Of the German speaking Canton, Obwalden is located in central Switzerland. Its capital is Sarnen. The direct neighbor and half-canton of Nidwalden together with Obwalden form Unterwalden.
Obwalden has three larger lakes and borders the major andknown Lake Lucerne. This is very popular among vacationers, water sports enthusiasts and tourists. The Sarnersee, Lungerersee and the Wichelsee belong to the canton of Obwalden and are also well visited.
The canton of Obwalden belongs with most of its area to the Unterwalden Pre-Alps. This part is counted among the Central Swiss Pre-Alps. Like its neighbor Nidwalden, Obwalden is also an inland canton, which is completely surrounded by other inland cantons. Other neighboring cantons of Obwalden are Bern, Lucerne, Nidwalden and Uri.
Mainly the farms maintain their position in the canton through the family farms. There are hardly any other farms that are not linked to the family or run and supervised by them. Most of the farms are also open to tourism. Either the produced groceries such as cheese, bread or sausages are offered here or you can rent a holiday apartment or a room here.
The canton is also known for its timber industry. Here, however, mainly the Swiss part is served. This is due to the location of Obwalden.
Obwalden is a founding member of the Eternal League. This was closed from Unterwalden, Schwyz and Uri, i.e. from the three forest sites, in 1921. This was the basis for what is now Switzerland.
The history of the canton of Obwalden
The first permanent settlers were probably the Celts and Romans, until the first Alemanni entered the area of today’s Obwalden in the year 700.
Together with his neighbor Nidwalden, all matters were settled from 1291 to 1330. Decisions were aged and passed by a committee. This was a kind of country church. This made Obwalden politically independent.
Obwalden established its own sovereignty in the 14th century. Together with the canton of Uri, they looked for sales markets for agricultural products such as cattle and cheese. In 1403 Obwalden helped conquer the Leventina.
As in the neighboring canton of Nidewalden, mercenary service became important for Obwalden at the beginning of the 15th century. Many fought in foreign countries as soldiers. This was of economic importance for the canton. But many of the mercenaries left forever and emigrated.
The mercenaries who stayed in the canton were rich and well-made people and had accordingly assumed positions of power. For centuries they determined the entire state policy.
The French Wars and the Helvetic Republic followed from 1798 – 1803. During this time the Obwalder people lost their independence as a canton, but the population got more basic political rights.
In 1815 the monastery and the valley community of Engelberg and Obwalden merged. Since then, these have formed the cantons of Bern, Uri and Nidwalden.
In 1920 the canton got into an economic crisis and many of its residents fled to Austria and emigrated.
Today, however, the canton is flourishing again and is easily accessible thanks to its waterways, motorways and roads.
This good accessibility also ensured an economic boom through tourism.