The canton of Nidwalden, in the centre of Switzerland, is attached to the East of the canton of Obwalden.
In days gone by, the cantons of Nidwalden and Obwalden were joined together under the name of Unterwalden. When Habsburg domination came to an end in 1330, Nidwalden developed into an autonomous State.
Nidwalden is surrounded by the cantons of Lucerne, Schwyz, Uri, Bern and Obwalden. A large part of Lake Lucerne serves as its northern border. The Aa river flows between its two mountain peaks, the Stanserhorn and the Buochserhorn.
Its population (approx. 42,600 inhabitants), whose official language is German, is spread across 11 towns, which do not belong to any district. The largest are Stans, the canton’s capital, Hergiswil and Buochs.
Excellent road, rail and air connections (Buochs Airport) link Nidwalden to the other cantons and to the rest of the world.
Conditions for the expansion of Nidwalden’s economy are very favourable thanks to its central location and its proximity to a great lake, as well as its attractive tax system both for businesses and personal fortunes with one of the lowest tax rates in Switzerland, making Nidwalden a real tax haven.
Numerous world-class businesses are based in the canton. The aircraft manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, the world leader in single-engine turboprop aircraft, based in Stans, is Nidwalden’s largest employer. It received the Aérosuisse Aviation Award in 2006. Schindler Holding AG in Hergiswil, the world’s leading escalator manufacturer and the second largest lift manufacturer, has brought its expertise in mechanical engineering to the area, while Hergiswiler Glas AG is specialised in handcrafted and handblown glass manufacture. Medical technology, international trade and business services are also in full bloom.
Agricultural and stock-breeding production remains an important market, but there are also many small and medium enterprises in a wide range of sectors.
Tourism, a major source of employment for inhabitants, provides numerous sport and cultural activities in all seasons.
Hiking, cycling and skiing tours showcase the exceptional landscapes between Lake Lucerne and the Alps, whose highest peak in the canton reaches an altitude of 9,518 ft. There is thus a considerable choice of sports activities in the area, such as mountain climbing, paragliding, parachuting and water sports, as well as canoeing, kayaking and boat tours.
Culture also attracts the crowds. Festivals are organised every month in Stans and its neighbouring areas to provide entertainment throughout the year. The beginning of summer is marked by 10 days of music in the town square. Rites originating in the region’s history also give rise to events such as fairs (Kilbenen in Swiss German) and the Carnival procession, as well as Saint Nicholas' Day. Last but not least, there are numerous art and history museums to visit in the canton, such as the Nidwaldner Museum.