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Septimer are situated the sources of the Maira and the Oberhalbstein Rbine, and out of a small lake on its E. declivity. on the confines of the Maloja, the River Inn rises out of the small lake called Lago di Lugni. Thus, one single mountain distributes its rills between the 3 great seas wbich bathe the continent of Europe.
There has been a tolerable carriage-road over the Maloja, or Maloggia, Pass ever since 1823, but as the approaches to it, until very lately, were barely passable for the rudest kind of cart, it has been hitherto of little utility. The summit level is 6270 st. high. A little way down the E. side of the ridge, the road falls in with the infant Inn (called Acqua d'Oen) here a mere torrent which hastens to pour itself into the lake of Sils, a picturesque mountain basin, extending as far as
2 1/4 Sils, the highest village of the Engadine. The most conspicuous building here is the villa of a chocolate manufacturer, named Josti, a native of Davos, who, having quitted Switzerland a beggar, made a large fortune in one of the capitals of N. Germany, a part of which he expended on this huge and unprofitable structure.
The lake of Sils is succeeded by two other small lakes of Silva Plana, and of Campfeer, through both of which the Inn passes. At Silva Plana the Julier road (Route 82), enters. the Engadine. About 3 miles lower down stands
1 3/4 St. Mauritz. Route 82.
PASS OF THE BERNARDIN, SPLÜGEN TO BELLINZONA.
5 1/4 posts = 45 1/2 Eng. miles.
The road over the Bernardin was constructed in 1822, under the direction of the engineer Pocobelli, at the joint expense of the Sardinian and Grison governments. About 6-7ths of the sum required was advanced by the King of Sardinia, who duly appreciated the advantages to his dominions to be derived from a highway, which should connect by a direct line, the port of Genoa, and the capital of Turin, with Switzerland and W.Germany,
The road, leaving the bridge of Splügen on the I., advances up the valley of Hinter-Rhein, whose stern and barren features have less of beauty than of wildness, along the l. bank of the Rhine through Nüfenen, a distance of about 9 miles, to
1 Hinterrhein--(Inn: Post)-- the highest village in the valley, 170 st. above Splügen, an elevation at which no grain but barley grows.
A multitude of streamlets trickle down from the crevices in the surrounding mountains, where deep snow rests almost all the year round, to feed the infant Rhine. But the Source of the Rhine lies about 10 miles higher up the valley, half of wbich distance can be performed on horseback, the rest on suot; the latter part of the walk especially, is difficult and fatiguing, and the assistance of a guide is necessary to find the way. The river takes its rise at the very extremity of this frost-bound valley, from beneath a glacier ironically called Paradies, situated between the Moschal Horn and the Piz Val-Rhein, or Vogelberg (10,300 ft.), two of the highest mountains in the Grison range, forming part of the group called Monte Adula. At the end of about 4 miles the path begins to ascend, and is soon lost in crossing steep slopes covered with debris of rock, so that a previous knowledge of the direction will alone enable the traveller to reach the source. After skirting along the sides of a savage ravine called Hölle a steep descent leads down to the fountain head, in the glacier, which is sometimes hollowed out into a magnificent dome or cavern.
The road over the Bernardin bids adieu to the Rhine at Hinter-Rhein, crossing it by a stone bridge, the first which spans its current, after which it immediately begins to ascend, breasting the steep slope of the mountain by sixteen zigzags; many of its turnings are very abrupt.
A striking view opens out on the ri. over the head of the Rhine valley and the glaciers whence it bursts forth. On the rt. of the road rises the gigantic mass of the MoschelHorn. and on thel. the black peak of the Mittag-Horn overhangs the pass.
This passage over the Alps is said to have been known to the Romans; it was called the Vogelberg down to the beginning of the fifteenth century, when a pious missionary, St. Bernardin of Sienna, preached the gospel through these remote Alpine valleys, and a chapel dedicated to him, on the S. side of the mountain, gave rise to the name which it still retains. It was traversed in March, 1799, by the French army of Lecourbe, at a season when winter still reigns on these elevations, and before the mountain possessed any other road than a miserable mule-path.
The summit of the pass, about 7100 ft. above the sea, and nearly 2000 above the village of Splügen, is partly occupied by a lake called Lago Moesola, the source of the Moesa, along whose margin the road runs. At this point a very substantial but homely inn, or house of refuge, has been erected.
A little way down the S. slope of the mountain the Moesa is crossed by a handsome bridge of a single arch, 110 st.above the river, named after Victor Emanuel, King of Sardinia,
of vegetation, and the magnificent forms of the mountains around, complete the grandeur of the picture.
1 Bellinzona (Germ : Bellenz)-(Inns : Aquila d'Oro, toJerable; Cerva, stag; Biscia, serpent : none very good or clean.)
Bellinzona, situated on the 1. bank of the Ticino, and containing 1520 inhabitants, is one of the 3 chief towns of the Canton Tessin, and becomes the seat of government alternately with Lugano and Locarno, for 6 years together. It has all the character of an Italian town in its narrow and dirty streets, and in the arcades which run under its houses. It stretches all across the valley to the river, so that the only passage up or down lies through its gates. It is still a place of some commercial importance as an entrepôt for the merchandise of Germany and Italy, and from its situation at the point of union of 4 roads-from the St. Gotthard, the Bernardin, from Lugano, and from Locarno on the Lago Maggiore. In ancient times, however, it was of still greater military consequence, as the key of the passage from Lombardy into Germany, and defended as it was by 3 forts and high walls, it must have been a place of great strength. It became the fruitful cause of intrigue, contest, and bloodshed between the crafty Italians and the encroaching Swiss. The latter first obtained possession of it, and of the Val Levantine, by a nominal bargain, of 2400 florins paid to the Lord of Masox, and they obtained from the Emperor Sigismond a confirmation of their title. The Duke of Milan, Phillip Maria Visconti, whose ancestors had lost this territory, by no means acquiesced in this transfer, and, seizing a favourable opportunity, surprised the Swiss garrison of Bellinzona by a Milanese force under Della Pergola, and took. possession of the town and valley. It was this event which led to the battle of Arbedo, in which the Swiss received so severe a check. They afterwards twice gained possession of Bellinzona and its subject valleys by hard-fighting, “ by the help of God and their halberts,” as they boastingly proclaimed, first from the Duke of Milan, and next from the French, who, in the reign of Louis XII, obtained temporary possession of these valleys.
From the beginning of the 16th to the end of the 18th century the Swiss maintained uninterrupted possession of Bellinzona, governing its territory, as a state subject to the cantons, with a rule as tyrannic as that of the absolute Dukes of Milan, their predecessors.
The three picturesque Castles which still seem to domineer over the town, though partly in ruins, were the residence of the 3 Swiss bailiffs deputed to govern the district, and were occupied by a garrison and armed with some pieces of cannon. The largest, called Castello Grande, on an isolated bill to
the W. of the town, belonged to canton Uri, and now serves as an arsenal and prison. Or the two castles on the E. the lewer one, Castello di Mezzo, belonged to canton Schwytz, and the highest of all, Castello Corbario, to Unterwalden; they are both unoccupied. The view from Castello Grande is very striking. A long bridge is here thrown over the river Ticino, which, however, in summer is shrunk 10 3 or 4. of the arches. The banks are guarded against sudden inundations by a strong dyke called Tondo Ripario, constructed by the French under Francis I.
There remains little else to particularise here. The principal Church, in the square, is a handsome modern building faced with white marble, and has a pulpit ornamented with historical bas-reliefs. There are several convents here. The Church of S. Biaggio (St. Blaize), in the suburb Ravecchia, outside the Lugano gate, is said to be very ancient.
From Bellinzona the traveller has the choice of two roads to Milan : by the Lago Maggiore (Route 91) or by the Lago Lugano (Route 92).
The steamer on the Lago Maggiore departs from Magadino, the port of embarkation, 8 miles S. of Bellinzona, about 5 o'clock in the morning in summer, returning from Sesto in the evening.
BELLISZONA TO NAGADINO AND LOCARNO, ON THE LAGO
Ital. miles. Swiss stund.
Eng. m. To Magadino, 8
9 1/4 To Locarno, 11
12 1/4 The lower part of the valley of the Ticino, between Bellinzona and the lake, is a broad plain, from which the mounlains recede to a considerable distance, but still give grandeur to the landscape. The country is highly cultivated, the slopes covered with vineyards, but the bottom becomes marsby lower down, and is therefore unhealthy.
There is a road practicable for carriages on both sides of the Ticino; that on the 1, is the most direct to Magadino.
On quitting Bellinzona, by the Lugano gale the dry bed of a torrent called Dragonaia is passed. As its name would imply, it is at times a great scourge; it carried off in 1768 the Franciscan convent outside the towni, and threatens similar injury.
There are many country-houses on the outskirts; and high upon the slopes of the hills are numerous buildings, now deserted, to which in ancient times the natives of Bellinzona used to resort for safety, when the plague was raging in the
town. Al Cadenazzo the road to Lugano, over the Monte Cenere (Roule 92.) turns to the E. out of our route.
Magadino. (Inn: Hotel Il Vapore, said to be good ; but the situation has the reputation of being unhealthy, owing to the neighbourhood of the marshes of the Ticino and the prevalence of malaria—a suflicient reason to make a traveller cautious in taking up his quarters here for the night. S 12.)
This little village was not long ago a small group of houses ; but it has gained some importance of late, to the prejudice of its neighbour Locarno, as the port of the Lago Maggiore, at whose N. extremity it lies, and as the station of the steamboats.
The steamer Verbano sets out in summer from Magadino every morning between 5 and 6, touches at the principal places on the W. shore of the lake, and reaches Sesto Calende about 12. It sets off to return at 1. The fare for Ibe entire voyage is 6 fr., 40 fr. for a landau, and 30 fr. for a calèche.
The road from Bellinzona to Locarno crosses the Ticino by the long bridge completed in 1815, in the place of one carried away by the fearful inundation of 1515, which did so much injury to the whole valley (p. 142 ). The road runs along the rt. bank. It passes under the Monte Carasso, and commands a good view of the opposite mountains, including the Monte Cenere, and up the valley over the romantic town of Bellinzona to the snowy Alps lowering behind it. The low ground through which the now almost stagnant Ticino winds, being very marshy, is not so pleasing a feature, and the exhalations from it are unwholesome. At the bridge of Sementida a torrent, issuing out of a ravine on the rt., forms a pretty waterfall. In 1829 this stream, swelled with sudden rains, desolated the land around its mouth, and carried away the bridge. According to the superstitious notions of the peasantry, the upper part of this wild gorge is haunted by the ghosts of misers, who there do penance after death for their exactions from the poor while living. The latter part of the route, after crossing the torrent Verzasca as it winds along the W. shore of the lake, is splendid beyond description.
3 2/3 Locarno (Germ. Luggarus.)-(Inns : Albergo Suizzero; Il Gallo.) This is one of the three capitals of canton Tessin ; it has 1700 inbabitants, and is said to have once contained twice as many, but has decayed since the 15th century in population and prosperity. It is beautifully situated on the margin of the lake, on which it has a little port, at the foot of the hill surmounted by the church of Madonna del Sasso, and at the entrance of the converging valleys of Val Verasta, Maggia, Onsernone, and Centovalle, the last a primitive district scarcely ever visited by travellers. The climate, the