Tolkien Reading Day  

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.

© Leonid Andronov/Getty Images

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