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;
The Gotthard Tunnel today.
Naturally there is also a song about this famous Mountain.
.....and finely please visit
Photos were free to use. Text Ts.