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41/4 Lauffenburg-a town of 900 inhabitants, connected by a wooden bridge with Klein Lauffenburg, on the rt. bank of the Rhine. The river is here interrupted by more rapids and falls, in German called Lauffen, whence the name of the place. Small boats descending the stream can only pass them by unloading their cargoes above, and being let down gradually by stout ropes, held by men stationed on the bank. The road here, crossing the Rhine, enters Baden and proceeds along the rt. bank to
2 3/4 Waldshut, a walled town of 1000 inhabitants, on the skirts of the Black Forest.
A mile above this, near a small village called Coblenz (ConAuentia), the Rhine is joined by the Aar. At Waldshut our road turns away from the Rhine, and proceeds by Thiengen and Erzingen to
5 1/4 Neunkirch, a Swiss village, in the canton of Schaffhausen.
2 1/2 SCHAFFHAUSEN. Route 7.
BASLE TO SOLEURE, THE WEISSENSTEIN, AND BIENNE, BY THE OBER HAUENSTEIN.
To Soleure 12 stunden=39 1/4 English miles; thence to Bienne 3 3/4 stunde.
The road, on quitting Bâle, crosses the river Birs, and proceeds along the I. bank of the Rhine till within a short distance of Augst (p. 10). where it turns S. to
3 Liesthal-Inns: Schlüssel (la Clé);-Baselstab.
Chief town of the division of the canton distinguished as Bâle Campagne (Basel Landschaft), which, having revolted from the town of Bale after the July revolution, was separated from it by an act of the Diet in 1832, though the two divisions are still regarded in the Diet but as one estate. Bâle Campagne includes 53 parishes, with about 36,000 inhabitants, or about four-fifths of the canton. Liesthal contains 2170 inhabitants, and since the Revolution has been hurriedly fitted up with the apparatus of government, a "kanzley," or chancery, an arsenal, a prison, two gens d'armes, and three sentry-boxes. The pretty and smiling valley of the Ergolz, in which it is situated, was the scene of a shocking massacre in 1833 (August 3). In consequence of the aggressions of the country people the inhabitants of Bâle town were compelled to march against them a force of about 1500 men, chiefly citizens, merchants, and shopkeepers, little skilled in the arts of war. The countrymen, having gained, intelligence of the movement, at the instigation of a number of foreign refugees, placed themselves in ambush along the sides of a narrow defile
overlooking the high road. No sooner were the incautious townsmen completely enclosed within the snare, than a merciless fire was opened upon them by their enemies from behind rocks and bushes. They were instantly seized with a panic, became totally disorganised, and, throwing away their arms, attempted to save themselves by flight. Hemmed in, however, on all sides, they were completely exposed to the deadly aim of the rifles of their opponents, who picked off the officers and butchered indiscriminately many of the wounded and prisoners. While of the Bâle countrymen scarcely a man was touched, 70 of the townsmen, including some members of the first families of Bâle, were killed, and 200 wounded, in an affair which, from the advantages, both of numbers and position on the side of the countrymen, deserves the name of a wholesale murder rather than of a battle.
Beyond Liesthal the valley contracts and assumes a very romantic character on approaching
2 1/3 Waldenburg-a small village of 600 inhabitants, at the S. base of the Jura, and at the commencement of the ascent of the Ober-Hauenstein. On the height to the E. may be seen the ruins of the castle, destroyed in 1798.
The road over the Ober-Hauenstein, once formidable from the abruptness of the ascent, has been greatly improved, and the steepness of the slope so much diminished, that extra horses are unnecessary except for very heavily laden carriages. A gradual ascent, easily surmounted in an hour, leads to the summit. A heavy toll, amounting to 21 batz for a carriage with two horses, is paid on crossing it. On this account the Swiss voituriers generally avoid this road. The correction which the road has undergone carries it through the village of Holderbank, lower down than the ancient route, which passed over the crest of the mountain. Down to the end of the last century so steep was the old road that loaded waggons were drawn up on one side and let down the other with a rope and windlass.
2 Ballsthal (Inns: Rössli(horse) Löwe;)-a village at the S. foot of the Hauenstein. Above it, and over the road, tower the imposing ruins of the Castle of Falkenstein; it rises midway between the two roads to Båle, by the Hauenstein and Passwang, which both unite here. This position gave to its ancient owners the power of levying black-mail upon each of these passes. It belonged at one time to Rudolph von Wart, who was broken on the wheel for his share in the murder of the Emperor Albert, and was consoled in his agony by the presence and fortitude of his wife. (See Route 6.) The castle was destroyed by the men of Basle, because a waggon, laden with saffron, belonging to their merchants, had been pillaged by the lords of Falkenstein.
Bellow Ballsthal the road traverses the singular and romantic defile of Klus, a rent which severs the Jura chain from top to bottom. It derives its name from having been closed (clausus) in ancient times by gate and wall. It is of much importance, in a military point of view, as one of the main portals into Switzerland. In the middle ages it was commanded by 3 castles; that of Neu Falkenstein at its N. entrance, on the E. by the Bechburg, and on the S. by the Blauenstein, whose owners constituted themselves into tollgatherers, levying taxes on their own behalf from all who passed. At the N. of the pass stands the village of Klus, with its iron furnaces, in which the pea-like iron ore (bohnerz), so common in the Jura, is smelted. Near Klus the traveller is greeted by a fine view of the snowy chain of the Alps. The Castle of Blauenstein was built in the 12th century, by the Counts of Falkenstein, a powerful family, from which many Swiss abbots and other ecclesiastical dignitaries proceeded, while the main branch followed the profession of robber-knights. It was one of these Falkensteins who burnt the town of Brugg. The pass terminates below the small village of Aussere Klus, and the road descends into the valley of the Aar.
SOLEURE.-(Germ.Solothurn).-Inn: Couronne: the best,
but not very clean.
The capital of the canton is prettily situated on the Aar, at the foot of the Jura range, and has 4250 inhabitants. In the middle of the 17th century it was surrounded by fortifications of great extent, which took 60 years to complete, and consumed vast sums of money. In 1835 the removal of these costly and useless works was decreed by the Great Council of the canton, and they have already, in part, been levelled. It is on the whole a dull town, with little trade and few manufactures. The following obects are most worth notice.
At the end of the principal street, approached by a flight of steps, flanked by fountains, stands the Cathedral of St. Ursus (a soldier of the Theban legion), a modern building of Italian architecture, finished 1773; distinguished by its size, and on the whole handsome.
The clock tower (Zeitglockenthurm), in the market-place (a continuation of the same street), is stated by the guide books to bes a Roman work, while a German inscription upon it attributes its foundation to a period 500 years earlier than the birth of Christ; but it owes its origin in reality to the Burgundian kings. It is square in form, and constructed of the most solid masonry, rough outside, without window or other opening, for 80 feet. If we are to believe the two Latin verses on the front of this building, Soleure is the most ancient city in N.W. Europe except Treves.
In Celtis nihil est Solodoro antiquius, unis,
The Arsenal (Zeughaus), not far from the Cathedral,. contains the most extensive and curious collection, of ancientarmour in Switzerland. Here are shown several standards, said to have been taken by the Swiss in their victories over the Burgundians and Austrians. Those, however, attributed to Morat and Sempach prove, on examination, to be nothing but pieces of coarse canvass, painted on one side; the yellow flag with the Austrian eagle, said to have been brought from Dornach, is probably genuine. Among 600 or 800 suits of armour are many said to be French and Burgundian. Several specimens of wall pieces, or long swivels, for the defence of a fortress, are curious. Some of the armour is for sale.
The Museum, close to the bridge over the Aar, contains a collection of Jura fossils, chiefly from quarries near Soleure, which will be viewed with great interest by the geologist. There are nearly 30 specimens of fossil turtle, rarely found elsewhere, together with teeth and palates of fish, and numerous fragments of saurians. A suite of specimens of the rocks of the Alps were collected in numerous journeys by Professor Hugi, to whom belongs the merit of forming and arranging this cabinet.
The Ambassador of France to the Swiss Confederation resided here until the French Revolution: his hotel is converted into a barrack. The Catholic Bishop of Bâle lives here. The elergy are numerous and powerful, both in the town and canton. There are several convents at Soleure. The sisters of St. Joseph's Nunnery, outside the Berne gate, make artificial flowers, sweetmeats, and other articles, which they sell at the grating. Their pincushions are clumsy, and themselves not very interesting.
Thaddeus Kosciusko, the Pole, spent the last years of his life here; his house, in which he died, is next door to the Post-office, No. 5, Gurzelengasse. His entrails are interred in the church-yard of Zuchwyl, a mile distant on the opposite side of the Aar, under a stone inscribed "Viscera Thaddei Kosciuszko."
About two miles N. of Soleure, beyond the village of St. Nicholas, lies the chapel and Hermitage of St. Verena, at the extremity of a pretty valley, hemmed in by rocks, embowered in trees and traversed by a sparkling rivulet. It is rendered accessible by paths, originally formed by the French emigrés, who, at the outbreak of the French Revolution, sought an asylum here, to the number of many hundred, under the guidance of M. de Breteuil. The valley abounds in caves and grottoes, partly natural, partly artificial,
and at its further extremity, within a natural shelf of overarching cliff, stands the little Chapel of St. Verena; behind the altar a small cave has been cut in the rock, and now contains a representation of the only sepulchre. This saint, a pious maiden who accompanied the Theban legion, suffered severe temptation in this solitude, according to the legend, from the devil, who, on one occasion, was on the point of carrying her off, when she saved herself by clinging fast to a small hole in the rock, which still remains. On the way to the hermitage, near the church of St. Nicholas, the Chateau of Waldegy is passed; its old-fashioned gardens, laidout in terraces, are worth notice.
The Weissenstein.-The most interesting excursion, however, in the neighbourhood of Soleure, is that to the summit of the Weissenstein (Whiterock, probably named from its white cliffs of limestone), the mountain immediately behind the town. The distance is about 8 miles, and the time occupied in the ascent 3 hours. The mountain is made accessible for chars-à-banc, by a road somewhat steep, passing through the villages Langendorf and Oberdorf, behind which it is carried up the face of the mountain in a series of zigzags.
A char-à-banc, drawn by 2 horses, may be hired at the Couronne, in Soleure, for 10 or 12 Swiss francs, to go and return. If it be detained on the mountain for the night, 2 francs extra are paid. Pedestrians may find a short cut, and reach the top easily in 2 1/2 hours; they may visit the Hermitage of St. Verena in their way to or fro.
A Hotel and Bath-house has been built at the expense of the town on the brow of the mountain, 3950 feet above the sea level, and 2640 above the Aar, at Soleure. It furnishes about 30 beds, and the accommodation, though homely, is good. The charges are-for dinner at table d'hôte, without wine, 1 fr. 20 rap.; supper 1 fr. bs.; breakfast of tea or coffee alone, 50 rp.; beds from 8 to 10 batz.
The dairy of the establishment is supplied by 60 cows, fed on the pasture on the summit of the mountain, so that milk and cream may be had here in perfection.
Many invalids take up their residence here during the summer months on account of the fresh air, or for the cure de petit lait" (goat's whey ), etc., which is recommended in certain complaints. The daily charge for those who remain here more tham a week "en pension," is 6 F. francs.
The greater portion of visitors, however, resort hither merely on account of the view, remaining on the summit one night to enjoy the sunset and sunrise.
The Inn of the Weissenstein, and the still more elevated summit of the mountain, called Rothi-flue, 2 miles to the E. of it, command one of the finest distant prospects of the Alps