Älggialp, the Geographical and Spiritual Centre
15 August 2021
The geographical centre of Switzerland is on the Älggialp, to the south of the municipality of Sachseln (Canton of Obwalden)). A small pyramid marks this spot. The idyllic village of Sachseln is located on the shores of Lake Sarnen.
The village of Flüeli lies 4 km further. Niklaus von Flüe (1417-1487) was born and lived in Flüeli until 1467. His grave is in the Baroque church of Sachseln, however.
At age 50, he left everything dear to him, Flüeli, his house, his profession (farmer), his wife and ten children, and subsequently lived as a hermit, “Brother Klaus”. He became the centre of (Swiss) mysticism, spirituality and politics.
He advised not only politicians of the Confederacy but also foreign princes, including the Duke of Milan. It is said, legend or not, that he arranged the Treaty of Stans (Stanser Verkommnis) in 1481.
A severe conflict between Zurich, Lucerne and Bern, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Glarus and Zug threatened to tear the Confederation apart.
The Eidgenossen followed the advice of the hermit and came to a solution. They concluded the Treaty of Stans (Stanser Verkommnis), and Freiburg and Solothurn became members of the Confederation.
Since then, Brother Klaus, Flüeli and Sachseln have been the spiritual centre and place of pilgrimage in Switzerland.