This is Stans!

The centre of Europe, in the middle of Switzerland: central plaza of national significance, marketplace, rich cultural life, living traditions, historic buildings, historic funicular up to the Stanserhorn, renowned restaurants, museums showcasing traditions and history, freetime activity centres, surrounded by gorgeous mountains, situated at Lake Lucerne, seat of the cantonal administration.


That and much more is Stans!

Come, see and enjoy!



The centre of Stans is part of the oldest settlement in the Valley of Nidwalden. Humans can be traced back to the 2. century BC. Cremation graves and the Latin root of the original name of Stans ‘stagnum’ (moor) indicate that already during the Gallo-Roman times people lived in Stans. During the 7th and 8th Century the first Alemanni arrived in the Valley of Nidwalden. They brought Christianity with them. The first church, which was built in 750 AD, probably served all the inhabitants of the valley. The church had to be enlarged several times to accomodate the growing population. From 1642 to 1647, the present parish church, St. Peter and Paul, an early baroque construction, was built.


The Battle of Sempach, which was important for the formation of the Swiss Confederation, was won thanks to the fearless commitment of Arnold Winkelried, a man from Stans. Two monuments and an annual ceremony on the 9. July commemorate this hero. In 1481 Swiss history was made at a special public hearing by establishing the ‚Treaty of Stans‘ and the Confederation of nine counties.


In 1713 two thirds of the village of Stans were destroyed by a fire. Thanks to the new building regulations that followed the fire Stans offers a big market place, stately baroque buildings and the town hall. Other important historic buildings in Stans are the ‚Rosenburg‘ (13./14. Cent.), the House of Winkelried (15. Cent.) as well as the monastery of the Capuchins (1583) and the nunnery (1618). This is where Heinrich Pestalozzi was active as a father of orphans after the French Invasion of 1798.

The narrow Schmiedgasse (alley), which used to be the alley of the craftsmen, has the character of an old part of town. It is where locals like to meet at the numerous shops and cozy restaurants.



Technical development and new traffic infrastructure caused a major change in Stans. In 1893, the Stansstad –Stans streetcar connected Stans to the steamboats and to the trains in Lucerne. A technical miracle, the world’s steepest funicular up to the Stanserhorn, was completed in the same year. Thanks to the connection to the Swiss rail system in 1964 (Lucerne-Stans-Engelberg, today Zentralbahn), and to the national north-south highway system (A2) with the opening of the Seelisberg tunnel in 1980, Nidwalden has become a more attractive place for outsiders to settle and thus more progressive. There are approximately 600 different employers offering jobs in many different sectors. 97% of the jobs in Stans are either part of the service or manufacturing industries. The largest employer is Pilatus Aircraft, a global enterprise, which was founded in 1939.


Quality of life

Stans offers a host of freetime activities thanks to its location surrounded by: the Stanserhorn with its great view, the glamorous Bürgenstock, the nearby glaciated peaks and the Lake of Lucerne, which in summer invites you for a dip. The vast cultural programme, the various clubs, the active village life, festivities, living traditions and great hospitality shape the special character of Stans.


Map «Walkaround Stans»