Interesting facts 

The sea within the mountain

The image of the Kandertal constantly changed during the course of millions of years. Where rock and ice dominate the landscape today, was once an ocean. In time the sea bed was folded by immense forces, so that enormous mountains were formed. The summits surrounding Kandersteg are the highest pure limestone formations in Europe. Even today many fossils are proof of life in the erstwhile sea.


Through the constant pressure of the folding of the Alps the rock formations where changed in some areas so that the oldest material was pushed over the younger material and is now on top. Traces of this process can be found in many mountains in this region. The different rock layers can be seen on the Birre to the north of Kandersteg and the Jegertossen in the Gasteretal even by untrained eyes.

The Gasteretal has an unusual geological composition and the flora is no less particular. There are limestones (sediments of the erstwhile sea) as well as crystalline primary rock. The varied composition of the soil affects the flora: the yellow alpine primrose grows on limestone soil, the red alpine primrose however grows on granite soil. There are certain areas where both types of soil meet – here these two very different plants can be found in proximity of each other. Thanks to the remote situation the Gasteretal has plants, which cannot be found anywhere else in the northern Alps. The clematis is one of them.