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Kerns facts for kids

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Picswiss OW-27-30.jpg
Coat of arms of Kerns
Coat of arms
Country Switzerland
Canton Obwalden
District n.a.
 • Total 92.59 km2 (35.75 sq mi)
Elevation 564 m (1,850 ft)
Population (Dec 2015 )
 • Total 6,048
 • Density 65.320/km2 (169.179/sq mi)
Postal code 6064
Surrounded by Alpnach, Dallenwil (NW), Ennetmoos (NW), Hasliberg (BE), Innertkirchen (BE), Lungern, Sachseln, Sarnen, Wolfenschiessen (NW)

Kerns is a village in the canton of Obwalden in Switzerland. Kerns is first mentioned in 1036 as Chernz. After 1101 it was normally mentioned as Chernes.


Melchsee-Frutt Kuh
Swiss cow in the high meadows near Melchsee-Frutt

Kerns has an area, as of 2006, of 92.6 square kilometers (35.8 sq mi). Of this area, 46.7% is used for agricultural purposes, while 28.8% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 2.5% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (21.9%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).

The municipality is located on a terrace on the south-west slope of the Stanserhorn and Arvigrat mountains in the Sarneraatal and Melchtal valleys. It is the largest municipality in the canton. .


Picswiss OW-27-33
Chapel at Melchsee-Frutt with the Graustock mountain peak in the background

Kerns has a population (as of 31 December 2015) of 6,048. As of 2007, 8.0% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 7.9%. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (96.2%), with Albanian being second most common ( 1.3%) and Portuguese being third ( 0.5%).

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the SVP. The next three most popular parties were the CVP, the Other and the SPS.

In Kerns about 67.5% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).


The main sights of Kerns are: chapel St. Niklausen, an old bridge (Hohe Brücke), and the pilgrimage church Melchtal. The ski area and mountain resort Melchsee-Frutt with the lake Melchsee is also part of the municipality of Kerns. The reservoir Tannensee is located above the village, at 1,976 m (6,483 ft).

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