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History of Leukerbad



The story of Leukerbad dates back to the 4th century B.C. Graves and ceramics attest the presence of habitation in Leukerbad. From the 5th century, the pass of the Gemmi, unique link between the cantons of Valais and Bern can be got over.

In 1229, Leukerbad is mentioned for the first time and called "Boez". French is the locally spoken language at that time.

In 1315, the commune becomes independent and the oldest known document about Leukerbad already mentions the baths.

In 1501, the Bishop and Cardinal Matthäus Schiner acquires the rights for the baths and speaks highly of the health resort during his visits; the thermal tourism develops and from that time, German is spoken locally.

Between the 16th and 18th century, several major avalanches hit the village but the inhabitants rebuild it every time.

In 1779 a famous guest stays in Leukerbad: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Other famous guests will stay in Leukerbad, like Guy de Maupassant or Mark Twain.

In 1908, the Company “Chemin de Fer Electric Leukerbad” was founded but the road quickly dominated the access to the village and the trains stopped in 1967.

The cable-car to the top of Gemmi Pass was built in 1957 and the one to Torrent Alp in 1970-72.

In 1980, the community's thermal centre, The Burgerbad, is open.

The sport centre is open in 1990 and the thermal centre Alpentherme in 1993.

In 1998, Leukerbad offers for the first time a "fixed-rope climbing" (Via ferrata/Klettersteig) route of the Daubenhorn, which is currently the longest in Switzerland