Nidwalden Tourismus
Bahnhofplatz 2
CH-6370 Stans
Tel. +41 41 610 88 33
Fax +41 41 610 88 66

The canton of Nidwalden lies in the heart of Switzerland, just south of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by mountain ranges, between the cantons of Lucerne, Schwyz, Uri, Obwalden and Bern. It is one of the country's founding cantons.

With Lake Lucerne and the mountains within easy reach, leisure and recreation of all kinds are a year-round reality in Canton Nidwalden, from water sports to cable cars and railways that provide direct access to the Pre-Alps.

The Engelberger Aa river has carved out the canton's main valley between the Stanserhorn and Buochserhorn summits and flows into Lake Lucerne.

Nidwalden and Obwalden once formed the canton of Unterwalden, which in 1291 signed the famous pact with Uri and Schwyz that gave rise to the Helvetic Confederation.

The pact was not a declaration of independence, but a renewal of an earlier legal and defensive alliance: the development of the Gotthard Pass at the beginning of the century had aroused covetousness for this new north-south axis, and the death of Rudolf of Habsburg in July 1291 had led to fears of succession problems.

Uri had obtained imperial privileges as a result of the development of the pass, and a renewal of its alliance with its neighbours became necessary. This pact of 1291, which is a historical reality, is often confused with the "Rütli oath" of 1307, the founding myth of Switzerland, which is probably just a legend.

In any case, Nidwalden is a canton to discover if you want to immerse yourself in the Swiss history and traditions!