The Aar Gorge
The Aareschlucht, or Aar Gorge, is a dramatically narrow chasm which has been cut through a ridge of limestone hills close to the town of Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland.
About a mile long, the gorge is only a few metres wide at its base but the cliffs climb almost vertically upwards to a height of over 50 metres. (165 feet)
The Steep Walls Of The Gorge
Today the River Aar runs through the gorge but it was originally created around 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, when torrential water from melting glaciers cut this wonderful passage.
Walkway Over The River
The Aar is a tributary of the High Rhine and is the longest river to start and finish entirely within the borders of Switzerland.
Some 295 kilometres (183 miles) long, it drops over 1,565 metres (5,135 feet) during its course and its ice cold waters are a whitish-blue as they tumble through the gorge.
Since 1889 the gorge has been open to the public and nowadays a fully accessible walkway runs for 1,400 metres along the bottom of the cliff wall.
Before this walkway was built the only way through was in the dangerous waters of the river and many hardy souls actually made this journey safely.
The walkway through the gorge can be reached from two railway stations on the Meiringen-Innertkirchen line.
At one end is Aareschlucht West, while at the other end Aareschlucht Ost station can actually be accessed through an entrance door in the gorge itself. The line runs underground through the limestone rock before coming out into open country beside the River Aar.
Entrance To The Underground Rail Station In The Gorge
The gorge has long been a popular tourist attraction with many visitors combining a trip here with a journey to see the nearby Reichenbach Falls where the legendary Sherlock Holmes is supposed to have met his end at the hands of the evil Professor Moriarty.
The Reichenbach stream is a tributary of the Aar River and these beautiful falls are to be found only two kilometres south of the town of Meiringen. So popular are the falls and their connetion with the fictional detective, that there is even a Sherlock Holmes museum in the town.
Countryside Where The River Leaves The Aareschlucht
If you are interested in visiting this lovely gorge, here is its address and official website where you can get more information such as opening times -
Address - Rathausstrasse, 35A, CH - 3860 Meiringen
Telephone - 41 33 971 40 48
Website - www.aareschlucht.ch