The charcoal makers of Romoos are the last to practice the ancient craft of charcoal burning in Switzerland. The thematic path explains this skill in more detail. The trail leads across mountain ridges and through wild canyons and is a good representation of the landscape in the Napf mountain area.
Distance 11 km
If you walk from Romoos through the multilayered Napf area, you might suddenly smell smoke or see mysterious wisps rising from between the trees. Not to worry, it is not a forest fire. It is just the fumes of the smoldering charcoal kilns. The charburners of Romoos are building conical piles of different kinds of wood. Then they light them to generate charcoal. They monitor the process around the clock for a good two weeks. The production of “black gold” is hard work. For centuries the farmers have been producing charcoal as a secondary income. Romoos once had around 200 charburning places because blacksmiths, iron foundries and glassworks needed a great deal of charcoal then. Nowadays, the ancient craft is practiced by just a few farmers from the Napf area. They still produce as much as 100 tons every year. Making air holes, adding burnable material, extracting charcoal – with a bit of luck, you might be able to peek over the workers’ shoulders on the hike between Romoos and Bramboden. Signs along the way also provide information about the charburning craft, about gold prospectors and about natural phenomena in the region. The route first climbs uphill to Schwändi and then continues on a spectacular footpath through the narrow Goldbach canyon. The highest point of the walk is located at Oberlänggrat. The route via Rose-Beizli, which is a little off the path, descends to the Seelibach brook and finally to Bramboden, crisscrossing Lucerne’s Napf area. It passes steep cliffs and waterfalls, snakes through narrow ravines and climbs over sunny ridges. The area around Romoos is often compared to the Centovalli in the Ticino because of the similar topography. Bramboden, a place of pilgrimage, is a veritable gem. It is located in a side valley of the Entlebuch, far from any other village. A visit to the lovely mountain church, dedicated to St. Antonius of Padua, should not be missed, and the Pilgerbeizli restaurant is a perfect place to end the day.
AuthorUNESCO Biosphäre Entlebuch
Update: May 02, 2022
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