A wonderful royal destination: The Berner Oberland region in Switzerland and its history

One of the most beautiful regions in Switzerland is the Berner Oberland area.
This is the higher part of the canton of Bern, which really has it all: from amazing
nature, the mountains (inter alia Jungfrau) , lakes (Lake Thun and Lake Brienz)
till great cities as Bern and Adelboden.

Berner Oberland, Switzerland typical valleys - own picture


Besides the stunning geographical aspect, the Berner Oberland region also
has an exceptional history with many royal links.



Berner Oberland, Switzerland - own picture


Some royal history


The first settlements in the Berner Oberland region were from the Roman era.
The Romans settled along the river and the lakes.

During the High Middle Ages, a number of villages in Berner Oberland grew
around valley parish churches, which were religious and cultural centers within
each surrounding valley.

Around 800 the Berner Oberland region first belonged to the Kingdom of 
Burgundy.

Later the Dukes of Zähringen had all the power there. After the
extinction of the Zähringen line, Berner Oberland was ruled by a number of
local Barons, such as Oberhofen, Wädenswil, Weissenburg ...

Portions of the alpine passes were held until the 19th century by the
Bishop of Sion.

Berner Oberland the lakes own picture

In the Middle Ages the city of Bern also ruled much territory in Berner Oberland.
In 1445 there was a revolt against the Bernese military service and the taxes
following the Old Zürich War.

During these times the settlements had almost the same pattern: there was a
market place and often a castle or other fortifications. The market town was
surrounded by scattered villages and individual farm houses.

In 1528 the Berner Oberland rose up in resistance to the Protestant
Reformation and in 1641 Thun revolted.

In 1798 the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded the Berner Oberland
region and so it was separated from the canton of Bern.

In the 1890's Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Sisi, who loved mountains very
much, paid a visit to the Berner Oberland region.


Empress Elisabeth of Austria
Source picture: Wikipedia



See also the page: Travels of Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) of Austria on top of this
blog or on this link

In the late 19th century, new transportation links made it easier for people to
travel into the valleys. The Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon railway opened in 1913.
It became the largest privately owned railroad in Switzerland.

Berner Oberland Switzerland - own picture


A visit

I visited the Berner Oberland region in Switzerland in June 2010 and I really
liked it very much due to diversity of this beautiful region.

As I have said before, the different cities and places in Berner Oberland are
easily reachable by public transport (bus, train,...).

Berner Oberland, Switzerland the Lakes - own picture

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