ePub 版

torrent issues out of the vale of Ramosch, Above the bridge, which is called Ponte Piedra, rises the ruined castle Chiamuff, burnt by the Austrians in 1475..

The scenery of the valley of the Inn is very grand on approaching

3 Martinsbrück (Pomartino). Here the traveller, after crossing the river, leaves the Inn to find its way at once through the pass of Finstermünz; the path takes a more circuitous route, and ascends a considerable wooded eminence, forming the boundary between Switzerland and. Tyrol, and enters the Austrian dominions a short while before reaching Nauders, where there is a tolerable inn, about a mile distant from the remarkable defile of Finstermünz. (See Handbook for South Germany.)



10 stunden=32 34 Eng. miles.

The Bernina is a very lofty chain of mountains, separating the valleys of the Engadine and of Bregaglia on the N., from The Valteline on the S. They vary in height between 8000 and 12,000 st., the highest summits being the Ligoncio, the Monte del Oro, the Rosegg (Rosath, and in Romansch, Ruseig), the Monte della Disgrazia, and the Pizzo Scalino. Several arduous paths cross it, but the most frequented is that called, par excellence, the Bernina Pass, a bridle-path, practicable at its two extręınities for chars, and traversed an, nually by 700 or 800 mules.

From Samaden the road turns S. ascending the Val Pontresina, by the rt. bank of the torrent Flatz, to

1 1/4 Pontresina, a village having an inn. From this place, an excursion may be made in a S. W. direction to the glacier of Bernina, one of the largest in the Alps, filling the upper extremity of the Val Rusegg. The Flatz issues out of a cave of ice called Sboccadura, at its base. This glacier is stated to extend without interruption a distance of 50 miles. Several other arms or branches of this vast sea of ice descend the side valleys on the W. of our route, and appear from time to time in view.

1 3/4 Near the summit of the pass are 3. inns; the middle one is said to be the best.

1 1/3 By the culminating point, 7180 ft. above the sea, are several lakes. A branch path passes them, and descends at once to the village of Puschiavo (Germ. Puschlaf). The other branch, usually taken, turns off to the E., near the

extremity of the Lago Biancho, and crosses the ridge called Camino, lo

1 1/3 Piscadella, the first village in the valley of Puschiavo.

2 1/3 Puschiavo, a village of 1015 inhabitants, the principal place in the valley, is mainly supported by the considerable traffic of goods through it. Above it, on a height, stand the ruins of the Castle of Oligati. •

Nearly one-third of the inbabitants of this populous valley are Protestants, the language spoken is a corrupt Ilalian.

About three miles lower down, the road skirts along the W. margin of the charming little lake of Puschiavo, samed for its trout.

2 Brusio is the last Swiss village. On quitting the lake, the river passes through a very narrow defile, barely allowing room for the road and the siream. It is a raging torrent, and as it approaches the Adda, requires to be restrained within stone dykes of solid masonry, which have. nevertheless. proved insufficient to protect its banks from inundation. Beyond this, the Valteline, or Vale of the Adda, opens out at 1 Tirano. See Handbook for South Germany.

ROUTE 87. COIRE TO SPLÜGEN, BY THE VIA MALA. 3 3/4 posts=32 Eng. miles.

A diligence or malle poste goes 4 times a week : twice over the Splügen and twice over the Bernardin. The road is excellent all the way. It is a drive of about 6 hours, posting, from Coire to Splügen, and about 4 1/2 hours from Splügen to Coire. Excellent inns at Andeer and Splügen.

From Coire (Route 67) to Reichenau ihere is not much deserving notice in the scenery of the valley of the Rhine; but the mountain Galanda, on its 1. bank, is a conspicuous object. The road runs along a nearly level bottom as far as

Reichenau, which is a group of houses situated at the junction of the 2 Rhines. Its chief buildings are the Tollhouse (16 kr. paid for 2 horses); the inn zum Adler (Aigle); and the Château, a handsone whitewashed country-seat of the Planta family. At the end of the last century it was converted into a school by the burgo-master Tscharner. In 1793, a young man calling himself Chabot, arrived here on foot with a stick in his hand, and a bundle on his back. He presented a latter of introduction to M. Jost, the head master; in consequence of which he was appointed usher, and

for 8 months gave lessons in French, mathematics, and history. This forlorn stranger was no other than Louis Philippe, now King of the French, then Duke de Chartres, who had been forced by the march of the French army to quit Bremgarten and seek concealment here in the performance of the humble duties of a schoolmaster, and in that capacity made himself equally beloved by masters and pupils. His secret was known only to M. Jost. During his residence here he must have heard the news of his father's death on the scaffold, and his mother's transportation to Madagascar.

At Reichenau the road is carried over the two arms of the Rhine by two covered wooden bridges, each of one elegant arch. The lower bridge is 237 ft. long and 80 st. above the river. The junction of the rivers is well seen from the castle garden. The more abundant waters of the Hinter Rhein, coming from the Bernardin and the foot of Mount Adula, are of an ash colour or dirty blue ; while those of the Vorder Rhein, rising in the glaciers of the Crispalt and Lukmanier, are observed to be of a greenish hue. The road up the Vorder Rhein to its source, and to Andermalt, on the St. Gothard, is described in Route 77.

The road to the Splügen follows the course of the HinterRhein. On the rt. of it, as you ascend the hill beyond Reichenau, the Gallows may be seen standing in a field. A Jittle further, on the top of a commanding rock on the J. bank of the Rhine, and approached by a long bridge, rises the Castle of Rhætzuns (Rhætia ima): it is still inhabited.

This part of the Rheintbal, called the valley of Domleschg (Vallis Domestica), is particularly remarkable for the vast number of Castles (21) which crown almost every rock or knoll on either side of the river, mostly in ruins, sometimes standing out boldly from a dark background of forest, at others so identified by decay, by the weather tints, and by the lichen growth, with the apparently inaccessible rocks on which they stand, as barely to be distinguished. Their picturesque donjons and battlements contribute not a little to enhance the charms of the landscape; they serve at the same time as historical monuments to commemorate the revolution by wbich the power of a tyrannical feudal aristocracy, the lords of these fastnesses, was broken and their strongholds burnt by the peasants of this valley, whom they had long oppressed

Another peculiarity of this district is the intricate intermixture of language and religion. There are scarcely two adjoining parishes, or even hamlets, speaking the same tongue and professing the same saith. Thus at Coire, German is the prevailing language, and Protestant the religion of the majority; at Ems, the first village on the road, Romansch

(p. 245) is spoken. Tamins and Reichenau are Catholic and German ; Bonaduz, divided from them only by the Rhine, is reformed, and speaks Romansch. Rbætzuns and Katzis are two Romish villages ; but in the first the language is German, in the second Romansch. The inbabitants of Heinzenberg are Protestant and German; at Thusis they are reformed and German; at Zillis and Schams reformed and Bomansch. Splügen and Hinter Rhein form the boundary at once of the Romansch language and Protestant religion.

The castle of Ortenstein, on the rt. bank of the Rhine, is one of the finest and best-preserved in the valley : it is still inhabited by the Travers family. .

Near the village of Kätzis a beautiful view opens out, on the opposite side of the Rhine, up the valley of Oberhalbstein, with the snows of Mount Albula (Route 83) at the termination of the vista. The river Albula enters the Rhine between Kätzis and Thusis.

This part of the Rhine valley exhibits dismal traces of the ravages produced by the torrent Nolla, which, rising at the base of the Piz Beveren, on the W. of our route, joins the Rhine nearly at right angles to the direction of the course of that river. It is subject to very sudden swells after rain, when it rushes down, tearing up the rocks and carrying along with it beaps of stone, mud, and gravel, wbich not only overspread its own banks, but frequently block up the bed of the Rhine and cause desolating inundations. Thus a district, previously fertile and beautiful, has been in the course of a few years (since 1807) converted into a desert, and its fields either buried under stony rubbish or converted into marsh. The evil has been annually increasing for several years past, but hopes are entertained of arresting it and recovering ihe land. With this view extensive dykes are being constructed along the banks of the Rhine.,

1 3/4 Thusis-(Inn : Aigle d'Or, tolerable)-a village of 670 inhabitants, finely situated on a terrace under the Heinzenberg. Thusis, according to some, is only the word Tuscia, the country of the Tuscans, who first colonised these valleys, changed in the Romansch dialect.

Immediately on the outside of Thusis the Nolla is crossed by a handsome bridge. On the rt., at the end of the valley, appears the peak of the Piz Beveren.

Above Thusis the valley of the Rhine seems closed up by the mountains; it is only on a nearer approach that the eye discovers the opening of that singular chasm which has cleft them through, affording a passage for the river, and in modern times, by artificial means, for the road. The rt. side of this colossal portal is guarded by the castle of Realt (Rhetia Alta), standing in ihe fork between the Albula and the Rhine, and from its lofty platform, 400 st. high, looking

down upon both valleys. It is accessible only from the east : on all other sides the rock is a precipice. These mouldering ruins are traditionally reported to owe their origin to Rhætus, chief of the Etruscans, who, driven out of Italy by an invasion of the Gauls, established his stronghold on this spot B.C. 287, and transplanted into the Alps the people and language of Etruria. The ruined chapel of St. John, on a neignbouring height, is stated to have been the earliest, and for a long time the only Christian temple in the valley, where heathenism prevailed to a comparatively late period.

The VIA MALA, which commences about a mile above Thusis, and extends for a distance of more than 4 miles, is, without doubt or exaggeration, the most sublime and tremendous defile in Switzerland. It is difficult to give, with any precision, the dimensions of this gorge, which has cleft the mountains through the chine. The precipices, which often rise perpendicularly on both sides of it, are certainly in some places 1600 st. bigh, and, in many places, not more than 10 yards apart. The Rhine, compressed within this narrow, stony bed to the width of a pigmy rivulet, is barely audible as it rushes through the depths below the road.

The rocks of slate and limestone, composing the walls of the ravine, are so hard that they appear to bave suffered no disintegration from the weather; the fracture is so fresh and sharp that, were the convulsive force from below, which divided them, again called forth to unite them, it seems as though the gulf would close, and leave no aperture behind.

When the traveller enters the mouth of the defile, the sudden transition from the glare of sunshine to the gloom of a chasín. so narrow that it leaves but a strip of sky visible overhead, is exceedingly striking. The walls of rock, on both sides, afford naturally not an inch of space along which a goal's foot could clamber; and, in ancient times, this part of the pass was deemed quite inaccessible. The peasants gave it the name of the Lost Gulf (Trou perdu, Verlohrnes Loch); and, when they wanted to go from Thusis to the higher valley of Schams, they ascended the vale of the Nolla for some distance, clambering over the tops of high mountains, round the shoulder of the Piz Beveren, and descended on the opposite side at Suvers. A second road, formed in 1470, crossed the mountains as before, but dipped down, from the village of Rongella, into the depths of the Via Mala, near the first bridge; still avoiding altogether the Trou perdu. This inconvenient path, after being used for more than 300 years, was superseded by the present magnificent highway, constructed by the engineer Pocobelli. Avoiding the useless detour, and the fatiguing ascent and descent, he at once plunged into the defile, and pierced the projecting buttress of rock, which had

« 上一頁繼續 »