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Unterseen coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton BernCanton Bern Bern (BE)
Administrative district : Interlaken-Oberhasli
BFS no. : 0593i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 3800
Coordinates : 631 471  /  170316 coordinates: 46 ° 41 '0 "  N , 7 ° 51' 0"  O ; CH1903:  six hundred and thirty-one thousand four hundred and seventy-one  /  170316
Height : 567  m above sea level M.
Height range : 557–1730 m above sea level M.
Area : 13.99  km²
Residents: 5751 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 411 inhabitants per km²
Mayor : Jürgen Ritschard ( SVP )
Website: www.unterseen.ch
Unterseen, Stedtli

Unterseen, Stedtli

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 Unterseen
About this picture
Mono card designed by Emil Cardinaux , motif "Unterseen" (1911)

Unterseen is a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland .


Like Interlaken and Matten, Unterseen an der Aare lies on the alluvial plain called Bödeli between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz . From Unterseen there is a clear view of the Bernese Oberland mountains Eiger , Mönch and Jungfrau .


On July 13, 1279, King Rudolf I of Habsburg gave Baron Berchtold III. von Eschenbach-Oberhofen the permission to build a fortress between ( Middle High German : under ) the two lakes. The new fortification also received city ​​rights .

Due to the strategically important location (the Weissenau, later the Neuhaus and Unterseen themselves were transshipment points in the Alpine transit) and the complicated rulership, there were repeated disputes. In addition to Unterseen, the three main local actors were the Interlaken Monastery , founded in 1130, and the Unspunnen rulership, based in Unspunnen Castle . Central external actors, on the other hand, were first the Habsburgs, i.e. Schiller's "Austrians", later the Bernburgs, i.e. the Confederates. The arguments were sometimes about fishing, sometimes about rights of passage; sometimes the church rate and tithe were controversial, sometimes the military successes.

In 1470 Unterseen burned down for the second time, and Bern then ordered the reconstruction with a town house in the middle.

During the Reformation , Unterseen sided with Bern, which has steadily expanded its sphere of influence since it was founded in 1191 and only fell away from the Pope after decades of discussions and disputes. In the course of the Reformation, Bern became an authority in the rulership of the Interlaken Monastery. Some of the “people of the church” who were subject to the monastery welcomed the new authorities, and others rejected them - especially when they noticed that Bern was also demanding a tribute. As a result, the "Indian Lappish War" broke out in 1528, in which Old Believers stood in advance with free troops from Haslital and Unterwalden on one side, and Bernese troops on the other, with Unterseen in between. On October 29th, the Old Believers occupied the town, but when Reformed troops landed on Lake Thun and the occupiers recognized the lack of morale in the local population, the Old Believers withdrew from Unterseen and the Bödeli on the night of October 30th. Unterseen was subsequently rewarded for his support of Bern: Alp Sefinen came from the monastery in those Unterseen - and has remained there to this day.

After the Helvetic Republic , Unterseen was a center of resistance against the restored Bernese feudal rule. The Unspunnenfest 1805 and 1808 should make a reconciliation between town and country according to the founders. The attempt failed and the government banned such festivals from then on. In the year 1815 the Interlaken turmoil came , in which the citizens of Unterseen played an important role.

Unterseen played an important role in the emerging tourism from 1750, even before Interlaken, which it only lost in the middle of the 19th century.


From 1914 Unterseen was connected to the Steffisburg – Thun – Interlaken tram operated by today's STI transport company . Due to a lack of demand, the connection between Beatenbucht and Interlaken was switched to bus service in 1939/40; today, line 21 of the STI operates on the section.


The Unterseen art collection gallery is located on the top floor of the town house. It has been operated by the Unterseen Art Collection (KSU) since 1986 and has since been an exhibition venue for numerous painters, graphic artists and sculptors from Unterseen or the surrounding area. Also Bendicht Friedli or artists' associations such as the Guild of Swiss Mountain Painters exhibited there.


Population development
year 1764 1850 1880 1900 1930 1950 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
Residents 1,361 1995 2,607 3'119 3,448 4,568 4,890 5'201 5'492 5,690





  • Ernst Schläppi: From dream of freedom to religious dispute, Schläfli 2000
  • Ernst Schläppi: Unterseen , 2 volumes; Schläfli 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 Laws of the Interlaken and Unterseen Offices by Margret Graf-Fuchs, Aarau 1957. ( online version )
  • Ernst Schläppi: A Bödeli Fusion Story, Unterseen 2009

Web links

Commons : Unterseen  - 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 bfs.admin.ch, accessed on May 29, 2020
  2. Staff: Community search . Population. In: Official website. Federal Statistical Office , accessed on August 27, 2017 (entry Unterseen . Annual average).