Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Reichenbach Falls

The Reichenbach Falls in Meiringen, Switzerland, is where Sherlock Holmes apparently died, at the end of "The Adventure of the Final Problem".

Out of the many waterfalls in the Bernese Oberland, the Reichenbach Falls seem to have made the greatest impression on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

So impressed was Conan Doyle that he decided to let his hero die there. A memorial plate at the cable car station commemorates the man who was probably the most famous detective in the world. The mighty waterfalls, tumbling down over the rock face in several cascades in a beautiful scenery, make a trip to the Reichenbach falls a worthwhile experience. Those seeking further information can obtain it in the old chapel in Meiringen, which houses the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Conan Doyle felt that the Sherlock Holmes stories were distracting him from more worthwhile literary efforts, and that killing Holmes off was the only way of getting his career back on track. "I must save my mind for better things", he wrote to his mother, "even if it means I must bury my pocketbook with him."

Sir Arthur was unable to keep the former resolve, perhaps because he was unable to keep the latter, and in due course brought Holmes back to life, in "The Adventure of the Empty House". In any case, who now has any idea what better things he had in mind, let alone believes that he did them better than he did Sherlock Holmes? Few people remember his 'historical' novels that feature Sir Nigel or Brigader Gerald.

Aside: Mary Shelley's Victor Frankenstein is followed by the 'monster' on a similar route.

Related entries

External links