"Touching the Heavens..Almost.." Top 5 Page for this destination Wengen by Greggor58
Wengen Travel Guide: 85 reviews and 173 photos
Wengen is a small Alpine town clinging to the slopes of the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Bernese Oberland of the Canton of Bern.
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is glacial in origin, quite rugged with very high and sheer rock features and immense cliffs. The village itself sits within the borders of the UNESCO region of Jaungfrau-Aletsch which is, according to UNESCO, an “example of the formation of the High Alps, including the most glaciated part of the mountain range and the largest glacier in Eurasia”.” The site is of outstanding universal value both for its beauty and for the wealth of information it contains about the formation of mountains and glaciers, as well as ongoing climate change.”
My visit to Wengen was during the month of July when the surrounding fields and valley floor were an incredible sea of brilliant green pastures splashed with a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees.
Wengen itself sits at an elevation of about 4180 feet or about 1280 meters and many places throughout the village offer terrific views of the Eiger, the Monch, and the Jaungfrau Mountains.
These three peaks are surrounded by others that are not as high or as well known but certainly they don’t lack for any less beauty. It was a good decision to visit here. As often is the case when I visit somewhere, I am left with the want for more and a desire to return someday. There is just so much terrain to cover in the area and the sights and beauty are endless.
Wengen itself is a village that is home to about 1300 year round residents. Its population will swell during both the summer and winter tourist seasons. Summer weather brings Alpine hikers while winter brings skiers to enjoy a staggering 110 kms of downhill skiing in the area of Wengen and the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
The homes of the residents were mostly decorated with brilliantly colored geraniums and the odd window box of petunias and even a few samples of the Alpine beauty…the Edelweiss, a European mountain flower. It’s a colorful and HILLY village that requires walking on streets that follow hillsides, some that are steeper than others. The roads are mostly paved but there is the odd path that you might encounter that has a crushed stone like surface.
If you’re as out of shape as I am you might find yourself wishing for a taxi that will ease the strain of uphill walking. In the town of Wengen you will find VERY FEW public vehicles on the streets at all, the only way into or out of Wengen is by train service or maybe hiking or skiing in or out if you’re really the hardy adventurer. So, in fat there is one taxi service here in Wengen but I didn’t use it. Other than cycling the only mode of transport around town is by foot. Don’t let this concern you though because the village is not overly large and the hilly terrain is a feature of the town that certainly adds to the experience of exploring here.
Wengen has been visited by more than a few notables in its two hundred plus years of accommodating tourists…Its thought that Julius Ceasar passed through this area, and I’ve read that Hitler was also a visitor although I haven’t read anything to substantiate that.
For sure one rather notable person that will forever be associated with Wengen is Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. He visited in 1842 and supposedly sketched the first known illustration of what Wengen was like then. Every year in August there’s a week long music “festival” of sorts that celebrates the life and music of this famous composer.
If you’re up for a little hike uphill you can visit a memorial to Mendelssohn in a lovely spot that overlooks the village. Here at the memorial it’s thought that he sketched Wengen on that day in August 1842.
Wengen is a MAJOR stop on the World Cup ski circuit and higher above the town you’ll find the Lauberhorn ,the start place of the race.You can see the Lauberhorn easily, a peak that sits just beside the Tschuggen,to reach the Lauberhorn its an easy summer time walk from Kleine Scheidegg or if you prefer it’s actually closer to the cable car station of Mannlichlen if you would like to explore it.
If you’re visiting in the winter you can easily buy tickets to attend as a spectator and watch the downhill skiers reach incredible speeds of up to 160 km/hr on the longest race course in the World. The length of the course is 4.455 km or about 2.77 miles long. The course itself is unique also due to its spectacular backdrop, the Eiger, the Jaungfrau, and the Monch.
My quick visit here included a lift to the Mannichlen by cable car and a hike to Kleine Scheidegg where we grabbed the Jungfraubahn (train) to the “Top of Europe”. I managed to explore the town itself a little and caught a performance of classical violin music in the Protestant Church that sits above the town. I visited the memorial to Mendelssohn, enjoyed some quiet time in and around St.Bernards Church as well as the Protestant Church where one is able to take in some magnificent scenery.
It would be easy I think to spend a week or even two or three here exploring the whole area; there are so many trails available to hike and cable cars to ride and many nooks and crannies that I or anybody spending a few days here just won’t see.
The scenery is simply incredible and spending some time in the town of Wengen was another life long memory.
Do take the time to visit here if you’re able to and budget as much time as you are able to explore Wengen and the Jaungrau region of Switzerland. I hope that you would enjoy your time here in Wengen, as I certainly did.
This shop on the main street of Wengen will have what you need if you have forgotten something or you’re just interested... more travel advice
This restaurant is actually located a few minute hike along a well maintained path above Kleine Scheidegg. Although I... more travel advice
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