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The Gotthard Pass or St Gotthard Pass (Italian: Passo del San Gottardo, German: Gotthardpass at 2,106 m (6,909 ft)) is a mountain pass in the Alps, connecting northern and southern Switzerland. The pass lies between Airolo in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, and Andermatt in the German-speaking canton of Uri, and connects further Bellinzona to Lucerne, Basel, and Zurich. The region of the Gotthard Pass is an important north-south axis in Europe and is crossed by three major traffic tunnels, each being the world's longest at the time of their construction: the Gotthard Rail Tunnel (1882), the Gotthard Road Tunnel (1980) and the Gotthard Base Tunnel (2016).
The Devil's Bridge
From the north side the pass can be reached by crossing the Schöllenen, and several bridges have been built across the Reuss to facilitate this. According to the oral histories of the nearby villages, seasonal deaths resulting from drowning reached a peak in April–May of most years and thus a safer crossing was required. The original bridge (the Teufelsbrücke) built under these challenging conditions was one of so many "devil's bridges" that the legends about them form a category in the Aarne-Thompson classification system for folktales (number 1191).
The legend of this particular bridge states that the Reuss was so difficult to ford that a Swiss herdsman wished the devil would make a bridge. The Devil appeared, but required that the soul of the first to cross would be given to him. The mountaineer agreed, but drove a goat across ahead of him, fooling his adversary. Angered by this trickery, the devil fetched a rock with the intention of smashing the bridge, but an old woman drew a cross on the rock so the devil could not lift it anymore. The rock is still there and, in 1977, 300,000 Swiss francs were spent to move the 220 ton rock by 127 m in order to make room for the new Gotthard road tunnel
Swiss Tunnel Opening Ceremony Draws Cries of ‘Satanic’
by Austin Ruse7 Jun 2016 | Breitbart News
The internet is all abuzz over what many see as the Satanic opening of the new Gotthard Base Tunnel in the Swiss Alps.
Taking 17 years to complete (at a cost of 11 billion Euros) and measuring 35 miles, the tunnel is said to be the longest and most expensive tunnel ever built. On hand for the opening were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
The ceremony was intended to represent various aspects of Swiss culture. But, men in masks, others in costumes made of long brown grass, weird angels descending from the ceiling, even a man in a goat mask that others seem to be worshiping are all said by some to be from the pits of hell.
The ceremony begins with a rather Fascistic scene of dancers dressed as workers marching in lockstep to the beat of a single drummer. This is followed by dancers dressed in white skivvies cavorting sexually on a railroad car. A winged creature wearing a horrific mask descends from the ceiling, meant to symbolize workers who died in the construction of the tunnel. Three workers hang from the ceiling as if dead. There’s comes a parade of characters in frightening masks some holding the skulls of animals.
The part that has most galvanized the worldwide web is when a goat man emerges and appears to be worshiped by the dancers, some dressed in grass costumes, others wearing horrifying masks.
It is all a mishmash that is odd and confusing to any casual observer, modern dance that is likely not the taste of the men who built the tunnel, some of whom lost their lives.
Here's a shorter version of the first segment of the strange ceremony which was supposed to be "in celebration of Swiss Culture"..
originally posted by: Kester
a reply to: drifter1109
The audience don't seem interested.
Wassen's church and the railway are never very far from each other
The Swiss Church that Steals the Limelight
Mar 24, 2010 - 16:37 SWI swissinfo.ch
Wassen in canton Uri south of the Gotthard road and rail tunnels is not exactly a village where the thousands of people who pass by every day will make a stop.
At a height of 930 metres above sea level and enclosed by the Alps, Wassen can look a bit grim at the best of times.
But Wassen has a jewel that most Swiss and many tourists to Switzerland cannot ignore – its baroque Catholic church that is perhaps the most outstanding in the whole of the country; you just can’t miss it.
It’s not only a symbol of the village and the surrounding landscape but also of Swiss Federal Railways, which is well aware of its attraction.
When Federal Railways was awarded the Wakker Prize for cultural heritage in 2005, it did not hesitate to devote a small booklet to the church.
Esther Burri, who has been pastoral assistant there for the best part of two years, knows exactly what the church means.
“The church here in Wassen is certainly one of the most well-known in Switzerland, if not the most well-known, because you see it three times from the train.
“Everyone speaks about this church. If you tell someone that you work and live here, everyone knows where it is and I find that very special.”
You can see it three times from the train because of the helical tunnels that help the train up and down the Gotthard ramp, but the church of St Gallus helps you get your bearings.
originally posted by: AnkhMorpork
a reply to: skunkape23
I'm just pointing to the significance in terms of what it means or signifies to them, that's all.
I'm not saying it's real, but that it's an allegorical or ritualistic representation that has something to do with the old myth or legend.