Lauterbrunnen, the real-life Rivendell

If you want to travel, this is a great destination for a vacation. Here are some tips and tricks about Lauterbrunnen. Tolkein’s inspiration for Rivendell comes from this small Swiss town located in a Valley between the great Alps. Colossal views of the mountains and the 72 waterfalls will take your breath away for sure. Switzerland, as a whole, is a country to visit. Lauterbrunnen cannot be missed.


Have you ever dreamed about Paradise? On second thought, that’s a stupid question. Of course, you did! Everybody imagined how Heaven, Valhalla, Paradise, or whatever you call it would look like.

Most people I’ve talked to about this subject told me that this Eden-ish concept would have to be something like a natural wonder, where everything lives in harmony and where there is enough of everything for everybody.

Well, for me, Lauterbrunnen is the closest worldly thing to exactly that, Eden, Paradise, Valhalla, and so on. This small village of just a little bit over 2000 residents, situated in the Valley with the same name, between the Swiss Alps, is probably the most majestic place I have ever seen.

The air is so pure, and the whole place is renowned for its crystal-clear, fresh mountain water. Speaking of that, there are 72 waterfalls in the area. Yes, it’s not a typo, there are 72 actual waterfalls in that valley. Some of them are inside the mountain. Have you ever seen an underground waterfall? Imagine how mystical that is. Unfortunately, I also have to imagine that because during my visit it was closed to the public due to the current pandemic.

On the bright side of thing, the fact that most of the attractions were closed, I had the chance to see the village in its natural state, without an unnatural cascade of tourists roaming around and disturbing the peace of the place.

When it comes to things to do in Lauterbrunnen, you can go and see the wonders of Mother Earth. Believe me, you won’t need or want any kind of clubs, or loud parties. The calming silence and the heavenly views are more than enough to let anyone with their mouths wide open. But, from what I’ve seen, there are some restaurants and bars where you can eat and drink. All the better, having a coffee with the Alps as your view, what could be a better way to start your day?

Lauterbrunnen is also home to the highest railway station in Europe, situated at over 3400 meters altitude on top of Jungfrau peak. Again, sadly, because of the health risks, I wasn’t able to go up, but I can only imagine the stunning view from the Top of Europe, as it’s called.

Being a mountain region, there are many other Alpine peaks, such as Schilthorn or Bietenhorn, and even some glaciers, Rottalgletscher is one example.

Now, the locals seem to be mostly ranchers, as I saw plenty of alpine cows just enjoying themselves out on the open pastures. You know, the same ones that give that great, fresh milk that the best Swiss chocolate is made out of.

It’s no wonder to me that, with such sites all around, the great, and my personal favourite author of all time, J.R.R. Tolkien, got his inspiration to create the fascinating elf-city of Rivendell after he went hiking in Lauterbrunnen at some point in the year 1911. After I’ve seen this place with my own eyes, I can now see the resemblance in his works.

So, Adventurers, if you ever get the chance to visit this extraordinary piece of Heaven on Earth, do not hesitate! Trust me, it is worth it!

I’ll leave you with a quote from Professor Tolkien himself. No one can describe Rivedell better than its creator, after all. I believe that this quote is valid for Lauterbrunnen as well.

“O! Tril-lil-lil-lollythe valley is jolly, ha! ha!-Elves of Rivendell”
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Author: LaurentiuStehan

Journalist, blogger, facilities professional Passionate about football, fiction writing, travel and cooking.

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