Giswil water-powered sawmill

Historical Site
Giswil water-powered sawmill
Kleinteiler Schlegelssäge in Giswil
Photo: Obwalden Tourismus, Obwalden Tourismus
Giswil water-powered sawmill
Wasser betriebene Schlegelsäge
Photo: Obwalden Tourismus, Obwalden Tourismus
The water-powered sawmill (Ger: Schlegelsäge) in Giswil is the only such remaining facility in Switzerland. It's run by volunteers.

The ancient, simple yet ingenious technology requires no complex mechanical parts and is entirely fashioned from wood. It's amazing how little water is needed to get the big water wheel turning: the saw effortlessly cuts through the thickest tree trunks.

Picnic spot

Next to the sawmill is the Rotary picnic area complete with a barbecue, a covered table and benches, shady trees and a clear stream.

Educational trail

A short walk on the nearby educational trail to Steibi describes the hard work of the woodcutters and the way the wood used to be brought to the sawmill.