The Emmental

The river Emme starts at a spring in a mountainous area and has numerous creeks flowing into it. 80km after it’s source it  joins the bigger Aare river. The valley where the river Emme flows through is called the Emmental. It is part of the Canton of Berne.

Soft hills cover the Emmental, often with smaller rivers flowing through the valleys down below later joining the river Emme. The farming houses are typical with huge roofs almost touching the ground. The cheese produced in this valley is world famous: the Emmental cheese. Is is quite mild and has big holes.

A great way to explore the Emmental is with rented e-bikes. There are many suggested trails. The added power makes it easy to climb those steep hills.

The country folks from the Emmental tend to speak a very slow Bernese Swiss German. They are friendly and easy going but rather introverted. People in the villages greet everybody they encounter with a heartfelt „grüssech“.

The bigger places in the Emmental are Burgdorf, Langnau and Sumiswald.

In Langnau is the oldest free church of Switzerland. It goes back to the very beginning of the Mennonites who felt that the reformation of the church didn’t go far enough. So the government of the Canton of Berne started persecuting those pious folks. Between 1534 and 1540 around 158 Bernese Mennonites were thrown into prison, of those 109 were sent into forced exile (many left for the US) and 26 were executed.