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Engelberg
View of Engelberg from Hotel Ramada Balcony
Engelberg is a village in the canton of Obwaldenmarker in Switzerlandmarker. Engelberg has a population ( ) of 3,721, of which 21.0% are foreign nationals. Canton Obwalden Statistics accessed 2 September 2009

It is the leading mountain resort (Urner Alpsmarker) in central Switzerland. In the Middle Ages, Engelberg was known for the educational accomplishments of its Benedictine monastery, the Engelberg Abbeymarker, whose school was well-known and regarded throughout the country. From the 19th Century, Engelberg became internationally known as a resort and spa, but is today visited as much for skiing as for its clean air. With its combination of modern sports facilities and alpine location, Engelberg is a magnet for both summer and winter tourism. The closest large cities are Lucernemarker and Zurich.

History

Engelberg is first mentioned in 1122 as Engilperc.

Geography

Engelberg has an area of . Of this area, 28.5% is used for agricultural purposes, while 24.5% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 3.1% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (43.9%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).

The average altitude of Engelberg is . However the town is surrounded by the Alps, creating very steep terrain. The highest point in the borders of the town is Mt. Titlismarker which is .

Tourism

The ski terrain is largely for advanced skiers, and although there are some easy places to ski, beginners should be wary of some challenging pistes. It is a snow-sure ski resort, with an unusually long season, generally opening for skiing at the start of October and remaining open until the end of May.

It's also a major summer resort, with many activities available both at village level and on the mountain. The lift system operates throughout the year, allowing a wide range of walking and cycling trails to be available even to the more fitness-challenged visitor.

In recent years, Engelberg has become something of an off-piste mecca, with many winter visitors, particularly from Scandinavia, coming specifically for its many challenging descents. Many of these are accesssible from the lift-served ski areas of Titlis or Jochpass, on the predominantly North-facing slopes leading down from Mt Titlismarker.

On the opposite side of the valley, the ski area of Brunni is much more suitable for beginners and early intermediates, but being South-facing it doesn't have quite the same snow reliability and length of season.

Engelberg also hosts a round of the ski jumpingworld cup.

The main sights of Engelberg are: Mount Titlis, Mount "Hahnen", Engelberg Abbeymarker, a Benedictine monastery in the Swiss Congregation, the museum of the valley, the hotel Europäischer Hof, a number of old chapels.

Demographics

Engelberg has a population ( ) of 3,721, of which 21.0% are foreign nationals. Canton Obwalden Statistics accessed 2 September 2009 Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 7.1%. Most of the population ( ) speaks German (88.2%), with Serbo-croatian being second most common ( 2.5%) and English being third ( 2.2%). the gender distribution of the population was 49.9% male and 50.1% female. there are 1,650 households in Engelberg.

In the 2007 election the most popular party was the SVP which received 37.4% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were a variety of other parties (not major) (28.6%), the CVP (22.7%) and the SPS (11.3%).

The age distribution of the population ( ) is children and teenagers (0-19 years old) make up 26.2% of the population, while adults (20-64 years old) make up 58.3% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 15.4%. The entire Swiss population is generally well educated. In Engelberg about 65.5% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either University or a Fachhochschule).

The historical population is given in the following table:
year population
1709 678
1799 1,468
1850 1,737
1900 1,973
1950 2,544
2000 3,544


Business and industry

There are 320 local businesses which employ 1700 people. 11% of these are in the agricultural sector, 14% in trade and industry, 75% in services.

Engelberg has an unemployment rate of 1.22%. , there were 176 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 65 businesses involved in this sector. 227 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 36 businesses in this sector. 1,295 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 186 businesses in this sector.

Cultural references

Engelberg is mentioned in chapter XXIV of Henry James's 1875 novel Roderick Hudson.

Weather

Engelberg has an average of 157.9 days of rain per year and on average receives of precipitation. The wettest month is August during which time Engelberg receives an average of of precipitation. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 14.7 days. The month with the most days of precipitation is June, with an average of 16.1, but with only of precipitation. The driest month of the year is February with an average of of precipitation over 14.7 days.

References

  1. Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 03-Sep-2009
  2. Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 14-Jul-2009
  3. , the weather station elevation is 1035 meters above sea level.

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