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Sachseln coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of ObwaldenCanton of Obwalden Obwalden (OW)
District : No district division
BFS no. : 1406i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 6072 Sachseln
6073 Flüeli-Ranft
Coordinates : 661 013  /  191079 coordinates: 46 ° 52 '5 "  N , 8 ° 14' 20"  O ; CH1903:  661 013  /  191079
Height : 483  m above sea level M.
Height range : 468–2311 m above sea level M.
Area : 53.89  km²
Residents: 5146 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 95 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without
citizenship )
12.6% (December 31, 2,015)
Parish and pilgrimage church Sachseln (2012)

Parish and pilgrimage church Sachseln (2012)

Location of the municipality
Bannalpsee Blausee OW Brienzersee Eisee OW Engstlensee Eugenisee Hinterburgseeli Lutersee Lungerersee Melchsee Sarnersee Seefeld OW Sewenseeli Steinsee BE Tannensee Trübsee Vierwaldstättersee Wichelsee Kanton Bern Kanton Luzern Kanton Nidwalden Kanton Schwyz Kanton Uri Alpnach Engelberg Giswil Kerns Lungern Sachseln SarnenMap of Sachseln
About this picture

Sachseln is a municipality in the canton of Obwalden in Switzerland .


Sachseln is located in the Sarneraatal on the southeastern bank of the Sarnersee at 483  m above sea level. M. The lowest point is the Sarnersee at 469  m above sea level. M. , the highest point is the Brünig-Haupt at 2312  m above sea level. M. On the east side, the municipality boundary follows the course of the Great Melchaa almost entirely , in the west the border runs over long stretches in the Kleine Melchaa . The west side of the Melchtal also belongs to Sachseln.

The community is divided into Sachseln Dorf, the higher pilgrimage site Flüeli-Ranft (until the 19th century simply referred to as Berg ) and the hamlets of Edisried and Ewil to the south with the settlement area Ried on the southern bank of Lake Sarnen.

In the area of ​​the municipality of Sachseln, Switzerland's center (area) is on the Älggi-Alp .


Sachseln, historical aerial photo from 1919, taken from a height of 200 meters by Walter Mittelholzer

Archaeological finds from the Bronze Age (ax, lance tip and pot shards) prove an early settlement. Alemannic graves were found during excavations. Sachseln was first mentioned in a document in 1173 as Saxhslen . The old parish church of Sachseln was first mentioned in a document in 1234. The Counts of Lenzburg had property in Sachseln. They sold this to several monasteries. The villagers bought themselves free from the monasteries in 1373. Although Sachseln, as part of Unterwalden ob dem Wald (Obwalden), had been part of the Swiss Confederation since 1291, the municipality only became independent de jure in 1461 after the Habsburgs finally gave up their possessions in the Swiss Confederation.


Population development

In the 18th century there was no growth in the population because of the high child mortality rate. Between 1799 and 1920 the number of residents grew only slightly. The reason for this was the lack of jobs and the resulting migration to other regions of Switzerland and overseas. This has changed fundamentally since the end of World War II. Numerous jobs were created in larger companies and there was also immigration from abroad. Therefore, the population grew by 243% or more than 3000 people between 1941 and 2018.

Population development of Sachseln since 1743. Source: Cantonal censuses, Federal censuses (1850–2000), Federal Statistical Office (2010)


Almost the entire population speaks Obwalden German, a high Alemannic dialect in Swiss German. In the 2000 census, 92.8% gave German, 1.5% Serbo-Croatian, 1.0% each Italian and Portuguese and 0.9% Albanian as their main language.

Religions - denominations

The population used to be fully members of the Roman Catholic Church. The denominational relationships in 2000 still show this original structure: 3,467 people were Catholic (80.53%). In addition, there were 7.06% Protestant and 1.60% other Christians (mostly Orthodox Christians), 2.93% Muslims and 4.65% non-religious. 122 people (2.83%) did not provide any information about their creed. The secularization of the church and immigration from other communities and abroad has led to an increase in other denomination groups in Sachseln.

Origin - nationality

Of the 5,146 residents, 4,490 (87.25%) were Swiss nationals at the end of 2018. The majority of the immigrants come from Central Europe (Germany 216, Austria 20 and Netherlands 11 people), Southern Europe (Portugal 132 and Italy 46 people), the former Yugoslavia (Kosova 25, Serbia 21, North Macedonia 15, Croatia 14 and Bosnia-Herzegovina 7 people) and Asia (Sri Lanka 14, Syria 10 and Iraq 8 people). At the 2000 census, 3,781 people (87.83%) were Swiss citizens; 133 of them had dual citizenship.

age structure

The municipality has a high proportion of middle-aged residents. While the proportion of people under the age of twenty makes up 21.06% of the local population, 25.32% are senior citizens (60 years and older). The largest age group are people between 45 and 59 years. For every 100 people of working age (20–64 years; 3087 people) there are 35 young people (1084 people) and 32 people (975 people) of retirement age.

The following age structure emerged at the end of 2018:

Age 0–6 years 7-15 years 16-19 years 20-29 years 30–44 years 45–59 years 60–79 years 80 years and more
number 370 481 233 608 953 1198 1050 253
proportion of 7.19% 9.35% 4.53% 11.82% 18.52% 23.28% 20.40% 4.92%
Source: Federal Statistical Office, population by age at the end of 2018


It was not until the 20th century that industrial companies began to settle in Sachseln. Today the village has 2,000 jobs, many of them in the highly skilled sector. The company Maxon Motor is with 1136 employees the largest employer in the canton of Obwalden. Maxon makes very small electric motors that are considered very reliable. Maxon was therefore able to supply NASA , which equipped several Mars robots with Maxon electric motors.

The Sachsler muesli manufacturer Bio-familia AG was founded in 1954 by the Hipp family under the name Somalon AG . Since 1999, the holding roof of the entire Hipp group of companies has been located in Sachseln under the name Hipp & Co.

Other larger companies that are well-known beyond the town are Elfo AG (injection molding and mold construction), Sigrist AG (Pelton turbines and small hydropower plants) and furniture manufacturers Reinhard AG and Karl Omlin AG. The local trade was last presented in September 2012 at the Saxula trade show.

In 2008 there were 2812 employees in 260 companies in Sachseln. 8.1% of the employees in Sachseln worked in agriculture / forestry / fishing (sector 1), 61.2% in industry and trade (sector 2) and 30.7% in service companies (sector 3). The unemployment rate in 2011 was 0.86%.

In 2017, 1684 of the 3214 employees were male and 1530 female. The numbers for the 3 sectors are as follows:

1st sector
1st sector
Full-time positions
1st sector
2nd sector
2nd sector
Full-time positions
2nd sector
3rd sector
3rd sector
Full-time positions
3rd sector

Total full-time positions
number 73 205 138 55 1969 1797 248 1040 757 376 3214 2692
proportion of 19.41% 6.38% 5.13% 14.63% 61.26% 66.75% 65.96% 32.36% 28.12% 100% 100% 100%
Source: Federal Statistical Office; Statistics of the company structure STATENT, workplaces and employees by municipality and economic sector


The Sachseln corporation is a corporation which, as a corporation under public law, administers the usable commons (forest, allmend and Alps). With the cantonal constitution of 1850, the Sachsler parish , which dates back to the 14th century, was divided into a resident parish , civil parish and corporation parish . In 1992 the civil parish was incorporated into the resident parish. Separate partial seeds to regulate the use of the Alps, as is common in other Obwalden villages, do not exist in Sachseln.

Of the approx. 5,000 inhabitants of Sachseln, approx. 1,000 are members of the corporation (as of 2014). Corporation citizenship can only be granted to descendants and spouses of corporation citizens. The members have personal rights of use to the corporate property. The statute of the corporation is called the unification and, in addition to the organizational form, regulates the admission of new members and the rights of use.

The main task of the corporation is the administration of the common property. The Sachsler Corporation owns 1,539  hectares of forest (93% of the total forest), over 20 pre- and all-summer Alps , 10 high Alps, 138 hectares of Allmend , of which the Sachsler Allmend is the largest and most impressive with 71 hectares. This is characterized by many small Allmendhütten that were previously used as haystacks . The corporation also owns 65 km of its own alpine, forest and Allmend roads as well as another 18 hectares of agricultural properties. In total, the corporation has around 60% of the area of ​​the municipality of Sachseln. The corporation has its own forestry operation. Around 8,000 m³ of wood are used annually.


Sachseln is connected to the A8 motorway . In 1997 the 5.1 km long bypass tunnel Sachseln was opened, which has since relieved the village of through traffic. Sachseln is on the Brünig railway line ; The Sachseln train station and the Ewil-Maxon stop of the Zentralbahn provide a connection to the train service in the direction of Lucerne and over the Brünig Pass to Meiringen and Interlaken . There is a post bus connection from Sachseln train station to the Flüeli-Ranft district . In addition, postbuses drive from Sarnen via Kerns to Flüeli-Ranft in the evening .


The Sachseln school has three school buildings and the external school in Flüeli-Ranft . The offer includes kindergarten, primary school and cooperative orientation school. Connected are the music school, toy library and the Sachseln school and community library with around 8,000 books and sound media. The offer of the Rütimattli Foundation , whose buildings are located a little outside the town, is aimed at people with disabilities .

Severe weather on August 15, 1997

Torrential rain as a result of a storm on August 15, 1997 caused the Sachseln stream to swell so much that it overflowed its banks and wreaked havoc in the center of the village within two hours. The result was damage of CHF 120 million. Protective measures that were put in place in the meantime, such as collecting basins and bed load catchers, as well as the relocation of the village stream, have proven their worth during the storm in summer 2005 . The redesign of the village center was controversial among the population.


The main attractions are the Hermitage of Brother Klaus and the two Ranft chapels in Ranft near the village of Flüeli-Ranft , which belongs to the municipality of Sachseln. There you can also visit the house where Brother Klaus was born and where he lived. Noteworthy in the village of Sachseln is the early Baroque parish and pilgrimage church , built between 1672 and 1684, and since 1679 the church of the Holy Sepulcher of Brother Klaus. The burial chapel is attached to the church tower and the Brother Klaus Sachseln Museum is located diagonally across from the church . The carved models from the estate of the Sachsler Christian Sigrist are shown in the associated utility building under the title “Miniatures to remember everyday rural life”.

Sights outside of the village center include the Älggi-Alp with the center of Switzerland and the Hohe Brücke , the highest covered and wooden bridge in Europe.

A complete listing of the important cultural assets of Sachseln can be found in the list of cultural assets in Sachseln . The villagescape of Sachseln is classified in the inventory of protected sites in Switzerland (ISOS) as a site of national importance in Switzerland.



Honorary citizen


  • Niklaus von Flüe : Sachseln in the 19th century. Chronicle and history of the community . Self-published, Kerns 2006.

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .
  3. ^ Niklaus von Flüe: Sachseln in the 19th century. Chronicle and history of the community . Self-published, Kerns 2006, p. 10
  4. Article Sachseln
  5. a b Angelo Garovi : Sachseln. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . February 9, 2011 , accessed June 6, 2019 .
  6. website of the trade show Saxula , accessed on September 24, 2012
  7. Angelo Garovi : Partial seeds. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  8. ^ Sachseln Corporation. Acquisition of corporate citizenship. Registered mail for 2015 (PDF). In: Obwalden Official Journal , 2014, No. 41, October 9, 2014, p. 1769 f.
  9. ^ Website of the Sachseln Corporation
  10. Municipality of Sachseln , municipality section in the weekly magazine Aktuell Obwalden , KW 38, 17th September 2015.
  11. List of sites of national importance ( Memento of the original from April 13, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Directory on the website of the Federal Office for Culture (BAK), accessed on December 5, 2012 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. The local images of national importance, local images of the canton of Obwalden, Flüeli-Ranft (PDF; 1.2 MB)  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: the link was automatically marked as defective Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , ISOS image from Sachseln, 2nd version, August 1988@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  13. ^ Roland Sigrist: Peter Garovi. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . August 11, 2005 , accessed March 17, 2020 .