St. Gotthard Pass Switzerland about 1892

ST. GOTTHARD PASS AND BRIDGE, SWITZERLAND — The king of Alpine routes from Switzerland to Italy is the St. Gotthard. It is impossible to speak too highly of this noble road. Scaling the loftiest cliffs, spanning the wildest torrents, and winding through the deepest gorges, it seems like a gigantic chain, which man, the Victor, has imposed upon the vanquished Alps; the first end guarded by the Lion of Lucerne, the last sunk deep in the Italian lakes, but all the intervening links kept gilded brightly by the hand of trade! It is a splendid instance of the way in which these roads are made to thwart at every turn the sudden fury of the avalanche or mountain torrent. For where experience proves a place to be unusually exposed, a solid roof extends to break the fall of rocks and ice. Still, in these days of steam and telegraph, even this mode of travel in the Alps appears too slow for those who journey here for business purposes, and one of the most important works of this or any age is the tunnel of the St. Gotthard. This perforates yonder chain of mountains for a distance of nine and a half miles, yet is sufficiently wide for two railway trains to run abreast. What labor must have been expended here by myriads of men, who most of the time were thousands of feet beneath the mountains, yet who at last, by the perfection of engineering skill, met and shook hands through the narrow aperture which they had pierced from the opposite sides of Switzerland and Italy! (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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