Krattigen, Switzerland

Krattingen is a village of jest over 1,000 people situated on a hill overlooking Lake Thun near Interlaken, Switzerland.  I stayed here in February 2017 at Camping Stuhlegg, named after the village which is now incorporated into Krattingen.  

The views overlooking Lake Thun are quite magnificent and one can take the local bus service to Spiez and from there there are contacts to other places such as Thun either by bus, rail - or boat on the lake. Visitors can obtain a pass for the Thun region which is free of charge and then they can use that for transport on the buses and which gives a variety of discounts to attractions in the area.

Another alternative is hiking, particularly on the Nielsen, a 2362 metre mountain which forms the northern end of a ridge that stretches north from the Albristhorn and Mannliflue, separating the Simmental and Kandertal valleys.  One can reach the summit of the mountain by using the Niesenbahn funicular from Mülenen (near Reichenbach). The construction of the funicular was completed in 1910. Alongside the path of the Niesenbahn is the longest stairway in the world with 11,674 steps. It is open only once a year to the public for a stair run.

The area has been inhabited since the Late Bronze Age, this is know from an axe which was discovered at Krattigengraben, although the first record dates to 1300. During the Middle Ages, Rotenbühl Castle was built near the village. The castle does not appear in any contemporary record and only the moat is still visible today. The village was first mentioned as a part of the Herrschaft of the Freiherr of Eschenbach. By 1300 it was a fief of the Lords of Corbières. Soon thereafter it became a fief of the Bernese Schultheiss Kuno Muenzer. After the regicide of King Albert I of Germany by his nephew John Parricida in 1308, the Austrian Habsburgs advanced a claim on Krattigen. The Bernese Scharnachtal family began buying the rights to the area in 1366 and in 1483 they finally owned the entire village. However, in 1513, Bern acquired the village and placed it under their representative at Mülenen. Later Bern placed the village under Frutigen.

Traditionally the local economy was based on agriculture and seasonal alpine herding. In the 18th century a gypsum mine opened near the village. Today the mine is part of the Leissigen gypsum factory. Small businesses and tourism began to make inroads into the village during the 20th century.