Kandersteg im Kandertal. Foto/Photo: TES

Kandersteg, Oeschinensee and Blausee

The eagle in the municipal coat of arms of Kandersteg (Canton of Bern) in the Kander Valley reminds us of the freedom rights once granted by the Holy Roman Emperor.

The footbridge (steg) over the Kander (Kandersteg) points to the importance of the connection to the Valais. It is also a symbol of the function the village fulfils between people from all over the world.

The small community with barely 1150 inhabitants can accommodate up to 4,000 guests in valley and mountain hotels, apartments, group accommodations, camping, and the international scout centre.

Situated on the Lötschberg Pass and Gemmi Pass routes, Kandersteg has been a place to stay during the night and change horses for centuries. The site is renowned for its magnificent nature today.

The Hotel Ritter dates back to 1789 and was extended in 1895 with the addition of the Victoria hotel due to increasing tourist traffic. After the opening of the Lötschberg railway, more and more guests came to Kandersteg, and Hotel Victoria became Grand Hotel Victoria.

The International Scout Centre was founded in 1923. One of the initiators was Lord (Robert) Baden Powell (1857-1941), founder of the Scout movement. The complex is used yearly by an average of 9 000 Scouts worldwide.

Albrecht von Haller (1708-1777), doctor and naturalist in Bern, crossed the Gemmi Pass from Leukerbad on 29 August 1728. In the Kander Valley, he discovered the beauty of the mountains, Lake Oeschinen (Oeschinensee) and the Blausee, which he then praised in his famous poem “Die Alpen” (The Alps).

The Blausee

Lake Oeschinen is Kandersteg’s water reservoir and is part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lake is fed by melt water from the Blüemlisalp and the Fründen and Doldenhorn massifs. The water from the lake seeps into the earth and emerges as springs in the valley in numerous places.

The Oeschinensee.

The small community is home to many monumental buildings, including the Samishus, Haus Spychermatte, the Hüttenmatte, the Ruedihaus, Haus Becki, the Röstihaus, the Protestant Church, built 18 years before the Reformation in 1510, the Grand Hotel Victoria and the Gasthof Ritter.

Kandersteg is also the site of the Kandersteg-Goppenstein (canton Valais) railway connection.

Source and further information: Kandersteg | Kandersteg