Imagens das páginas

into the canton, ravaging and plundering the country as they advanced. When tidings of this reached the ears of Matthias am Buhl, the lands-captain, he hastily collected a handful of shepherds, and not only checked the career of the forayers, in spite of the disproportion of numbers, but, after 11 distinct charges, aided by volleys of stones and rocks discharged from the precipices above, which threw the Austrian cavalry into confusion, finally repulsed the invaders, with a loss of 2500 of their number left dead on the field.

The anniversary of the fight of Näfels is still celebrated through the canton by an annual festival. An engagement took place at Näfels, in 1799, between the Austrians and French.

From Mollis, the village opposite Näfels, the river Linth is conducted into the lake of Wallenstadt by the artificial canal constructed by Escher (see p. 42). In the churchyard of Mollis the heroes of Näfels are buried.

The valley of the Linth is subject to much danger and injury from its sudden rises, and the swelling of its tributary torrents. The broad fringe of unsightly sand and gravel visible on both sides of the Linth, the common drain of the district, will show what mischief it occasions after storms of rain, and during the melting of the snows. The whole of the lower part of the valley is at times converted into a lake; and the little patches of ground, which have cost the peasant much hard labour and care to cultivate, are at once overwhelmed and ruined. The limestone mountains of this district abound n caverns, which serve as reservoirs for the melting glaciers. In the spring and early summer, the rocks appear to stream from every pore, while every gorge and hollow sends forth a raging torrent.

1 1/2 Glarus, or Glaris—(Inns: Aigle d'Or, not large, but comfortable; Rabe). This little village, the capital of the canton, is chiefly remarkable for its secluded situation at the base of the Glärnisch and Schilt, encompassed by the Alps, whose bare and bleak precipices and tops contrast remarkably with the milder verdure about their base. The inhabitants, 4320 in number, are distinguished by their industry and enterprise, which has converted Glarus into a place of manufactures, especially of cotton, printing of muslins, etc. They are reported to retain that simplicity of manners which their, seclusion from the rest of the world would lead one to expect.

They possess a Club (Cassino), and a Free School for 700 children, erected by private subscriptions, and refiecting much credit on the public spirit of the citizens. The houses, chiefly of stone, and many of them ancient, are frequently orpamented outside with fresco paintings; one of them bears

the figure of a knight in armour and a Turk fighting, the origin of which is not satisfactorily accounted for. The Gothic church is open to Protestant and Catholic alike. The Linth is crossed by two bridges.

The name Glarus is said to be a corruption of Hilarius, a saint to whom a shrine was built among these mountains at a very early period.

There is one manufacture peculiar to the canton Glarus, that of the green cheese, Schabzieger. It owes its peculiar appearance, smell, and flavour, to an herb (Trifolium melilotus cæruleum; blue pansy; Germ. kle), which is partly cultivated for this purpose in gardens within the canton, and partly imported from others. To fit it for use, it is dried, ground to powder, and, in that state, mixed with the curds, in the proportion of 3 sbs. of the herb to 100 lbs. of curds. The cheese is said to be made of cows' milk, like any common cheese, and not of goats'. The curds are brought down from the high pastures into the valley in sacks, and, after having a due proportion of herb incorporated with them, are ground in a mill resembling that used for making cyder. After being thoroughly kneaded by this process for an hour or two, it is fit for pressing. The cheese is ripe for use after a twelvemonth's keeping. A large quantity of it is exported. to America; and the manufacture of it is considered a lucrative trade. The natives attribute its peculiar character to some virtue in the pastures on which the cows are fed.

Many mountain paths, practicable only on foot, ramify in various directions from Glarus

1. The pass of the Pragel to Schwytz, by the Muotta-thal and the Klön-thal; the latter, a most beautiful pastoral valley, a tributary of the Linth; the finest part of it is not more than 8 miles from Glarus.-Route 75.

2 The pass of the Klausen to Altdorf.-(Described below.) 4. Passes into the Valley of the Vorder Rhine :a To Dissentis, over the Sandfirn (8999 ft.), 13 stunden. 6 To Brigels, by the Kistengrat (8650 ft.), 8 st. c To Panix, by the Panixer pass, 9, st. d To Flims, by the Segnes pass, 8 1/2 st. The most interesting excursion is that up the valley of the Linth. A good road leads along the rt. bank of the river, about 13 miles, to the village of

4 Linththal, where, in a remote spot, surrounded by torrents, rocks, and glaciers, a handsome hotel and bathing establishment, called the Baths of Stachelberg , have been built. It has greatly risen in repute as a watering-place within a few years, and on account of the exquisite beauty of its situation, and the virtues of its concentrated alkaline sulphureous spring, which distils, drop by drop, from a fissure

in the Braunberg, is much resorted to. The period of the “cure" is fixed at between 20 and 24 days. The hotel stands on the l. bank of the Linth, here crossed by a wooden bridge, and is surrounded by walks and pleasure-grounds.

Above the baths ihe vale of the Linth becomes wilder and more savage, and at length contracts into a chasm, low in the depths of which the river worms its way, while a narrow and steep path alone leads along the edge of the precipice. 5 miles up, at a spot where the gorge is deepest, a singularly bold bridge of a single arch of stone, 20 ft. long, and 200 st. above the torrent, has been thrown across it. This is the Pantenbrücke, an object of considerable romantic beauty, from the boldness of this work of man in such a scene of wild nature, and from the depth of the gulf below. It is often visited by ladies; but the excursion, though not dangerous, is fatiguing.

A waterfall considerably higher up on the Linth, above the bridge, is said to be peculiarly grand, and superior to the fall of the Fätsch, yet but little visited.

The valley of the Linth terminates in a group of magnifiçent mountains, whose tops are occupied by vast fields of never-trodden glaciers. The Dödi, or Tödiberg (12,800) is the giant of this portion of the chain of Alps. A difficult and dangerous path, practicable only in the height of summer, leads across these glaciers to Dissentis.

The Klausen pass-Stachelberg to Altdorf:-The distance is about 26 miles; the path is practicable for horses. It turns out of the valley of the Linth to the W., about a mile above the baths, and ascends the valley of the Fätsch, or Urner Boden, keeping along its I. bank. Within a mile above the junction of the Fätsch and Linth the valley belongs to canton Uri. It abounds in fine mountain pastures, and many of the inhabitants of the Schächen-thal pass their summer here among their cows. About 8 miles up, the culminating point, or Klausen pass, is reached. It is a ridge 6150 ft. high, connecting the snowy chain of the Clariden Alps on the N. with the shattered Zingel, Glatten, and Kamli. On the top stands a little chapel.

The path descends by long and steep zigzags into the Schechen thal; on the I. hand is seen the very pretty cascade of the Stäubi. Opposite the chapel of St. Anne a bergfall occurred in 1833, which arrested for some time the course of the Schächen, and produced a small lake. At the village of Unter Schächen another branch of the valley opens S., and sends forth the main stream of the Schächen. The Spitze, the mountain on the I. bank of the torrent, discharges dangerous avalanches in spring. At Spiringen and a little lower down, near the chapel of St. Anthony, there are inos, tolerably good for this country.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

It was over the steep and barely accessible ridge of the Kinzig Culm, which walls in this portion of the valley to the N., that Suwarrow's memorable retreat was conducted, 1799. Having pounced down, as it were, upon the French from the heights of the St. Gotthard, and driven them before him to Alldorf, he there found his progress barred by the lake of Lucerne, without a boat to cross it, his troops exhausted by fatigue and famine, and the country so completely drained by war as to he quite incapable of supporting them. The only alternative that remained to him, was to attempt to join the forces of the allies, through the horrible defile of the Schächen; and to cross the rarely-trodden summit of the high Alps. The only passage up this valley was by a mere path; so that his army was obliged to advance in single file, abandoning much of their artillery and baggage. Their march lasted 14 hours; and before the rear-guard had left Altdorf the van had reached Muotta Many of the Russians sank from fatigue by the wayside, and perished; others fell into the hands the French, who hovered in their rear; the valley was strewn with dead bodies of men and horses, with arms and equipments. The remainder of this memorable march is described in Route 75.

Bürglen, the birthplace of Tell, stands at the mouth of the Schächen thal. Route 31.

Altdorf, p. 131.




8 1/4 stunden = 27 Eng. miles.

The road is practicable for carriages of the country, but it is by no means good.

The Abbey of Einsiedeln, though one of the finest buildings in Switzerland, will bear no comparison with the churches of Italy, and, except on account of the pilgrims and during the season of the pilgrimage, is not worth going out of one's way to visit.

After crossing the long bridge of Rapperschwyl (Route 14) the road enters canton Schwytz, and soon commences the steep ascent of Mount Etzel, which commands from its top a delightful view over the lake of Zurich, and a glimpse of the Mythen mountains in the S. The holy hermit Meinrad, the founder of Einsiedeln, originally fixed himself on the top of the Etzel, but the concourse of people attracted to the spot by his reputation for holiness drove him in search of solitude deeper into the wilderness. A little chapel stands on the spot supposed to have been occupied by his cell. Near it is an inn.

The road is studded at intervals with chapels called stations, each containing a representation of some event in the Passion of our Lord, according to the Romish tradition, at which the pilgrims may stop and tell their beads.

The river Sihl is crossed by a covered bridge, called (Teufels brucke) the Devil's bridge, before reaching

3 3/4 EINSIEDELN (French Notre Dame des Ermites ; Lat. Monasterium Eremitarum). Inns : there are 55 inns and 20 alehouses here, mostly designed for the reception of poor pilgrims, and distinguished by a singular variety of signs. The best is the Ox, celebrated for its extortionate charges, especially during the pilgrimage; Pfau (Paon); Adam and Eve.

The Abbey of Einsiedeln, which forms the nucleus of a village of a few hundred inhabitants, is situated on a naked unHulating plain 3000 st. above the sea, producing little but pasture. It is partly sheltered by a range of wooded hills on the S. E.

The Monastery itself, an extensive building in the modern Italian style, is imposing, less from its architecture than its size and its situation in so remote and naked a solitude. The existing edifice dates from the 18th century (1719), and is the 6th or 7th raised on this spot since the first foundation of the abbey, the others having been destroyed by fire. It occupies a stately site upon the hill-side, separated from the humbler buildings of the village by a wide square.

The origin of the abbey is thus accounted for in the histories published under the authority of the monks. In the days of Charlemagne a holy anchorite named Meinrad, of the noble house of Hohenzollern, repaired to this remote wilderness (then called the Finsterwald) to end his days in solitude and prayer, devoting himself to tend a little black image of the Virgin which had been given to him by St. Hildegarde, abbess of Zurich. This holy man was murdered by two roba bers in 861; but their foul deed, which they had hoped would escape detection on a spot so remote from the haunts of men, was brought to light by two pet ravens reared by Meinrad, which pursued the murderers with croaking cries, and flapping wings, over hill and dale, as far as Zurich, where their guilt was detected, and they suffered for it on the place now occupied by the Raven inn. The reputation of sanctity, however, surrounding the spot where the saint had lived, increased so much after his death, that his cell was rebuilt, and a church founded by a community of Benediceine hermits (Einsiedlern). The first abbot was Eberard; and it is affirmed by the 'monkish legend, and perpetuated in the bull of Pope Pius VIII., that when the Bishop of Constance was about to consecrate the church on the 15th of

« AnteriorContinuar »