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Saturday, 2 April 2016

Sepia Saturday 324/ 2.April 2016

The Gotthard a mountain with a long history.




The narrow serpentine Via Tremola leads steeply up to the Gotthard Pass. Earlier rattled and rocked  the stagecoaches along the  winding road. Today only tourists drive over the historic pass road. 

The Gotthard Pass was since the Middle Ages until the 20th century one of the most important north-south connections through the Alps. This transport axis leads in a north-south direction through the Gotthard massif. It is the direct transport link through the Alps. 



 Gotthardhospiz,  the Inn,  1785
Charles-Melchior Descourtis - Lüönd, 
 kol. Kupferstich von Descourtis nach Zeichnung von Rosenberg

At the summit a chapel  and a hospice was built  very early on. It is not known who built the chapel and the Inn to rest and get sustenance along the way. During excavations in the basement of the old hospice, they discovered  foundations, which date back at least to the Carolingian period or even earlier.


The chapel and the hospice on the pass were mentioned the first time on August 12, 1331 concluded by border disputes and a peace treaty between Urseren and Livinen. 

The Archbishop of Milan Galdinus, has consecrated the chapel in 1230 to the Holy Godehardus (according to Liber Sanctorum notitiae Mediolani).  Since then the pass is named Gotthard. Yet there is  evidence that already decades before  monks of Disentis had a chapel and  accommodation at the same spot, they  also worshiped the Holy Godehardus.In 1431/32 the hospice was enlarged to make more room for the many travellers and pilgrims on their way to Rom.

In the 17th century Archbishop Federico Borromeo  of Milan expanded the hospice again and also added  living quarters for a priest. From 1685 onwards the order of the Capuchin monks were responsible for the hospice.  They received a special permission to wear shoes due to the extremely cold weather.

Before the end of the 18th century the hospice hosted many destitute travelers, up to 4000 a year.
Each person received a piece of bread and a piece of cheese and a little sweet wine. For lunch they also received geschmalzte soup, meaning a soup made with fat. They also were allowed to sleep there and get other care if needed.



 Der Herzog von Chartres, der spätere König Louis-Philipp von Frankreich, asking for entry into the  Hospice.  Gotthard-Hospiz kol. Litho von Horace Vernet nach Zeichnung von Palheri, um 1830

Here is more to read about this famous Mountain Pass;

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/the-gotthard-pass--a-swiss-national-symbol/28284454

http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/en/gbt_slider/the-history-of-the-gotthard.html





The Gotthard Tunnel today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotthard_Road_Tunnel


Naturally there is also a song  about this  famous Mountain.

Übere Gottard flüget Bräme 1945



https://youtu.be/Z4NcLAWbzy8


.....and finely please visit 

Sepia Saturday 324 : 2 April 2016




Photos were free to use. Text Ts.

16 comments:

  1. Incredible photo. And a great write up on the history. Adding a little knowledge to my Saturday morning. Thank you!

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  2. Gotthard Pass reminds me of New Priest Grade in Tuolumne County, Calif. 5 1/2 miles of switchback road rising 1700 feet! On the other side of the ravine is Old Priest Grade - shorter (only 2 miles), steeper, and only a couple of small switchbacks. Guess which one I take! :)

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    1. Pretty steep for travel, they must make a tunnel to make it easier for every day travel. The Gotthard Pass, top where the hospice is 2106 m; 6909 feet! There is a railway tunnel and a tunnel for cars. Both are quite long. The railway tunnel about 35 miles, the other around 10 miles long. the travel up the mountain is spectacular.

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  3. Okay, two of things that scare me-curvy mountain roads and long tunnels. I got away from the curvy mountain roads when I moved from Arizona to the east coast. Little did I know that there are plenty of tunnels here.

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    1. You exchanged the one for the other, bad luck. I am not scared of short tunnels I have traveled a lot through those. But I do not like long tunnels!

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  4. That old road, and the hostel at the top really caught my interest. But for traveling these days, the tunnel is of course best. Especially for winter travels!

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    1. Barbara, the Pass is mostly closed in winter, because of Ice and snow. I think the first rail tunnel was opened in 1882. In 1920 the first electrical trains went through.

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  5. Very interesting! I've only been through the rail tunnel, quite a few years ago now.

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    1. JO, a new much longer rail tunnel will be opened this year.

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  6. Is the building still there?

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  7. Now that's a twisting highway. Is there a place to buy Dramamine?

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    Replies
    1. Driving is OK, but not being a passenger!

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  8. The only time I was on it was in a snowstorm. Don't want to repeat that adventure.

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