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The attack upon Stanztad was conducted by the celebrated General Foy, afterwards so prominent a leader of the liberal party in France. That unfortunate village was totally consumed.
The distance from Stanz to Engelberg is about 13 miles. The road follows the course of the Aa upwards, gradually ascending, and passing Wolfenschiess with its ruined castle, and Grafenort, where there is a small inn. Beyond this the valley contracts. The road is carried up a steep ascent nearly 6 miles long, traversing thick woods amidst scenery of the highest sublimity. In the midst of it, in the depth of the valley lies the village and Abbey of Engelberg- Inns : Engel; Rössli.-3220 feet above the sea. It is hemmed in on all sides by lofty mountains topped with snow, and based by precipices, from which, in winter time, and in spring, numerous avalanches are precipitated. At their base, upon a verdant slope, contrasting agreeably with rock and snow, the Benedictine Abbey rises conspicuous among the ordinary habitations of the village. It was founded in 1120, and received from Pope Calixtus II. the name of Mons Angelorum, from a tradition that the site of the building was fixed by angels
"Whose authentic lay,
Sung from that heavenly ground, in middle air,
Having been three times destroyed by fire, the existing edifice is not older than the middle of the last century. "The architecture is unimpressive, but the situation is worthy of the honours which the imagination of the mountaineers has conferred upon it." The convent is independent of any bishop or sovereign but the Pope himself, or his legate its revenues, once more considerable, were seriously diminished by the French, but it still possesses valuable alpine pastures, and the cheeses produced on them are stored in an adjacent warehouse. It contains, at present, only 19 brothers it has. a large Church and a Library of some value; the roof of the apartment in which it is placed has been cracked by an earthquake. Travellers are received and entertained in the convent-those of the poorer classes gratuitously.
The Titlis, the chief of the mountains which overhang this romantic solitude, rises on the S. of the convent to a height of 7530 ft. above the valley, and 10,570 ft. above the sea-level. Its principal peak, the Nollen, composed of limestone, is said to be visible (?) from Strasburg it is frequently ascended, and without danger. It is covered with glaciers, 175 feet
thick, from which numerous avalanches fall, in spring, with a roar like thunder.
The difficult pass of the Jöchli (6714 ft.) leads directly from Engelberg, W., into the Melchthal.
From Engelberg to Altdorf, by the Pass of the Surenen, is a fatiguing journey of 9 hours, about 29 miles. The foolpath reaches, after about 3 miles, the dairy belonging to the convent, called Herrenrüti, where good cheese is made: 50 cows are attached to it; the pastures are refreshed by more than 20 springs rising upon them. From the steep sides of the Hahnenberg, on the N. E., a beautiful water-fall bursts. forth, called Dätschbach. The path now winds round the base of a projecting mountain, beyond which the valley makes. a bend in a N. E. direction, and, following the course of the Aa for about 6 miles, crosses it, and then turns nearly due E.
The Stierenbach, the principal feeder of that stream, is now seen descending in a pretty cascade into the deep abyss. Half an hour's walk below the summit stand a few chalets, and beyond them the traveller has to make his way across a field of perpetual snow, to the summit of the pass, or Sureneck, a narrow ridge not more than 5 ft. wide, between the Blakenstock on the 1. and the Schlossberg on the rt., 7220 ft. above the sea. During the greater part of the ascent the Titlis shines forth an object of the greatest magnificence, and a long line of peaks and glaciers extend from it uninterruptedly to the Surenen. Another view now opens out on the opposite side into the valleys of Maderan and Schächen, and is bounded in the extreme distance by the snowy top of the Glärnish in Canton Glarus. On the side of the Surenen, lying within the limits of Canton Uri, the surface of snow to bel crossed is greater, and the descent is steeper, Traversing the snow, and a desolate tract covered with broken rocks. beyond, the chalets of Waldnacht are passed; and then, by the frightful gorge of Boghy, the path is conducted into the valley of the Reuss, forking off on the rt. to Erstfeld, for those who wish to ascend the St. Gotthard-and on the 1. to Attinghausen, for those who are bound to Altdorf.
In 1799, a division of the French army, under Lecourbe, crossed this pass with cannon to attack the Austrians in the valley of the Reuss, but were soon driven back the same way by the impetuous descent of Suwarrow from the St. Gotthard.
Altdorf. (See Route 34, p. 131.)
PASS OF THE SUSTEN, FROM MEYRINGEN TO WASEN.
12 stunden 39 1/4 English miles.
In 1811, when the Vallais was added by Napoleon to the French empire, a char-road was constructed from Meyringen to Stein, and on the side of Canton Uri from Wasen to Ferningen, to enable the inhabitants of Canton Bern to convey their produce into Italy through the Swiss territory; but now that circumstances are altered, it has fallen out of repair in many places, and can only be regarded as a bridle-path. The word Sust means toll or custom-house, whence the name. The route of the Grimsel is followed from Meyringen as far as Im-Hof (p. 116), where, quitting the side of the Aar, the path follows the course of the Gadmen, ascending the valley called, at its lower extremity, Muhli-thal, higher up Nesselthal; and beyond the village of
4 1/4 Gad men, Gadmenthal. This village contains 550 inhabitants. The inn, a very sorry one, is at Obermatt, 3/4 of a mile higher up. The char-road was not carried further than the chalets of Stein, and a portion of it was destroyed a few years ago by the sudden advance of the glacier of Stein, which was originally a mile distant from it, descending from a valley on the S. The appearance of the glacier is remarkable, as it assumes a fan shape at its termination. A steep ascent of 1 3/4 hour brings the traveller to the top of the Susten Pass, 6980 feet above the level of the Mediterranean. The view is very fine; the serrated ridges and the manypointed peaks of the mountains bounding the Mayenthal, through which the descent lies, especially arrest the atten tion. There is always some snow on the east declivity of the pass. The first chalets are met with on the Hundsalp. The stream is crossed several times, until at the Hauserbrücke, a considerable distance below Ferningen, the unfinished char-road again commences. Lower down is the village of Meyen. Most of the houses of this valley, which numbers but 400 inhabitants, are protected from the descending avalanches by a stone dyke, or well-propped palisade of wood raised on the hill side behind them, to turn away the falling snow from their roofs. Near the junction of the valleys of the Mayen and the Reuss are shattered remains of an hexagonal redoubt (schanze), which was fortified by the Austrians in 1799, and stormed and taken from them by the French, under Loison, who forced the enemy back up the vale of the Reuss, and, after five assaults, made himself master of Wasen, an important point. A very steep and rough road leads
down from this into the village Wasen, on the St. Gotthard (p. 133).
THE PASS OF ST. GOTTHARD, FROM FLUELEN, ON THE LAKE OF LUCERNE, TO BELLINZONA.
23 stunden: 75 1/2 English miles.
A posting establishment, not on a very perfect footing, has been set on foot by a number of private individuals, chiefly innkeepers, in the Canton Tessin, or Ticino. Their tariff is 3 Fr. francs for each horse per post, and 50 centimes to the postilion; and the distances are laid down as follow :
Hospital, is calculated as 4 posts.
1 1/2 St. Gotthard.
2 1/2 Bellinzona.
3 1/2 Lugano.
Relays are kept only on the Italian side, and as far as Hospital.
N.B. The above tariff was valid in 1834; since that time it may possibly have been altered.
This was anciently perhaps the most frequented passage over the Alps, as it offered the most direct and practicable line of communication between Basle and Zurich, from Northern Switzerland and W. Germany, to Lombardy, and the important cities of Milan and Genoa. Not less than 16,000 travellers and 9000 horses crossed it annually on an average, down to the commencement of the present century; but being only a bridle-path it was almost entirely abandoned after the construction of the carriage-roads over the Simplon and Bernardin. Deprived of the traffic across it, the inhabitants of the villages traversed by the road, chiefly innkeepers and muleteers, were reduced to ruin, and the revenues of the canton, which before drew 20,000 florins annually from the tolls upon it, were seriously diminished. The cantons of Uri and Tessin, through which this road runs, at length became sufficiently alive to their own interests to perceive the necessity of converting it into a carriage-road, and thus rendering it fit to compete with the rival routes as a channel of communication and of transport for merchandise. In consequence, in 1820, the work was begun, and in 1832 finally completed and opened. The expenses were defrayed by a joint-stock_company, formed in Uri and the neighbouring cantons. The construction of the road was intrusted to an engineer of Altdorf, named Müller.
The poverty-stricken canton of Uri had scraped together, with great difficulty, funds sufficient to execute her portion of the undertaking, but a storm, such as had not been known
upon which Gessler's cap was stuck, for all men to do obeisance to it as they passed, and to which the child was bound, to serve as a mark for his father's bolt, existed, a withered trunk, down to 1567, when it was cut down and replaced by the other fountain.
The tall tower, ornamented with rude frescos, representing Tell and Gessler, has been stated erroneously by some writers to occupy the site of the lime-tree; but it is proved by records, still in existence, to have been built before the time of Tell.
On quitting Altdorf the road crosses the mouth of the vale of Schächen, traversing, by a bridge, the stream in which, according to tradition, William Tell lost his life (1350) in endeavouring to rescue a child from its waters swollen by an inundation. Hewas a native of the Schächenthal, having been born in the village of Bürglen, a little to the 1. of our road. A small Chapel still standing, rudely painted with the events of his life, was built in 1522 on the spot where his house stood, near the churchyard. The inhabitants of this valley are considered the finest race of men in Switzerland. A path runs up it, and across the Klausen Pass (Route 72), to the baths of Stachelberg, in Canton Glarus, and another over the Kinzig Culm, into the Muotta Thal.
On the 1. bank of the Reuss, opposite its junction with the Schächen, stands Attinghausen, the birth-place of Walter Fürst, one of the three liberators of Switzerland; his house is still pointed out. Above it rise the ruins of a castle, whose baronial owners became extinct in 1357, when the last of the race was buried in his helmet and hauberk. At Bötzlingen, 3 miles above Altdorf, the parliament (Landesgemeinde) of the canton Uri is held every year, on the first Sunday in May, to settle the affairs of the state. Every male citizen above the age of 20, except a priest, has a vote. The authorities of the canton, on horseback, with the Landammann at their head, preceded by a detachment of militia, with military music, and the standard of the canton, attended by the beadles in their costume of yellow and black, and by two men in the ancient Swiss garb of the same colour, bearing aloft the two celebrated buffalo horns of Uri, march to the spot in procession. From a semicircular hustings, erected for the purpose, the business of the day is proclaimed to the assembled crowd, and the different speakers deliver their harangues, after which the question is put to the vote by show of hands. When all affairs of state are despatched, the Landammann and other public officers resign, and are either reelected or others are chosen in their place.
"The first part of the way, towards the St. Gotthard, lies