Saint Gotthard Pass


Saint Gotthard Pass
Mountain pass, Lepontine Alps, southern Switzerland.

An important motor and railway route between central Europe and Italy, the pass lies at an elevation of 6,916 ft (2,108 m) and is 16 mi (26 km) long. Though the pass was known to the Romans, it was not generally used until the early 13th century. A long, winding motorway leads across the pass, and the St. Gotthard Tunnel extends for more than 9 mi (14 km) beneath it. The railway through the tunnel connects Lucerne with Milan.

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▪ mountain pass, Switzerland
Italian  Passo Del San Gottardo,  German  Sankt Gotthardpass,  

      mountain pass in the Lepontine Alps of southern Switzerland, an important motor and railway route between central Europe and Italy. The pass lies at an elevation of 6,916 feet (2,108 m) and is 16 miles (26 km) long. Although the pass was known to the Romans, it was not generally used as a cross-Alpine route until the early 13th century. The name of the pass, initially mentioned early in the 14th century, is believed to be derived from a hospice built at the summit by the dukes of Bavaria in honour of St. Godehard, or Gotthard, an 11th-century bishop of Hildesheim (now in Germany). A modern hotel now stands at the summit.

      A long, winding motorway leads across the St. Gotthard Pass. Beneath the pass the St. Gotthard Tunnel (constructed 1872–80) extends for more than 9 miles (14 km) and reaches a maximum elevation of 3,773 feet (1,150 m). The railway (opened 1882) through the tunnel connects Luzern, Switz., with Milan. This route includes several spiral tunnels in the Reuss and Ticino river valleys. In 1980 the St. Gotthard Road Tunnel, 10 miles (16 km) in length and able to accommodate more than 1,500 automotive vehicles per hour, was opened between Göschenen and Airolo.

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Universalium. 2010.

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