Jungfrau (mountain)

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Virgin of Wengen

Virgin of Wengen

height 4158  m above sea level M.
location Canton border Bern / Valais , Switzerland
Mountain range Bernese Alps
Dominance 12.5 km →  Finsteraarhorn
Notch height 692 m ↓  Jungfraujoch
Coordinates 640278  /  154213 coordinates: 46 ° 32 '17 "  N , 7 ° 57' 49"  O ; CH1903:  640278  /  154213
Jungfrau (mountain) (Bernese Alps)
Jungfrau (mountain)
First ascent August 3, 1811 by Johann Rudolf and Hieronymus Meyer with the guides Joseph Bortis and Alois Volken
Normal way Over the Rottalsattel and the southeast ridge ZS-

The Jungfrau is a mountain in Switzerland . It is at 4158  m above sea level. M. is the third highest mountain in the Bernese Alps and, together with the Eiger and Mönch, forms a striking group of three, a so-called " triumvirate ".

On 13 December 2001 the Virgin, together with adjacent areas south of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch in the list as a UNESCO - World Heritage added.

Location and surroundings

Wengen-Jungfrau, behind the main summit

The border between the cantons of Bern and Valais runs over the Jungfrau summit . The mountain is extraordinarily diverse. In the north and northwest, on her “female” face (see photo), her Wengen- Jungfrau, Schneehorn, Silberhorn , Chly Silberhoren and “Schwarzmönch” are in front, as well as the torn Kühlauenen and Giessen glaciers. In the west it rises almost ice-free a full 3250 meters above the rear Lauterbrunnen valley . It is the second highest direct slope in the Alps (after Mont Blanc ). Its south face rises above the hidden Rottal Glacier and its east face above the Firnen at the Jungfraujoch .

The plans to build a mountain railway on the Jungfrau were not realized due to financial difficulties. Originally to below the summit planned Jungfrau Railway was until 1912 with final station Jungfraujoch completed.

On the lowest point of the northeast ridge, the PTT have a radio converter at 3777  m above sea level. M. installed.


West side with Schwarzmöch

The Jungfrau lies on the northern edge of the Aar massif , one of the so-called central massifs of the Swiss Alps. Its higher elevations (Silberhorn, Wengen-Jungfrau and main summit) as well as its western flank down to the upper end of the Lauterbrunnen valley are predominantly made up of crystalline basement (Pre- Triassic gneiss, mica schist, etc.) of the Helvetic zone . The northwest flank, on the other hand, the entire “front building” (black monk, red board and snow horn) consists of sedimentary , predominantly Jurassic and Cretan overburden of the Helveticum. A special feature of the Virgin is that there principally between the native peak-crystallin and its outer layers, a via Schiebungs consists contact Link; thus the basement has been pushed slightly over onto its overburden.


The name Jungfrau is likely derived from the Wengernalp at the foot of the mountain, which - after the owners, the nuns of the Interlaken Monastery - was formerly called Jungfrauenberg . According to another source, the name is derived from the appearance of the northern slope of the mountain, which from a distance is said to resemble a girl's veil.

The Jungfrau region is named after the mountain , the tourism organization for the places Grindelwald , Wengen , Mürren and Lauterbrunnen , as well as Jungfraubahn Holding AG , which operates the other mountain railways in the region in addition to the Jungfrau Railway itself.

Ascent history

Mountaineers on the summit in 1878

The first to climb was Johann Rudolf Meyer and his brother Hieronymus with the guides Joseph Bortis and Alois Volken, who had climbed the mountain from the south on August 3, 1811 from the Lötschental . They followed roughly today's normal route. The vernacular then baptized the previously untouched virgin "Madame Meyer".

The Jungfrau, although easily accessible, is a mountain prone to accidents. In one of the most serious accidents on July 12, 2007, six recruits from the Andermatt Mountain Specialists Recruit School fell from the Rottalsattel 1000 meters to their deaths on the Rottal glacier below after they had triggered an avalanche. The ruling military court assumed a wrongly assessed, insidious avalanche risk and subsequently acquitted the mountain guides responsible .


Ascent to the summit on the south side of the Rottalsattel

Rottalsattel and Südostgrat (normal route)

Inner Rottal Ridge

Northwest ridge or "Rotbrettgrat"

  • Difficulty: S
  • Time required: 8–12 hours
  • Starting point: Silberhornhütte (2663 m)
  • Valley location: Stechelberg (919 m)

Northeast ridge

  • Difficulty: S + , with IV. UIAA grade rock climbing
  • Time required: 8–10 hours
  • Starting point: Jungfraujoch (3454 m)
  • Valley location: Grindelwald (1034 m)


Swiss commemorative coin 2005

The virgin is mentioned in Friedrich Schiller , Wilhelm Tell , verse 628 (1804), among others . Lord Byron's drama Manfred (1817) takes place at the foot and on the summit of the massif. Ferdinand Hodler painted the Jungfrau several times, including the "Jungfrau above the Sea of ​​Fog" with an alienated perspective. Alex Diggelmann published a portfolio of lithographs in 1958 under the title Die Jungfrau, mein Berg . In 2005, Stephan Bundi designed a Swiss commemorative coin with the mountain motif.

In January 2012, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Jungfrau Railway, an oversized Swiss flag was projected onto the summit by light artist Gerry Hofstetter . At times, in addition to the Swiss Cross, a portrait of the Zurich entrepreneur Adolf Guyer-Zeller and a picture of one of the trains could be seen.



  • Daniel Anker : Virgo. Magic mountain of men (= mountain monograph. 1). AS Verlag, Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-905111-08-X .
  • Peter Brunner: Virgo. 200 years of the Jungfrau summit. 125 years of the Lauterbrunnen Mountain Guide Association. 100 years of the Lauterbrunnen SAC section. Schlaefli & Maurer, Interlaken 2010, ISBN 978-3-85884-085-1 .
  • Alphonse Daudet : Tartarin in the Alps. The ascent of the virgin and other heroic deeds. AS Verlag, Zurich 2011, ISBN 978-3-909111-85-5 .
  • Helmut Dumler, Willi P. Burkhardt: Four thousand meter peaks in the Alps. 12th, updated edition. Bergverlag Rother, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7633-7427-2 .

Web links

Commons : Virgo  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Virgo  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. Pointdexter, Joseph: Between heaven and earth. The 50 highest peaks. Könemann, Cologne 1999, ISBN 3-8290-3561-6 , p. 154
  2. Nathalie Henseler, NZZ am Sonntag: Chratzerengrat and Schijen. In: Berge.ch. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014 ; Retrieved August 3, 2011 .
  3. Therese Hänni: In 1811 the virgin lost her innocence. In: 20 minutes online. August 3, 2011, accessed August 3, 2011 .
  4. a b Pointdexter, Joseph: Between heaven and earth. The 50 highest peaks. Könemann, Cologne 1999, ISBN 3-8290-3561-6 , p. 151
  5. a b Daniel Anker: How the virgin became "Madame Meyer" . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . No. 157 , July 8, 2011, p. 56 ( NZZ Online ).
  6. Leader of the Jungfrau Tour acquitted. In: DRS. November 20, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2011 .
  7. ↑ The judgment is incomprehensible to relatives. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung. November 21, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2011 .
  8. Birthday present: artist projects Swiss flag onto Jungfrau. In: Spiegel online. January 3, 2012, accessed December 22, 2013 .