certain mystique. If historic buildings are the way that you like to explore history then there are a few in the village of Switzerland that you will want to see. First and foremost is Hotel Royal, and impressive example of Swiss architecture that is worth the few minutes it takes to see. The hotel is not only 100 years old, but for years has been managed by the same family, which gives it even more of an air of history. If you are not lucky enough to stay in this wonderful hotel you should at least take time to walk by and go in and look at the amazingly ornately decorated lobby. You will not be disappointed. And as long as we are discussing historic hotels that are worth seeing we must mention the lovely Victoria-Jungfrau, a historic hotel unlike any you have ever seen. The rooms are huge and spectacular, the spa definitely lives up to five-star status, and the dining areas are more than mere places to eat. But even more importantly, every corner you turn there are beautiful architectural details to see. Last but not least, the Krussal building is also an interesting example of architecture that is visited by many. The building dates back to 1858, but does have numerous modern updates. All the same, its history makes the building worth seeing.
- Interlaken Castle – Any tour of Interlaken history should include a tour of the Interlaken Castle during the journey. The castle has been around for years and both the inside and out are unbelievably beautiful. The castle was once the residential home of a Swiss family but today can be seen by visitors to Interlaken. As an added bonus there is a very impressive display that visitors can see as well. The display consists of in upwards of 100,000 tin figures, but the size of the collection is not what makes it so special but rather the scenes that are depicted with the figurines. Together the figures form 150 scenes of world history, providing for an interesting journey into history. Out of all the historic sights to see in Interlaken this is one of the ones enjoyed by many.
- Unspunnenfest – Finally, if you want a little taste of Interlaken culture and Interlaken history then you may want to take a trip to the town during the Unspunnenfest Festival season. The Unspunnenfest Festival has been being celebrated in Interlaken since the 13th century, celebrating the best of Swiss culture for hundreds of years. Festivities take place on the grounds of the Unspunnen Castle, which seeing alone makes the festival worth attending. Visitors will be able to see stone throwing, yodeling and wrestling, three things that Switzerland is known for, as well as try various Swiss cuisine and get to know Swiss culture. The festival is held during the fall season, so if you can visit Interlaken during this time you may be lucky enough to experience this wonderful festival.
Interlaken Switzerland is full of interesting and rich history, you just have to know exactly where to find it. Interlaken may be a small town, but much that there is to see is both in and around the town of Interlaken. Everything in the village is beautiful and has a certain kind of charm, so finding the history within all of the other beauty is not always easy, but if you do you will experience Interlaken so much more completely.