Lauterbrunnen – Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen is a village and a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. The municipality comprises the major Lauterbrunnen Valley (German: Lauterbrunnental), the Soustal, the Sefinental, the upper Lauterbrunnen Valley with Untersteinberg including several glaciers, such as the Tschingelfirn and the Rottalgletscher, many Alpine meadows and peaks, such as Schilthorn, Bietenhorn, Schwarzmönch, and Silberhorn, and finally the villages Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg, and Isenfluh, and several hamlets. The population of the village Lauterbrunnen is less than that of Wengen, but larger than that of the others. Lauterbrunnen was first mentioned in 1240 as “in claro fonte”, a Romance language place name meaning “clear spring”.[citation needed] By 1253 it was known to German speakers as Liuterbrunnon which by 1268 had the alternate spelling of Luterbrunnen.[3] While the meaning of brunnen is undoubtedly spring or fountain, there is some dispute about the meaning of lauter: Some translate it as clear, clean or bright (which compares to the earlier Romance language meaning of the place mentioned above) while others translate it as “many” or “louder”. A local explanation is that the name Lauterbrunnen means “many springs” using a modern meaning of the word lauter in German: however this could be an example of a folk etymology.

 

 

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