BFS -No. 9179

The Walen is a lake in the eastern foothills of the Alps in Switzerland and is located in the cantons of St. Gallen and Glarus.


The name means sea of Italians (see Walchensee in Bavaria), as was the language boundary between the settled in the west the Alamanni and the Rhaeto-Romans, the Italians, in the east in the early Middle Ages the Lake Walen.


The lake is at 419 m above sea level. M. and has a surface area of ​​24 km ². Its greatest depth is 151 m. Due to its special location ( in the middle of a valley and on both sides up to 1000 meters high cliffs ) the water temperature of Lake Walen is a few degrees colder than that of neighboring lakes. It is warm in the summer rarely exceed 20 ° C. The U- valley was shaped by the Rhine Glacier in the Würm.

The main influx was originally the Seez. Since the Linth correction in the years 1807-1811 the Glarus Linth is by the Escher canal of the main tributary. The Linth even did not affect previously flowed from Lake Walen and the Glarus region directly toward Zurich. The connection between Linth and Lake Walen was prepared by the Maag, who united with brick bridge with the Linth.

Villages on Lake Walen are whales city, Mols, Unterterzen, Murg, mill horn, and Weesen and on the north shore villages Betlis and fifths. For tourists the most popular is the car-free village of fifths, which can only be reached by boat or by a more hour hike and a Mediterranean climate offers. To the north lies the on a terrace high above the lake located Amden and the mountain chain of the Churfirsten. South of the lake, the winter and summer tourism regions of Flumserberg and Kerenzerberg.

By Linth correction of the water level dropped by 5.5 m. At high tide the sea attained each his previous appearance.


After the conquest by the Romans in the year 15 BC the Lake Walen ( Raetia ) and Germania superior were at the limit of the Roman provinces of Raetia ( Upper Germania ). The Roman vici Centum Prata ( Kempraten ) and Turicum ( Zurich ) served by water - Walen Lake Zurich on the Limmat river and the Rhine as hubs of trade route across the Alps.

Technically, the traffic Walen was since ancient times a major challenge, as there is little planes there. To trace out the railroad bridge brick -Chur respectively. the former South Eastern Railway Sargans - Rapperschwyl as well as the A3 motorway Lake Walen through galleries and tunnels. Until the opening of Walenseestrasse overland passage between the Linthebene and whales city just over the Kerenzerberg between Mollis and fourths was possible. Until the early modern movement of goods between Zurich and Chur was therefore transported by boat on Lake Walen. Since the establishment of the Linth Canal goods could be driven directly by boat from whales city after Zurich.

In 1974, the four-lane highway A 3 was opened in the Linthebene. Between Weesen and mill horn was a two-lane Walenseestrasse from her. It consisted mainly of the main road through the villages of Mill Horn, Murg, Unterterzen and Mols. When whales city to continue the N3 began.

Although the main road had normal connections and pedestrian crossing, but was nevertheless exposed to a high volume of traffic. The Walen received through this bottleneck a Switzerland -wide reputation as a bottleneck for traffic, as formed in heavy traffic and the associated frequent serious traffic accidents each mile-long traffic jams in the Linthebene. For years, the message in Eastern Switzerland was " jam at Lake Walen " so common that the comedians of the popular in the eighties Trio Eugster Lake Walen awarded the epithet Qualensee. At the same time, today's Walenseeautobahn was built in a joint venture of various construction companies. The construction management took over the Bauingenieurbüro Locher & Cie AG in Zurich.


1850 went under the steamer Dolphin in Lake Walen.

1951 a ton were sunk German MG 42 in Lake Walen of the Swiss Army. Between 1960 and 1965, 200 kg of ammunition were further lowered, the exact sinking locations are not known.

The fully loaded gravel transfer Brisi ship sank in April 2006 within seconds. After two months of salving the vessel succeeded from about 130 meters depth. Not did not matter that the whole cargo was dumped at the sinking of the ship on the sea bed. The gravel charge of such a large Ledischiffes is at least 300 tons. Cause were the leftovers inspection port holes through which water of a leak could freely penetrate to all other bulkheads.

On the eastern shore of the lake is located in the city whales Walen - stage, are listed on the since 2005 in the summer musicals.


Fifths and with Murg lake from from Leistchamm

Weesen and the Escher canal from from Leistchamm

View from the Roman Tower on Weesen

View from the Roman Tower on Amden