Obwalden Tourismus
Bahnhofplatz 1
CH-6060 Sarnen
Tel. +41 41 666 50 40
Fax +41 41 666 50 45

The canton of Obwalden is a hiking and skiing paradise close to the city of Lucerne in the heart of Switzerland.

Crystal-clear lakes, flower-filled meadows, waterfalls and the gentle sunshine provide an idyllic setting for walks, mountain and lake hikes, mountain bike tours, swimming and much more.

Historically, Obwalden, together with Nidwalden, formed the canton of Unterwalden, one of the three signatories of the famous Pact of 1291, which was one of the starting points for the formation of the Swiss Confederation.

Its territory is in two parts, since the exclave of Engelberg, to the east, is separated from the main part by the canton of Nidwalden. It should be noted, however, that this exclave was not integrated into the canton of Obwalden until 1815, many centuries after the Pact of 1291.

Unterwalden roughly means "in the forest undergrowth", and Obwalden and Nidwalden can be translated as "the forest above" and "the forest below". This is the Waldst├Ątten, the "Forest States" which are translated as "primitive cantons" in the historical sense: not inhabited by primitives, but constituting the founding cantons of Switzerland.

Strangely enough, these founding cantons, which gave birth to a confederation of States that is to some extent the European model, based on free choice of membership, are the most fervent opponents to Switzerland's integration in the European Union...

However, the very existence of Switzerland and its cantonal particularities is proof that it is possible to integrate into a Confederation and submit to a common Constitution without losing anything of its soul or authenticity!