Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The very middle of Switzerland

Sachseln - Älggi Alp
Do you know exactly where the very middle of Switzerland is? Near to a pretty little alp in the Kleine Melchtal, Obwalden canton.On the occasion of its 150th anniversary in 1988, the Federal Office for National Topography, swisstopo, used the Swiss national boundaries that had just been digitised to calculate the centre of gravity of the country. If you stuck a map o f Switzerland on a piece of card and cut round the borders, this is the point where it would balance on the tip of a needle. The exact WGS84 coordinates are 46° 48' 4" N, 8° 13' 36" E.

In reality, this point is on top of a cliff to the west of Chli Älggi (the community of Sachseln, Obwalden canton). That's why the point was shifted 500 m to the south-east, to an easily accessible and extremely scenic location. The point is now well-signposted in the area.

The Älggi Alp is ideal for a walk with the family, a school trip or a hike with your club. At 1650 m, the scene is one of attractive meadows and pastureland, forests and cliffs, a mountain restaurant, a little lake and various little waterfalls. Depending on the weather, these campsites can be viewed and admired when you approach Älggialp. Shortly before you reach your destination, you will be delighted by the view of the impressive Älggi waterfall.