« PreviousContinue »
which can be named. The great chain of snowy peaks, etc., here seen, spread out along the horizon, extends for a distance of nearly 200 miles, from the Sentis on the E, to the Mont Blanc in the W. Immediately in front rise the Jungfrau, Schreckhorn, and other giants of the Bernese chain. In the foreground, amidst a varied expanse of wooded hill and verdant vale are seen the lakes of Morat, Neuchâtel, and Bienne, while the silvery Aar, on which stands the town of Soleure, winds like a snake at the foot of the mountain.
Keller has engraved a Panorama of the Weissenstein, in which every mountain, town, village, and other object of interest visible from the top, is marked. One or two copies of it are hung up at the inn for the convenience of visitors.
Another road practicable for a char-à-banc, but very rough, descends the opposite side of the Weissenstein, into the Val Moutiers (described in p. 8).
From Soleure to Bienne is a distance of 3 3/4 stunde=12 Eng. miles. The road runs along the S. base of the Jura. A new line of road now (1837) in progress, will curtail the distance by more than 2 miles. The inn on the Weissenstein continues long a conspicuous object.
On the rt. of the road lie the Baths of Grange (Grenchen), a large building. At Boujean (Botzingen) almost a suburb of Bienne, our road falls in with that from the Münster Thal (Route 1).
2 1/2 Bienne, (p. 9).
BASLE TO LUCERNE, BY THE UNTER HAUENSTEIN, ÓLTEN, AARBURG, AND SEMPACH.
19 1/2 stunden-64 Eng. miles.
A diligence goes daily.
The road throughout is good. As far as
3 Liesthal, it is the same as Route 3: here, instead of turning S., it ascends the vale of the Ergolz, as far as
11 4 Sissach, a village of 1100 inhabitants, and
2 Laufelfingen. The pass of the Unter-Hauenstein (the hewn rock). which now commences, is of great importance as an outlet for the merchandise of Switzerland, and as the most direct line of communication from W. Germany to Italy by the St. Gotthard. The improvements completed between 1827 and 1830, at an expense of 260,289 fr. have rendered the slope on both sides so gradual, that extra horses are rarely required for carriages. A toll of 5 batz per horse is paid, but
nothing is charged for Vorspann horses. From the summit of the pass, after crossing the boundary-line of Bâle and Soleure, a fine view is obtained of the great chain of the Alps. 2 1/2 Olten-(Inns: Krone;-Halber Mond-Half Moon) -though it contains but 1500 inhabitants, promises to rise into a flourishing town, to the prejudice of Soleure, of which it is becoming the rival. Its prosperity is greatly promoted by its position on the new road of the Unter Hauenstein. It is built on the left bank of the Aar, and is said to be the Roman Ultinum. The roads from Bâle to Lucerne, and from Zurich to Soleure and Neuchâtel, cross here. The old parish church, converted into a wood warehouse since the new one was built, is of great antiquity: it is mentioned in records as early as 1210.
Our road crosses the Aar by a wooden bridge, and proceeds along its rt. bank, through pleasing scenery, to
3/4 Aarburg-(Inns: Bar;-Krone), an old town of 1500 inhabitants, distinguished by its extensive Citadel on the heights above, constructed in 1660: the only fortress belonging to the Swiss Confederation, but of no use as a fortification, for although it has bomb-proof casemates hewn out of the rock, its works have been allowed to go to decay. It serves as a military storehouse for the Swiss Confederation, and forms a picturesque object in the landscape, such as.is met with in the background of old German pictures. Outside the town is an extensive cotton factory.
At Kreutzstrasse, a mile farther, the high road from Zurich to Berne(Route 13) crosses our route. The Lion is a good inn here.
The road continues along a pretty valley, distinguished by its verdant pasture: its substantial-looking houses, many of them with gardens, whose walls are often covered with thin plates of wood overlapping each other like fishes' scales. It is bordered by a varied outline of wooded heights.
1 Zoffingen. A fragment of the costle of Reiden, and a solitary tree perched on a rock beside it, become conspicuous before reaching the village of Rheden, where a toll of 8 batz, including all the road to and from this to Lucerne, is paid.
A view is obtained of the Lake of Sempach, and of a smaller Jake called Mauensee, from the height above.
4 Sursee-(Inn: Hirsch; bad and dear)—an old walled town, whose gate-towers still bear the double-headed eagle of Austria carved in stone. "The traveller may well employ a few moments in examining the Rathhaus, much dilapidated, but affording a good specimen of the peculiarities of the GermanBurgundian style. The general outline resembles the old Tolbooth of Edinburgh."-P. Sursee lies at the distance of about a mile from the N. extremity of the lake of Sempach, which is
seen over and among the orchards on the left of the road in going to Lucerne. It has no pretensions to great beauty, but is pleasing, and highly interesting historically from the famous Battle of Sempach (1336)—the second of those great and surrising victories by which Swiss independence was established. It was fought on the E. shore of the lake, behind the little town of Sempach, opposite which the lake comes into full view from our road. In 1805, a portion of the water of the Jake was let off, in order to gain land along its banks; thus its extent is diminished, its surface lowered, and its form somewhat altered from what it was at the time of the battle.
A small chapel, in the form of a portico, is erected to commemorate the victory, on the spot where Leopold of Austria (son of the Duke of the same name who had been defeated 71 years before at Morgarten) lost his life. The name of those who fell, both Austrians and Swiss, were inscribed on the walls, which also bear a rude fresco representation of the noble devotion of Arnold of Winkelried.
He was a knight of Unterwalden, who, observing all the efforts of the Swiss to break the ranks of their enemies foiled by their long lances, exclaimed "Protect my wife and children, and I will open a path to freedom.” He then rushed forward, and gathering in his arms as many lances as he could grasp, buried them in his bosom. The confederates were enabled to take advantage of the gap thus formed in the mail-clad ranks of the foe, before the Austrian lancers had time to extricate their entangled weapons from his corse. In order to oppose the Swiss, who fought on foot, many of the Austrian nobles had dismounted to form a serried phalanx; but the armour which rendered them almost invulnerable on horseback, and which, while they remained united and in close column, had formed. so impenetrable a barrier to the attack of the Swiss, nowthat their ranks were broken, disabled them from coping. with their light-armed and active foes. 600 nobles were slain, and more than 2000 common soldiers; while the entire force of the Swiss, who achieved this victory, is said not to have exceeded 1400 men.
At Buttisholz, a village about 3 miles from Sursee, and on the S. of our road, may be seen a mound, called the English barrow, because it contains the bones of 3000 of our coun→
trymen, followers of the celebrated Condottiero leader, Ingelram de Coucy, who were defeated here, 1376, by the inhabitants of Entlebuch. This Ingelram de Coucy was sonin-law of Edward III., King of England, and Earl of Bedford. Having a feud against Leopold of Austria, he not only Jaid waste his territories, but made devastating inroads into the neighbouring Swiss cantons, from the Jura to the gates of Berne and Zurich, until his career was suddenly arrested here by a few hundred Swiss peasants. This action put an end to a struggle known in Swiss history as the English
The approach to Lucerne is charming: on the 1. rises the Rigi, in shape somewhat resembling a horse's back; on the rt. the Pilatus is distinguished by his serrated ridge. After crossing the small stream of the Emme by a wooden bridge, we reach the banks of the green Reuss, rushing out of the Jake of Lucerne. On the rt. the new road to Berne, by the Entlebuch, is passed. Lucerne is surrounded on this side by a battlemented wall, flanked at intervals by a number of tall watch-towers, descending to the margin of the river. 4 Lucerne. Route 16.
BALE TO AARAU, BY THE STAFFELECK.
19 stunden 62 1/4 Eng. miles.
The road is the same as route 3, as far as
3 1/4 Rheinfelden. At Stein it quits the side of the Rhine, and ascends the Frickthal to
3 3/4 Frick, a village of 1800 inhabitants, with a church on a height. Here our route branches out of the high-road to Zurich. The Frickthal and surrounding district belonged to Austria down to 1801.
12/3 Staffelegg. Above this village is a depression or col in the chain of the Jura, over which an easy carriage-road has been constructed at the expense of the government of the canton. A gradual descent leads down into the valley of the Aar, which is crossed in order to enter
1 1/3 Aarau.· Inns wilder Mann, (Sauvage) - Ochs (Boeuf)-Cigogne.-The chief town of the canton, Argovie, which was first included in the Confederation 1803, having previously formed a subject province of Canton Bern, con-. tains 4500 inhabitants, and is situated on the rt. bank of the Aar the bridge over it was swept away by an inundation in 1831. Simond calls it "an odious little place." It lies at the S. base of the Jura, here partly covered with vineyards. There are many extensive cotton-mills here.
The Rathhaus, in which the cantonal councils are held, includes within its circuit the tower of a feudal castle of the Counts von Rore, which may be regarded as the nucleus of the town. In the parish church, Protestant and Catholic services are performed alternately.
Henry Zschokke, the historian and novel-writer, resides here. When the armies of the French Revolution took possession of Switzerland in 1789, and destroyed its ancient form of Government, Aarau was made capital of the Helvetian Republic, but it was soon transferred to Lucerne.
The baths of Schintznach (p. 23) are about 10 miles from this. The road to them runs along the rt. bank of the Aar, passing several castles, the most conspicuous of which is that of Windeck. Close to Schintznach rise, the ruins of the Castle of Habsburg, the cradle of the House of Austria.
BALE TO ZURICH, BY BRUGG, THE BATHS OF SCHINTZNACH AND BADEN.
16 1/3 stunden = 53 Eng. miles. Diligences go daily.
7 Frick. Thus far the road is identical with Routes 3 and 5. Passing through the villages Hornussen and Effingen, it crosses the hill of Botzberg, whose culminating point, 1850 ft. above the sea, commands a fine view of the Alps. It was called Mons Vocetius by the Romans, who constructed a highway across it; and on this spot, according to Swiss antiquaries, was fought the battle so fatal to the Helvetians, in which they were defeated by Cocina, and the Legion called by Tacitus Rapax, from its exactions and cruelty, A. D. 69. A wooden bridge, 70 ft. long, leads across the Aar, which here flows, in a contracted bed, to
3 Brugg, or Brück—( Inns: Stern, Etoile;-Rothes Haus, Maison Rouge)-a walled town of great antiquity having been an ancient possession of the House of Habsburg, containing 800 inhabitants. It is the birth-place of Zimmerman, physician of Frederick the Great, who wrote on Solitude.
The country around Brugg is interesting, both in a geographical and historical point of view. In the plain, a little below the town, three of the principal rivers of Switzerland which drain the N. slopes of the Alps, from the Grisons to the Jura, the Limmat, the Reuss, and the Aar, form a junction, and, united under the name of the Aar, throw themselves into the Rhine about 10 miles below Brugg, at a place called Coblenz.
Close upon this meeting of the waters, and on the trian