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previously denied all access to it, by the gallery or tunnel of ihe Verlohrne Loch, 216 ft. long, through which the road now passes. The view, looking back froin this, through the darkvista of black rock, and the fringe of firs, upon the ruined lower of Realt, and the sun-lit valley of Domleschg, is very pleasing. The grooves of the boring-rod, by which the very bard slate rock is everywhere streaked, indicate how arduous was the labour of constructing this part of the road. It was literally forcing a passage through the bowels of the earth; and the whole width of the carriage-way has been gained by blasting a notch, as it were, in the side of the mountain. For more than 1000 ft. it is carried along beneath a stone canopy, thus artificially hollowed out. The road is protected by a parapet wall, below which, at a depth of many hundred feet, the contracted Rbine frets the foot of the precipice. The road is in places steep, and fit for only one carriage to pass. A little higher up, the gorge bulges out into a sort of basin, in the midst of which stands a solitary house; but it soon contracts again, and the scenery of the pass may be said to attain the height of grandeur beyond the first of the three bridges, by means of which the road is conveyed from side to side of the Rhine.
This portion of the pass at least, should be traversed on foot; the traveller, hurrying through in his carriage, is quite incapable of appreciating its awful magnificence.
The Middle Bridge, a most striking object, from its gracesul proportions, and the boldness with which its lighi arch spans the dark and deep gull below, is approached by a second small gallery, protected by a wooden roof to ward off falling stones. Hereabouts, the losty precipices on the one side actually overhang those on the other, the direction of the chasm being oblique, and the smooth wall of rock on either side being nearly parallel, and scarcely wider apart above than below. Looking over the parapet of this bridge, the Rhine, reduced to a thread of water, is barely visible, boiling and foaming, in the depths below. Indeed, in one place, it is entirely lost to view-jammed in, as it were, between the rocks, here so slightly separated that small stones and trunks of firtrees, falling from above, have been caught in the chink, and remain suspended above the water. The ordinary height of the bridge above the river is 400 ft.; and the water, as mentioned above, is in one place invisible at ordinary times, yet, at the commencement of the fearful inundation of 1834 (already alluded to in several routes), the postmaster of Thusis, who drove up the Via Mala during the storm, found that the water had risen to within a few feet of the bridge; the roar was terrifie; and, as be drew up a lillle further on, in con
şequence of the road being destroyed, two mangled human bodies were swept past him by the flood.
The road, again, is no more than a shelf hewn out of the face of the precipice overhung by the rock, so as to be almost a subterranean passage, and the width of the defile is, in places, not more than 24 st. Near the third, or Upper Bridge, however, a fine new structure-built to replace the one swept off in 1834-it widens out, and the road emerges into the open valley of Schams (Sexamniensis, from six brooks, which fall into the Rhine from its sides), whose green meadows and neat white cottages have a pleasing effect when contrasted with the gloomy scene behind. It has, however, suffered much from the inundation of 1834, which converted the valley into a lake, destroyed a great part of the road, and ren. dered a new line necessary. The first village is Zillis; between it and Andeer, a stone, bearing the following inscription, was set up, by the road-side, on a bridge, after the completion of the great highways over the Splügen and Bernardine :-"Jam via patet hostibus et amicis. Cavete, Rhæti ! Simplicitas morum et Unio servabunt avitain libertatem.”
1 Andeer-(Inn : Post; good and cheap-bed, tea, and breakfast, cost i 1/2 fr. each. It contains mineral baths, but they are not much used. This is the chief village in Schams, and has 400 inhabitants, who, like their neighbours, are Protestants, and speak Rominansch (p. 245). Over the doors of many of the cottages, quaint verses and mottoes in that language are inscribed.
Above Andeer a very large landslip or bergfall occurred in 1835, by the giving way of a mountain, which buried the-road, and, for 16 days, cut off all communication up and down the valley. Luckily it happened in the night, so that no one was hurt.
The ruined castles, visible in the valley of Schams, have an historical interest, from being monuments of the dawn of Grison liberty. In the last half of the fourteenth century they served as the residence of bailiffs, zwingherrn, or landvoghts, dependents of the Counts of Vatz or of the Bishop of Coire, petty tyrants and oppressors of the poor-akin in character to Gessler, the victim of Tell's vengeance. At length, a peasant, of the Schamser Thal, named Jean Chaldar, exasperated at the sight of two horses which the chatelain of Fardun had turned out to graze in his field of green corn, gave vent to his anger by killing the animals. He suffered punishment for this act by being long detained prisoner in a dark dungeon. One day, after his release, the chatelain of Fardun, in passing his cottage, entered as the family were at dinner, and, when invited to partake of their humble meal, evinced his contempt by spitting in the dish. Chaldar, roused by this filthy insult,
seized the oppressor by the throat, and thrusting his head into the smoking dish, compelled him to partake of it, saying,
Malgia sez la pult cha ti has condüt"_" Eat the soup Thou hast thus seasoned.” This bold deed served as a signal for a general rising; the peasants flew to arms and the castles were stormed and burnt.
One of the first that sell was Bärenburg, which is passed on the l, of the road after quitting Andeer. As soon as the road has crossed the mouth of the Val Ferrera and the stream of the Aversa, it begins to mount in zigzags into the gorge of the Rofla, which closes up the s. end of th oval yale of Schams, as the Via Mala does ibe N. Its scenery, though fine, is vastly inferior to the lower pass. The Rhine here descends in a cataract, called the fall of the Rofla. It does not rank as a first-rate waterfall, but the scenery around is picturesque—the sides of the valley being thickly wooded, and the river studded by saw-mills, where the timber of the neighbouring forests is sawn into planks. A timber-slide, similar to that of Alpnach (Route 19), was constructed to convey the trees to the borders of the Rhine.
The oldest mule-path, which traversed this valley to Coire, crossed the river by a wooden bridge, still standing, 10 Suvers, where it began painfully to ascend the mountains, and proceeded along the high ground to descend again at Thusis.
The new road leaves the bridge on one side, traverses a small gallery cut in the rock, then crosses to the 1. bank of the Rhine, and soon reaches
1 Splügen (Ital. Spluga)--(Inn: Post; very good, and not dear: the landlady is French, and prides herself on her cuisine). This little village is situated on the Rhine, at the point of departure of the two alpine passes of the Splügen and Bernardin, at a height of 4430 ft. above the sea. It suffered most severely from the flood of 1834, which swept away more than a dozen houses, in some of which the owners had been seated at their evening meal not an hour before. Five human beings perished by this catastrophe, the effects of which were still painfully visible in 1837. The covered bridge over the Rhine escaped almost by a miracle; that over the Serända was soon annihilated.
Splügen is the chief place in the desolate pastoral vale of the Rheinwald, and anciently belonged to the lords of Sax, in the vale of Misocco, on the S. slope of the Bernardine, but it afterwards joined the Grey League.
The atmosphere is very chilly here, and barley barely ripens.
The village prospers by the constant passage of goods and travellers to and from Italy. In autumn it is thronged with
drovers; large herds of calllc and many horses then cross the Alps for the Milan market.
An excursion may be made from Splügen to the source of the Hinter-Rhein. It will occupy 5 hours—2 along the postroad, 2 on horseback, and 1 on foot : it is described in the Bernardine Route, p. 300.
PASS OF THE SPLÜGEN, - FROM SPLÜGEN TO CHIAVENNA AND
THE LAKE OF COMO.
To Colico 5 posts = 44 3/4 English miles. A diligence goes twice a-week over the Splügen to Milan. With post horses it takes 7 1/2 hours to go froin Splügen lo Chiavenna, including stoppages.
N.B. Without an Austrian Minister's signature on the passport the frontier cannot be passed, and the traveller unprovided with it, will inevitably be turned back on the summit of the mountain. A toll of 15 balz is paid for 2 horses, between Splügen and the Austrian frontier.
The Splügen road, turning to the 1. from the village of that name (p. 292) crosses the narrow wooden bridge over the Rhine, and quitting the river, begins at once to ascend. It is carried up the valley of the Oberhausen-bach, a small torrent which joins the Rhine at Splügen, by an entirely new line, the old one having been demolished by the disastrous tempest of 1834. Indeed this little valley presents one sweep of desolation; road and bridges having been entirely carried away, and enormous piles of broken rocks spread over its sides and bottom. The new line, however, on this side of the mountain, constructed by a Swiss engineer, employed by the canton of the Grisons, is, in every respect, a great improvement upon the old one. A little way above Splügen it is carried through a lunnel, 80 metres long, supported by a Gothic arch.
After surmounting the district of fir forests by an almost uninterrupted slope, the road reaches the summit of the pass, 6500 ft. above the sea, by means of 16 skilfully conducted zigzags, by which the face of the mountain is scaled. Along this narrow ridge, which is 4 3/4 miles from Splügen, and more than 1800 feet above it, runs the boundary line of Switzerland and of Lombardy. Almost immediately after surmounting it the road begins to descend. Upon this slope lies the first cantonièra, or house of refuge; and, lower down, a series of tourniquets conduct to the
Austrian Custom-house, and Passport-office-a group of buildings, including several very common taverns for the entertainment of travellers. Here passports are examined and
luggage searched, and the traveller must often reckon upon no inconsiderable delay, especially if he arrives between 12 and 2, the douanier's dinner-hour. The custom-house stands at one end of a sort of oval basin, surrounded by lofty mountain peaks, among which, on the rt., of the road, rises that of the Splügen, and the glaciers which feed the rivers running towards Italy. It is a scene of extreme desolation; not a shrub of any kind grows here ; no vegetation is seen but lichen, mosses, and a little coarse grass. The snow often reaches up to the windows of the first story of the houses.
The route of the Splügen was completed by the Austrian Government in 1823, to counteract the new Swiss road over the Bernardin, which, had the Splügen been allowed to remain in its original condition, would have withdrawn from it all the traffic into Italy. The engineer employed in this undertaking was the Chevalier Donegani. The old road, a mere bridle-path, proceeded from this elevated valley, or basin, direct to the village of Isola, through the defile of the Cardinel, a most perilous spot, from its dire and constant exposure to falling avalanches.
The French army of Marshal Macdonald, who crossed the Splügen between the 27th November and 4th December, 1800, long before the new road was begun, in the face of snow and storm, and other almost insurmountable obstacles, lost nearly 100 men and as many horses, chiefly in the passage of the Cardinell. His columns were literally cut through by the falling avalanches, and man and beast swept over to certain annihilation in the abyss below. The carriage-road very properly avoids the gorge of the Cardinell altogether, but the way to it turns of from the second wooden bridge erossed on quitting the custom-house.
Near the scattered hamlet Teginate, the descent re-commences, and soon after the road is carried through the first great gallery more than 700 feet long, 15 feet high and wide, followed by a second, 612 feet long, and, after a short interval, by a third, 1530 feet long. These galleries, the longest on any Alpine high road, are constructed of the most solid masonry, arched with roofs, sloping outwards, lo turn aside the snow, supported on pillars or low windows like the embrasures of a þallery. They were rendered necessary to protect this portion of the road from falling avalanches which habitualy descend the face of the mountains, and which, if not warded off, would have swept away the road the first year after it was made.
From ihe entrance of the second gallery there is a most striking view down upon the roof of the houses of Isola, and the long line of zigzags, abandoned since 1838, by which the traveller originally descended to Chiavenna. 'Ai the village of Pianazzo, a cluster of pitch-coloured hovels, the new line,