Almost forgotten for decades, the sweet chestnut with its nutritious fruit and high-quality wood has been experiencing a noticeable comeback since the 1990s.
The well-maintained chestnut groves on the flanks of the Rigi create a friendly, bright and varied environment. Chestnut groves offer opportunities for relaxation, recreation and learning, and are a source of new products and a reservoir of biodiversity.
The end of October sees Greppen host Switzerland's biggest chestnut fair north of the Alps, featuring some 60 market and food stands heaving with chestnut-based products from all over the country.
The sweet chestnut was highly prized in medieval Switzerland, including in the communities bordering Lakes Lucerne and Zug. It was once the "bread tree" for poor people and was appreciated and the fruit harvested until the early 1950s, after which the tree began losing favour.
Chestnuts were first mentioned in documents in Weggis in 1378. The appropriately named village of Kastanienbaum (chestnut tree) near Lucerne first appears in 1434. It's linked to a legend according to which the first chestnuts were planted here and spread into central Switzerland.
Nature lovers founded the Pro Kastanie Zentralschweiz community of interests with the aim of promoting the sweet chestnut in Central Switzerland and its market economy.