This popular tourist city thrives on the contrast between history and the modern age. The Chapel Bridge, built in 1356, and the grand hotel buildings from the 19th century characterise the cityscape of Lucerne in particular.
The Rütli Meadow is the historic landmark where representatives of Switzerland’s three founding cantons met in 1291 to swear an oath of eternal alliance – «never to part in danger nor distress».
This is the most popular panoramic mountain amongst Swiss people and lies like a peninsula amidst three lakes: Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz. Rigi made a name for itself very early on as a perfect hiking destination.
Tell’s Chapel was built on Tell’s Slab directly on the shoreline of Lake Uri in 1879/80. According to popular legend, it marks the spot where the condemned Wilhelm Tell leapt from a boat during a fierce storm to escape from his Habsburg captors more than 700 years ago.
Flüelen is the interchange point of the Gotthard Panorama Express – from boat to panorama train. As early as 1837, the first steam vessels, loaded with all sorts of merchandise, navigated across the lake to Flüelen. Up until the opening of the railway station, these goods were reloaded to oxcarts, wagons, mules and horses. Today, it is mainly Rudenz Castle from the 13th century and the «Old Church» built in 1664 that shape the townscape.
The train line which passes Wassen is unique because, in order to gain height within a very restricted space, it has to make the climb in a tight double loop. Passengers are able to admire the village’s beautiful Baroque church no fewer than three times.
The 15-kilometre-long tunnel of the Gotthard Railway is the central and largest structure of the Gotthard Railway route which opened in 1882. Construction of the tunnel lasted from 1872 to 1882, and was a masterstroke for that time.
In the space of half an hour, the journey from Rodi-Fiesso (altitude of 942 m) to Biasca (altitude of 293 m) negotiates two terrain levels (Piottina and Biaschina) with two loop tunnels each, representing a cumulative elevation gain of 650 metres.
In the lower Leventina, the climatic conditions strongly favour viticulture. This is certainly true of Giornico, where three churches well worth seeing are set in attractive vineyards.
The three imposing castles of Bellinzona, the Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro, were built in the 15th century by the Dukes of Milan. Together they comprise a unique UNESCO World Heritage site.
The journey on the Gotthard Panorama Express reaches its destination in Lugano, city of Mediterranean flair. As the economic and tourist centre of Ticino, it impresses visitors with its many beautiful buildings, grand palaces and well-tended park areas.
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