Report: 5. Gersau

I spent only a couple nights in Gersau and spent more time hiking than actually seeking out buildings, so I have less of a record from here than from the other areas. Gersau is a town on the north shore of the Vierwaldstättersee (known in English as the Lake of Lucerne), a many-lobed lake ringed with scenic mountains and regarded as the geographical and cultural heart of Switzerland:

34. The Vierwaldstättersee.

The three cantons that formed the original Swiss Confederation in 1291, Unterwalden, Uri, and Schwyz, border the lake, and along with Canton Luzern, the other lakeside canton, they constitute the Vier Waldstätter (the Four Forest Cantons — whence the name of the lake). Canton Schwyz provided the name for the whole nation. Indeed in Swiss German, the country's name is Schwyz as well. Gersau is part of Schwyz, but for a long time it was a tiny independent republic. The residents of Gersau are still proud of their independent past. The village has quite a mixture of building styles new and old:

35. Top to bottom: new, old, and older houses on the shore road by Gersau.

The Hotel Tübli (below) is typical of the traditional style of the lake area, in particular the eaves over each floor (for extra protection from the weather; also seen in the two older houses above), the Blockbau construction, the steep roof, and shutters painted with a wavy radial pattern that is a trademark of the lake region.

36. The Hotel Tübli in Gersau, an exemplar of the lake region's architectural tradition.