The islands of Switzerland

The island of Ogoz can be reached on foot when the level of Lake Gruyère is low Keystone Archive

Landlocked Switzerland is not a country usually associated with islands. But it has nearly 300, many of which are featured in a newly-published guidebook.

This content was published on May 25, 2001 - 14:20

Entitled "Islands of Switzerland: Dream and Reality", the book is a geological and cultural history of the islands - the first such book to be published - as well as a guide for visitors.

Among the best known are the picturesque isle of Brissago on Lake Maggiore and St Peter's island on Lake Biel, where the philosopher Jean-Jaques Rousseau lived in the 1760s.

Others include Ogoz, which is visible from the motorway between Fribourg and Lausanne, and boasts some impressive medieval ruins. Once standing on the banks of the Sarine river, Ogoz became an island in 1948 when the artificial Lake Gruyère was created.

Then there's the tiny island of Peiltz at the eastern end of Lake Geneva. A solitary tree stands on its 40 square metres, and its only inhabitants are hundreds of cormorants during the winter.

Not all the islands featured in the book are on Swiss lakes. Länggrien is an eye-shaped island in the River Aare near Solothurn, while not far from Sierre in Canton Valais, there's the Bois des Finges - which consists of a dense cluster of pine trees.

With text by Erika Schumacher and photographs by Georg Stärk, "Islands of Switzerland: Dream and Reality" is published - in German and French - by Mondo Verlag of Vevey.

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