Meiringen is frequented by travellers in summer, as it is the meeting-point of many routes: from Interlaken by the lake of Brienz and Brienz, from Lucerne by the Briinig railway (28 m.), from Engelberg by the Joch Pass (7267 ft.), from the upper Valais by the Grimsel Pass (7100 ft.), and from Grindelwald by the Great Scheidegg Pass (6434 ft.).
The village and valley belonged of old to the emperor, who in 1234 gave the advowson to the Knights of St Lazarus, by whom it was sold in 1272 to the Austin Canons of Interlaken, on the suppression of whom in 1528 it passed to the state.
By rail from Spiez on the Berne-Interlaken line) a mule path leads to the summit of the pass, passing over the Spitalmatte plain, where in 1782 and again in 1895 a great avalanche fell from the Altels (11,930 ft.) to the S.E., causing on both occasions great loss of life and property.
George succeeded in making the first ascent from the west or Interlaken side.
The snowy Alps of the Bernese Oberland (culminating in the Finsteraarhorn, 14,026 ft., and the Jungfrau, 13,669 ft.), as well as the famous summer resorts of Grindelwald, Marren, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Meiringen, Kandersteg, Adelboden, Thun and the fine pastoral valley of the Simme.
The more important, with dates of acquisition, are the following:-Laupen (1324), Hasli and Meiringen (1334), Thun and Burgdorf (1384), Unterseen and the Upper Simme valley (1386), Frutigen, &c. (1400), Lower Simme valley (1439-1449), Interlaken, with Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and Brienz (1528, on the suppression of the Austin Canons of Interlaken), Saanen or Gessenay (1555), Kdniz (1729), and the Bernese Jura with Bienne (1815, from the bishopric of Basel).
Interlaken is much frequented in summer, partly because of the glorious view of the Jungfrau (13,669 ft.) which it commands to the south, and partly because it is the best starting-point for many excursions, as to Schynige Platte, Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald.
In 1900 the population of Interlaken was 2962 (mainly Protestant and Germanspeaking).
Opposite Interlaken, and on the right bank of the Aar is Unterseen (in 1900, 2607 inhabitants), which was built in 1280 by Berthold von Eschenbach.
See Fontes serum Bernensium (original documents up to 1366) (8 vols., Berne, 1883-1903); Die Regesten des Klosters zu Interlaken (Coire, 1849) E.
Tatarinoff, Die Entwickelung der Probstei Interlaken im XIII.
The cure is greatly helped by the fresh air and sunshine of such places, among which are Interlaken, Rigi-Scheideck and Weggis in Switzerland; Ischl and Meran in Austria; Harzburg, Reichenhall and Sanct Blasien in Germany.
The main village is connected with Interlaken by a rack railway (13 m.).
Gradually the Austin canons of Interlaken bought out all the other owners in the valley, but when that house was suppressed in 1528 by the town of Bern the inhabitants gained their freedom.
Near the west end of that lake it receives its first important affluent, the Lutschine (left), and then runs across the swampy plain of the Bodoli, between Interlaken (left) and Unterseen (right), before again expanding in order to form the Lake of Thun.