Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps
© Leonid Andronov/Getty Image
Is this Rivendell?. Tolkien Reading Day
For Tolkien Reading Day, we're visiting the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps, which is believed to have inspired the Elven sanctuary of Rivendell in J.R.R. Tolkien's novels 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit.' Like Tolkien's mythical Elf settlement, Lauterbrunnen Valley has a bit of storybook appeal, with an unusually narrow valley floor hemmed in by steep Alpine cliffs and dotted with numerous waterfalls. Lauterbrunnen became popular among mountain climbers and hikers beginning in the late 19th century, and Tolkien hiked through the valley in 1911. The valley remains a popular tourist destination.
The Tolkien Society organized the first Tolkien Reading Day in 2003 to celebrate and promote his works. They selected March 25 as it is the day that the Dark Lord Sauron was defeated and the Black Tower destroyed in 'The Lord of the Rings.' Tolkien's writing continues to provide fodder for various entertainment forms, with Amazon's TV series 'Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' debuting later this year.