Tucked away in the Bernese Oberland of the Swiss Alps, about 70km southeast of Bern, lies the valley of Lauterbrunnen, regarded as one of the most beautiful valleys in Europe. The valley is about a kilometer in width, and lies between gigantic rock faces and mountain peaks that rises almost perpendicularly to heights of 300 meters from the floor of the valley. At the bottom, nestled between towering limestone precipices, lies the village of Lauterbrunnen, surrounded on three sides by the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau Mountains. The valley, carved by receding glaciers, extends south and then turns south-westwards from the village to form a U shape.
Lauterbrunnen means “many springs”. The name is derived from the 72 waterfalls that gush down into the valley from the vertical cliff faces, some of which are several hundred meters high. The most famous of these are the Staubbach Falls that plunges almost 300 meters, making it one of the highest in Europe formed of a single unbroken fall.
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