The Emmental comprises the catchment areas of the Emme and Ilfis from Hohgant to Burgdorf and the Lower Emmental from Burgdorf to the Solothurn canton border. Politically, it corresponds to the Emmental administrative district . The former district of Konolfingen is also often included in the Emmental region. The largest villages are Burgdorf , Langnau , and Sumiswald .
The landscape is characterized by meadows and pastures. Many hills are largely covered with coniferous forest.
The numerous farms live mainly from cattle breeding . The livestock form the basis for the production of the famous Emmental cheese, which is still produced in numerous village dairies. Typical of the Emmental are the stately farmhouses with huge hipped roofs on the sides that almost reach the ground . Until the 19th century, the Emmental was one of the main regions for cows .
The potteries in the Emmental are among the best known in Switzerland. The well-known Langnau ceramics have been produced in almost unchanged form since the 17th century. In addition to the agricultural and handicraft businesses, industrial companies have also settled here since the early 20th century . Thanks to the early development of the valleys with one of the world's first fully electrified railways (since 1899), the abundant hydropower and cheap labor, an important machine industry grew rapidly.
Compared to other parts of Switzerland, tourism plays a rather modest role. A few baths, an extensive network of hiking trails and many country inns cater for weekend and day guests. The many “ Chilbine ”, a kind of annual market with a tradition that goes back centuries, can sometimes attract thousands of visitors.
The poet Jeremias Gotthelf (1797–1854), who worked as a pastor in the Emmental for a long time, described the Emmental as follows:
"Its horizon is narrowly delimited by wooded hills, at the foot of which are countless valleys, watered by rushing brooks that roll their debris in quiet murmuring until they find the lap of the Emme."
And about the residents:
«Emmentaler is similar to his country. His field of vision is not far, but he looks at the next one wisely and sharply; he does not quickly grasp the new ... but what he once gripped he holds on with wonderful tenacious strength. He doesn't speak much, he doesn't make any noise; but wherever he lends a hand, he doesn't let go until everything is in order, and when he breaks loose, one preserves his limbs! "
- Burgdorf : Old town with alleys, squares and numerous historical buildings such as Burgdorf Castle , Franz Gertsch Museum , town church , Kornhaus and Wynigen Bridge
- Monuments: Lueg , soldier monument by Karl Indermühle ; Lützelflüh, monument to Jeremias Gotthelf
- Emmentaler Show Dairy , Affoltern in the Emmental
- Wooden arch bridges - 20 architectural monuments in the Emmental
- Lützelflüh with the Gotthelf center
- Sumiswald with church and former Teutonic Knights Hospital
- Trachselwald with the Trachselwald Church and Trachselwald Castle
- Trub , location of the former Trub monastery and location of the film Die Herbstzeitlosen
- Trubschachen , Hasenlehn Foundation: Local history museum with farmhouse, Stöckli and Spycher
- Langnau im Emmental : Chüechlihuus local history museum
- Lauperswil , church with glass windows from 1518
- Röthenbach with Würzbrunnen church and Chuderhüsi observation tower
- Anne-Marie Dubler : Emmental. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
- Tourism Emmental
- Association of the Emmental region
- Anne-Marie Dubler: Emmental. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
- Adrian Bänninger: Sechseläuten and Morgestraich: The most beautiful festivals and customs of Switzerland , Diederichs, 2007, ISBN 978-3-7205-3029-3
- Jeremias Gotthelf: Armennot (1840)
- Hanspeter Jecker: Anabaptist. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
- Konrad Meyer-Usteri: Wooden bridges in the Emmental and Bernese Oberaargau, Bolligen, April 2004 (pdf; 290 kB)