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Interlaken coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton BernCanton Bern Bern (BE)
Administrative district : Interlaken-Oberhasli
BFS no. : 0581i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 3800
Coordinates : 632 746  /  170323 coordinates: 46 ° 41 '0 "  N , 7 ° 52' 0"  O ; CH1903:  632 746  /  170323
Height : 568  m above sea level M.
Height range : 557–1577 m above sea level M.
Area : 4.27  km²
Residents: 5610 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 1314 inhabitants per km²
Mayor : Urs Graf ( SP )
From an altitude of 4000 m, Lake Thun below, Lake Brienz above

From an altitude of 4000 m, Lake Thun below, Lake Brienz above

Location of the municipality
Brienzersee Engstlensee Gelmersee Göscheneralpsee Grimselsee Lago del Sabbione Lungerersee Oberaarsee Oeschinensee Räterichsbodensee Sarnersee Thunersee Italien Kanton Luzern Kanton Nidwalden Kanton Obwalden Kanton Obwalden Kanton Tessin Kanton Uri Kanton Wallis Verwaltungskreis Emmental Verwaltungskreis Frutigen-Niedersimmental Verwaltungskreis Bern-Mittelland Verwaltungskreis Thun Beatenberg Bönigen Brienz BE Brienzwiler Brienzwiler Därligen Grindelwald Gsteigwiler Gündlischwand Guttannen Habkern Hasliberg Hofstetten bei Brienz Innertkirchen Interlaken Iseltwald Lauterbrunnen Leissigen Lütschental Matten bei Interlaken Meiringen Niederried bei Interlaken Oberried am Brienzersee Ringgenberg BE Saxeten Schattenhalb Schwanden bei Brienz Unterseen WilderswilMap of Interlaken
About this picture

Interlaken is a political municipality and capital of the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland .


Seal of the citizenship of Interlaken, the "Civitas Inderlapen"

The community was called Aarmühle until 1891 and was then renamed to its current name. It is located on the Bödeli between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz . The name is derived from the Latin "inter lacūs" (between the lakes). The seal of the citizenship of the neighboring town of Unterseen , in use since 1280, is inscribed with: "[Sigillum] Civitatis Inderlapen" (= "[Seal] of the community Inderlapen"). In the late Middle Ages, when the growing strength of Bern had to keep the rulership of the Interlaken Monastery, the Unspunnen Castle apart from the Unspunnen Castle and the town of Unterseen, Interlaken referred to the area in front of the Unterseen city gate.


Interlaken is located in the Bernese Oberland between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz , on an alluvial plain called « Bödeli ». The two lakes are connected by the Aare , which flows through Interlaken.

Interlaken's local mountains are the Harder Kulm in the north and the Heimwehfluh (660 m) in the south.

The municipalities of Interlaken, Unterseen , Matten , Wilderswil and Bönigen together form an agglomeration with around 20,000 inhabitants.

Interlaken historically belongs to the parish of Gsteig , which today bears the name of the Reformed parish of Gsteig-Interlaken and is divided into three parishes, with Interlaken belonging to the Interlaken-Matten parish . The neighboring communities of Interlaken include Matten, Unterseen , Ringgenberg and Bönigen .

The community is conveniently located on the connections Bern –Grimselpass– Wallis , Bern – Sustenpass– Uri , Bern – Brünigpass– City of Lucerne and Montreux –Interlaken – Brünig – Lucerne. The Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald valleys branch off from Interlaken, making Interlaken the center of the eastern Bernese Oberland .

Climate table

Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Interlaken, 1981–2010
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 3.1 5.1 10.1 14.1 18.8 21.9 24.4 23.5 19.3 14.4 7.7 3.8 O 13.9
Min. Temperature (° C) −3.6 −3.0 0.3 3.4 7.9 11.1 13.2 12.8 9.5 5.6 0.6 −2.2 O 4.7
Temperature (° C) −0.3 0.9 4.9 8.7 13.2 16.3 18.4 17.7 14.0 9.6 4.0 0.9 O 9.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 73 70 80 87 121 138 139 144 96 78 84 86 Σ 1,196
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 2.2 2.8 3.9 5.0 5.7 6.3 7.1 6.2 5.0 3.4 2.3 1.7 O 4.3
Rainy days ( d ) 9.6 8.7 11.0 10.6 12.7 13.4 12.4 12.6 9.5 9.3 9.7 9.6 Σ 129.1
Humidity ( % ) 82 78 73 70 72 73 73 76 80 82 83 83 O 77.1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Interlaken obligation
Aerial photo from 400 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1925)

Around 1130, Baron Seliger von Oberhofen built a wooden prayer house on a place called "Matten" between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, from which the Interlaken Monastery emerged , founded by the Augustinian order . About 30 monks and lay monks lived here according to the rules of St. Augustine. In 1133 the monastery came under the patronage of Emperor Lothar III. In 1224 the monastery was taken under the protection of the young city of Bern. In addition to the men's monastery there was a women's monastery until 1484, which was closed that year due to moral decline. In 1528 Interlaken came to the Canton of Bern.

Unspunnenfest 2006 in Interlaken

Around 1800, the impressive mountain world of Interlaken was discovered and described by travelers, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , Lord Byron and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy . In the second half of the 19th century, Interlaken developed into a tourist destination and took off again with the construction of the Bernese Oberland Railways to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald in 1890 and the Jungfrau Railway in 1912.

In 1913 the shipping canal from Lake Thun to Interlaken-West was opened.

The Unspunnen Festival and the Tell Games, which are generally associated with Interlaken, but take place in the neighboring communities of Wilderswil and Matten , were important for the development of tourism , while the Unspunnen Festival is now in Interlaken itself.

During the Second World War , the Villa Cranz (now the municipal administration) in Interlaken housed General Guisan's army headquarters from 1941–1944 . The Interlaken Reduit Airfield and five artillery works in the rock faces around the Bödeli were located on the Bödeli.


Population development
year 1764 1850 1880 1900 1930 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2018
Residents 397 1,054 2,085 2,962 3,771 4,368 4,738 4,735 4,852 5,176 5'199 5'429 5,610


7th 8th 8th 
A total of 30 seats

The legislature is the large municipal council with 30 members, so there is no longer a municipal assembly . The SVP , SP , FDP , Greens and EPP are represented in the large municipal council . The graphic on the left shows the current distribution of seats (as of January 2017).

The executive is the local council with 7 members, presided by the mayor, Urs Graf since December 2005 (SP; as of January 2018). All authority members work part-time.

Economy and Infrastructure


Interlaken is one of the major tourist centers in the Bernese Oberland and has an infrastructure of 60 hotels with approx. 4,100 beds, six youth hostels and hostels with approx. 450 beds, eight campsites with 1045 pitches and holiday apartments with approx. 1000 beds. The most famous hotel is the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa and the oldest is the Hotel Interlaken (since 1323). The Interlaken Tourismus association not only markets the offers in Interlaken, but also represents the communities of Unterseen , Matten , Wilderswil and Bönigen on the Bödelis as well as the neighboring communities of Saxeten and Gsteigwiler .

A wide range of outdoor and leisure activities is offered, including adventure sports such as skydiving , paragliding , canyoning , river rafting , bungee jumping and kayaking . Some of these offers are also available in winter.

In 2017, the municipalities of Interlaken, Matten and Unterseen recorded a total of 1,323,965 overnight stays in hotels, hostels, campsites and holiday apartments. The Interlaken umbrella brand recorded a total of 2,588,134 overnight stays in 2017. Most of the overnight visitors come from Switzerland (18.8%), followed by China and Hong Kong (13.2%), Korea (11.7%), the countries on the Persian Gulf (11.0%), India (8.9 %), USA (5.8%), Germany (5.1%) and Great Britain (4.8%).

Many of the guests from the Gulf States (especially from Saudi Arabia and the UAE ) come in the summer because the summer heat is extreme in their home countries.


Rail transport

Interlaken has two train stations: Interlaken Ost and Interlaken West ; both are connected to the Swiss intercity network. With just under 5500 inhabitants, Interlaken is the smallest Swiss municipality that has more than one intercity train station. The others are Basel, Zurich and Grenchen .

Interlaken-Ost is the starting point of the narrow-gauge Brünig line of the Zentralbahn via Meiringen to Lucerne station and the also narrow-gauge Bernese Oberland Railway to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen .

From Interlaken-Ost the standard-gauge line, created by the Thunerseebahn and now part of the BLS, leads via Interlaken-West to Spiez , where it joins the main line of the BLS (Wallis – Lötschberg – Spiez – Thun – Bern). Regional trains run approximately every hour to Spiez. Intercity trains run every half hour from Interlaken via Bern to Basel ; partly as ICE also further in the direction of Frankfurt am Main - Berlin Ostbahnhof . Some Regio-Express trains are offered via Spiez to Zweisimmen ( GoldenPassLine ). The direct TGV connection to Paris currently no longer exists (as of February 2019), but should be resumed from December 2019. [outdated]

Road traffic

Interlaken is connected to the trunk road network via the Autobahn 8 . Since 1914, the terminus of the Steffisburg – Thun – Interlaken tram has been at Interlaken West station . The tram was switched to bus operation in 1939, the line of the STI transport company currently operates under number 21.


Interlaken is a member of the Alpine Pearls , which advocate environmentally friendly mobility in the Alpine region.

Culture and sport


Logo of Interlaken Tourism


Share certificate in the Tellspiel-Verein Interlaken from March 1, 1947

Surroundings of Interlaken


Interlaken has a distinctive music scene. The Swiss dialect rock legends Polo Hofer and Hanery Amman both grew up in Interlaken. The “Amman-Hofer-Platz” in Interlaken is named after these, on which a sculpture in the form of piano keys is placed that can play seven Hanery and Polo tracks. The dialect pop band Plüsch with their singer Ritschi also comes from Interlaken.


The Jungfrau Marathon starts in Interlaken every year at the beginning of September , with around 4000 participants it is probably the most famous mountain marathon in the world. It leads via Wilderswil, Zweilütschinen, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen and the Wengernalp up to the Kleine Scheidegg.

The Unspunnen Schwinget takes place every 10 to 12 years and has a similar status as the Federal Wrestling and Alpine Festival .

Of the sports clubs in Interlaken, the handball group Bödeli achieved fame because it has been promoted to the National League B several times .

Partner communities

Interlaken's twin cities are Zeuthen (Germany), City of Scottsdale (USA), Třeboň (Czech Republic), Ōtsu (Japan) and Huangshan (China).


With the Interlaken Hospital, Interlaken has a public hospital with 24-hour emergency care. It belongs to the clinic network of the Frutigen Meiringen Interlaken hospitals (FMI hospitals).


Picture gallery

Panoramic view from Beatenberg to Interlaken


  • Rudolf Gallati: Aarmuehle Interlaken 1838–1988. A local history. Schlaefli, Interlaken 1991.
  • Ernst Schläppi: Unterseen . 2 volumes. Schlaefli, Interlaken 2008.
  • Collection of Swiss Legal Sources, Section II: The Legal Sources of the Canton of Bern, Part Two: Rights of the Landscape, Volume 6: The Law of the Offices Interlaken and Unterseen by Margret Graf-Fuchs, Aarau 1957 [1]

Web links

Commons : Interlaken  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent resident population from STAT-TAB of the BfS , municipalities see also regional portraits 2020 on, accessed on May 29, 2020
  2. Dialect platform DRS1 , Swiss Radio and Television (SRF)
  3. Climate table. In: meteoschweiz, accessed on May 31, 2018 .
  4. ^ Anne-Marie Dubler: Thunersee. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  5. Interlaken municipality: Address list of the Interlaken municipal council. January 3, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2017 .
  6. Interlaken Tourismus - The Association , accessed on October 25, 2018.
  7. Annual report 2017. Interlaken Tourismus, accessed on October 11, 2018 .
  8. Annual report 2017. Interlaken Tourismus, accessed on October 22, 2018 .
  9. April 26, 2018: Salam Interlaken
  10. Holidays in Interlaken with the mobility guarantee of the Alpine Pearls. Retrieved March 24, 2017 .
  11. Kunsthaus Interlaken. In: Retrieved April 22, 2013 .
  12. Tourism Museum
  13. ^ Association IG Bödeliwerke
  14. A place sounds like Alperose and Rosmarie. In: Jungfrau Zeitung , November 1, 2009