On its way from Lake Zurich through the Linth Plain, the deeply carved Glarus valley branches southwards shortly before the Walensee. Mountains rear up steeply from the valley floor to an altitude of 1750 metres. The Tödi at 3614 m is the highest mountain in eastern Switzerland. The Glarus is a varied holiday region, but it also has a long industrial tradition, particularly in the field of decorative textile manufacture.
Since a huge fire destroyed the old quarters in 1861, the streets of the capital of Glarus have been rebuilt on a grid plan. The Glarus earned a world-wide reputation in the 19th century for its printed fabrics. Cyclists can discover evidence of Glarus’ industrial past along the 50km-long Industrial Trail.
Not far from the capital is the hiking region of the Klöntal with the Klöntalersee. This valley, surrounded by mountains, has a wealth of natural beauties. The Muotathal in the Canton of Schwyz can be reached via the Pragel Pass, along which General Suworow’s army fled to Glarus in 1799. The rumour spread that the Russians had lost their war chest in the waters of the Klöntalersee but, despite many dives to search for it, it has never (yet) been found.
There are many sights in the Glarus which bear witness to its extraordinarily rich geological and mining history including, for example, the quarry at Engi; the slate factory in Elm; fossilised sea creatures on the Kerenzerberg; and dinosaur tracks on the Tödi. Along with the regions of the Sarganserland and Walensee, Glarus therefore forms part of the cross-canton GeoPark.
There are family winter sports’ regions on the Kerenzerberg above the Walensee, in Elm and Braunwald with opportunities for skiing, tobogganing and snowshoe walking as well as many other winter sports. If you like peace and quiet you will enjoy the many winter footpaths in the Glarus.
- Klöntalersee: a mountain lake with a man-made dam, famous for its fantastic reflections. Ideal for water sports and fishing in summer; and for skating in winter.
- In recent years the Glarus Kunsthaus has gained a reputation for its exhibitions of contemporary art.
- Zigerstöckli: the famous fresh Glarus cheese. The Glarus Schabziger is regarded as the oldest branded product in Switzerland.
- Glarus Shift: the most famous geological event in Switzerland. The mountains were formed by the shifting and folding of the land masses.
- Geo-city tour in Glarus: discover fossils from the age of the dinosaurs encased in the town hall fountain, and oysters in the stone slabs which form the plinth course of a house facade.
Local authority: on the first Sunday in May, citizens gather on the Zaunplatz in Glarus to decide the fate of the canton by show of hands (May).