Lauterbrunnen is a municipality in the district of Interlaken in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.
The municipality lies in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and comprises the villages Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg and Isenfluh. The population of the Lauterbrunnen village is less than that of Wengen, but greater than that of the others.
According to locals, the name Lauterbrunnen is a combination of lauter meaning many, and brunnen meaning spring, fountain, or well. However, there is considerable dispute about the meaning of 'lauter', with some translating it as louder and others as clear, bright, or clean.
The river Weisse Lütschine flows through Lauterbrunnen and overflows its banks about once a year. The source of the river comes from melting snow high in the mountains, thus making it a very pure and clean source of water. It is common practice in the camp sites to chill drinks in the water.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poem Gesang der Geister über den Wassern (literal translation: song of the spirits above the waters) was written while he stayed at the parish house near the Staubbach Falls waterfall in Lauterbrunnen. The Lauterbrunnen valley also provided the pictorial model for J.R.R. Tolkien's sketches and watercolors of the fictitious valley of Rivendell, and possibly also the name of the Bruinen river (meaning 'Loudwater') which flowed through it.
Lauterbrunnen lies at the bottom of a hanging or U shaped valley. The shape of which is best viewed from above in Wengen or from the cable car gondola to Grütschalp. (...) more…
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