Obwalden: History & Tradition

The half-cantons of Nidwalden and Obwalden originally formed a single canton called Unterwalden. With Schwyz and Uri, Unterwalden was a founder-canton of the original Helvetic Confederacy in 1291. This alliance between the three cantons allowed them an extended period of peace (by the standards of the time), lasting until around 1330. During the fourteenth century, Obwalden asserted its own sovereignty.




History of the Canton of Obwalden – Summary (50 kB)



Tradition – Ludwig von Moos (1910-1990), the Federal Councillor from Obwalden

The Local History Museum in Sarnen is staging an exhibition on the life and works of the only citizen of the original three Cantons of Switzerland to have become a Swiss Federal Councillor. Find out more about the life of Ludwig von Moos from documents, photographs and everyday artifacts contained in the private collection of the von Moos family. The exhibition runs from 25 April to 30 September.

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Culinary tradition

Zigerkrapfen (goat's cheese fritters)


Print recipe (52 kB)


Traditional products

  • Sbrinz cheese AOC
  • Birnebhonig (pear juice concentrate)
  • Rosinenweggen (raisin loaf)
  • Bätziwasser (apple liqueur)

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