A13 motorway (Switzerland)
The A13 is a motorway, at times an Autostrasse, which runs from St. Margrethen in northeastern Switzerland through to Ascona in southern Switzerland, crossing the main chain of the Alps in the Grisons area, it is the southern half of European route E43. The A13 started life as a road, an expressway, from the foggy beginnings at St. Margrethen through to Haag, opposite Liechtenstein; the motorway went through Reichenau. It was an expressway again until after Mesocco; the final kilometres linking it from Roveredo to the A2 motorway were an expressway. Today, the section from St. Margrethen through Haag has been converted to a motorway. Due to the tough terrain, the transformation of the Graubünden section into a full motorway would be difficult; the route is challenging south of capital of the Grisons. The year-round opening of the route only became possible in 1967, when the San-Bernardino tunnel was built, including the approaching branches of the A13. Therefore, it sometimes appears to be more of a widened mountain road, rather than a motorway or an expressway.
For the whole of the ramps towards the culmination at the San-Bernardino tunnel, between Thusis and Soazza, there is no central structure to separate the two carriageway directions. The expressway finds its way through the Alps by means of the San Bernardino tunnel, 6.6 km in length. It passes the Viamala gorge, where nocturnal shows tell the story of 2000 years of road construction through this obstacle; the A13 continues the A1 on the shores of the Bodensee, links with the A3 motorway at the Sargans junction at its northern branch, as well as the A2 motorway at Bellinzona, south of the Alps. It connects with main roads heading for Flims-Disentis along the Alps or Klosters, St. Moritz via Julier Pass, Italy. Main route: St. Margrethen - Buchs SG - Sargans - Landquart - Chur - Thusis - Splügen - Cassanawald tunnel - Hinterrhein - San Bernardino road tunnel - Pian San Giacomo - Roveredo - Bellinzona - Locarno - Ascona Speed limit: 120 km/h on all motorway parts. Speed checks do appear and penalties can be severe.
Tolls: Covered by CHF 40 annual motorway toll sticker. The A13 starts in St. Margrethen, Canton of St. Gallen right after the A1. Afterwards, it crosses through the entire Rhine Valley, connects along the border with Austria and Liechtenstein, towards Sargans, where A3 joins the A13; the highway heads to Chur, the capital of Grisons, turns southwards at Reichenau, where one can divert to drive along the Alps on the main road to Flims-Disentis-Andermatt-Brig, whereas A13 leads to Thusis. From Thusis the A13 climbs an altitude difference of some 1000 metres to the 6.6 km long San Bernardino Tunnel at around 1,650 metres. After the tunnel the road is marked by many galleries and strong avalanche-control curves back down into the Misox, using two long bridges to allow wide turns in this steep valley. At Soazza, shortly after Mesocco, the street again becomes a highway; the A13 continues downhill and joins, shortly before the Ticino capital Bellinzona, merging with A2 at an altitude of 240 m. Between Ascona and a roundabout south of Gaggiole in the Canton of Ticino, A13 is extended as the N13 highway.
Locarno is bypassed with the 5-km long Mappo–Morettina Tunnel. In this tunnel, there is one lane for each direction. A non-divided section of the expressway from Sargans to the north has long been regarded as a dangerous stretch: time and again, it experienced severe front-end collisions. In the period from 1979 to 2002, 96 people died on the A13, five times more than usual in Switzerland's highways. On 16 September 2006, a fire broke out in the Viamala Tunnel, after a head-on collision between a tour bus and a car, which killed nine people. Involved in the collision was a second passenger car. At least four other vehicles were affected; as a major transit route, shifting traffic from the A13 is a major concern. For the future, the introduction of an Alpentransitbörse is being discussed. Autobahn A13 (Website of the Service des Autoroutes du canton de Fribourg Photo-series A13 on Autobahnen.ch
The Walser are the speakers of the Walser German dialects, a variety of Highest Alemannic. They inhabit the Alps of Liechtenstein, as well as the fringes of Italy and Austria; the Walser people are named after the Wallis, the uppermost Rhône valley, where they settled from the 10th century in the late phase of the migration of the Alamanni, crossing from the Bernese Oberland. From the upper Wallis, they began to spread south and east between the 12th and 13th centuries, in the so-called Walser migrations; the causes of these further population movements, the last wave of settlement in the higher valleys of the Alps, are not clear. Some think that the large Walser migrations took place because of conflicts with the valley's feudal lords. Other theories contend it was because of overpopulation and yet others that they were reinforced by the respective local authorities in order to settle unpopulated regions. In 1882 Professor Arturo Galanti had ventured the figure of 100,000 German inhabitants in the foothills from Piedmont to Friuli, a number, in no way justified by the alleged sporadic immigration of medieval settlers and miners, but assumed a more ancient presence.
In the years 1180 to 1318 at least 28 of 36 mayors of Conegliano were of German origin. In Switzerland, the German-speaking part of the canton of Valais is the original region of the Walser. There are 26 Walser communities; these are: Simplon, in Canton of Valais. Wartau, Walser speaking people may live in the canton of Geneva. In Italy, there are nine communities; these are: Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Issime. In Liechtenstein, there is one Walser community: Triesenberg, including Malbun; until the 1930s, the dialects of Walser German and Romandy based on the French language was still spoken among a few hundred residents. In Austria, there are 14 Walser communities: Grosses Walsertal, Brandnertal, Reintal, all in Vorarlberg. Additionally, Walser communities are found in Haute-Savoie, where the local Walser dialect is no longer spoken, in the Berner Oberland, where the local Walser dialect has assimilated to the dialects of the Berner Oberland; some Walsers settled portions of eastern Hungary, most were found in the Tokay wine region.
Walsers, along with French Swiss speakers and French vintners from the French with wine-producing skills arrived in the 19th century by invitation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Their descendants in the early 20th century were known as Français du Banat or the "Banat French", as well the Romandie de l'Ungerne or "the Romandies of Hungary". Google Map of Walser Settlements 1200 to Present International Association of Walser Walser-Alps WM - Piccolo Atlante Linguistico dei Walser Meridionali Walser Kulturzentrum - Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Aosta Valley Indagine sociolinguistica sulle comunità Walser del Piemonte Walser village in Italy
Alpine tundra is a type of natural region or biome that does not contain trees because it is at high elevation. As the latitude of a location approaches the poles, the threshold elevation for alpine tundra gets lower until it reaches sea level, alpine tundra merges with polar tundra; the high elevation causes an adverse climate, too cold and windy to support tree growth. Alpine tundra transitions to sub-alpine forests below the tree line. With increasing elevation it ends at the snow line where ice persist through summer. Alpine tundra occurs in mountains worldwide; the flora of the alpine tundra is characterized by dwarf shrubs close to the ground. The cold climate of the alpine tundra is caused by adiabatic cooling of air, is similar to polar climate. Alpine tundra occurs at high enough altitude at any latitude. Portions of montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregions worldwide include alpine tundra. Large regions of alpine tundra occur in the North American Cordillera, the Alps and Pyrenees of Europe, the Himalaya and Karakoram of Asia, the Andes of South America, the Eastern Rift mountains of Africa.
Alpine tundra occupies high-mountain summits and ridges above timberline. Aspect plays a role as well; because the alpine zone is present only on mountains, much of the landscape is rugged and broken, with rocky, snowcapped peaks and talus slopes, but contains areas of rolling to flat topography. Averaging over many locations and local microclimates, the treeline rises 75 metres when moving 1 degree south from 70 to 50°N, 130 metres per degree from 50 to 30°N. Between 30°N and 20°S, the treeline is constant, between 3,500 and 4,000 metres. Alpine climate is the average weather for the alpine tundra; the climate becomes colder at high elevations—this characteristic is described by the lapse rate of air: air tends to get colder as it rises, since it expands. The dry adiabatic lapse rate is 10 °C per km of altitude. Therefore, moving up 100 metres on a mountain is equivalent to moving 80 kilometers towards the pole; this relationship is only approximate, since local factors such as proximity to oceans can drastically modify the climate.
Typical high-elevation growing seasons range from 45 to 90 days, with average summer temperatures near 10 °C. Growing season temperatures fall below freezing, frost occurs throughout the growing season in many areas. Precipitation occurs as winter snow, but soil water availability is variable with season and topography. For example, snowfields accumulate on the lee sides of ridges while ridgelines may remain nearly snow free due to redistribution by wind; some alpine habitats may be up to 70% snow free in winter. High winds are common in alpine ecosystems, can cause significant soil erosion and be physically and physiologically detrimental to plants. Wind coupled with high solar radiation can promote high rates of evaporation and transpiration. There have been several attempts at quantifying. Climatologist Wladimir Köppen demonstrated a relationship between the Arctic and Antarctic tree lines and the 10 °C summer isotherm. See Köppen climate classification for more information. Otto Nordenskiöld theorized that winter conditions play a role: His formula is W = 9 − 0.1 C, where W is the average temperature in the warmest month and C the average of the coldest month, both in degrees Celsius.
In 1947, Holdridge improved on these schemes, by defining biotemperature: the mean annual temperature, where all temperatures below 0 °C are treated as 0 °C. If the mean biotemperature is between 1.5 and 3 °C, Holdridge quantifies the climate as alpine. Because the habitat of alpine vegetation is subject to intense radiation, cold and ice, it grows close to the ground and consists of perennial grasses and forbs. Perennial herbs dominate the alpine landscape; the roots and rhizomes not only function in water and nutrient absorption but play a important role in over-winter carbohydrate storage. Annual plants are rare in this ecosystem and are only a few inches tall, with weak root systems. Other common plant life-forms include prostrate shrubs, graminoids forming tussocks, cushion plants, cryptogams, such as bryophytes and lichens. Relative to lower elevation areas in the same region, alpine regions have a high rate of endemism and a high diversity of plant species; this taxonomic diversity can be attributed to geographical isolation, climate changes, microhabitat differentiation, different histories of migration or evolution or both.
These phenomena contribute to plant diversity by introducing new flora and favoring adaptations, both of new species and the dispersal of pre-existing species. Plants have adapted to the harsh alpine environment. Cushion plants, looking like ground-hugging clumps of moss, escape the strong winds blowing a few inches a
The Rheinwaldhorn is the highest point in the Swiss canton of Ticino at 3,402 metres above sea level. It lies on the border between the cantons of Graubünden and Ticino, in the Adula massif, part of the St. Gotthard massif of the Lepontine Alps in southern Switzerland; the mountain is known under different names, Adula or Piz Valrhein. The group of the snowy peaks lying between the two principal branches of the Rhine were known in the Middle Ages by the names Mons Aquila or Mons Avium. From the Romansh form of the first comes the name Adula, used to designate the north-eastern portion of the Lepontine Alps; the German name "Rheinwaldhorn" comes from the Rheinwald region. The Rheinwaldhorn is the culminating point of the eastern portion of the Lepontine Alps and the Adula group. In this area, the watershed between the Rhine and the Po river has no determinate direction, exhibits a dislocated appearance; the peaks of the Adula form an irregular group, all the highest lying in a cluster not more five kilometres distant from the centre, which may be fixed as the foot of the Rheinwald Glacier.
From the central group a considerable range extends due south more than 15 kilometres, between Val Blenio and Val Calanca diminishing in height. A parallel ridge connected with the main massif divides the Val Calanca from Val Mesocco; the northern ridge, longer but less regular than the first-mentioned, extends 20 kilometres, from the central group to the Piz Nadils over Sumvitg in the valley of the Vorderrhein. Politically, the summit of the Rheinwaldhorn is split between three municipalities. On the west side is the municipality of Blenio and on the east side are the municipalities of Vals and Hinterrhein; the summit of the Rheinwaldhorn was first reached in 1789 by Placidus a Spescha. For seventy years no attempts seems to have been made to repeat the ascent. In 1859, Weilenmann reached the summit alone; the next and third recorded ascent was made in 1861 by Coaz, with three companions, a chamois-hunter named Peter Anton Jellier, of Vals. Coaz gave an account of the expedition in the Jahresbericht der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft Graubünden.
Sleeping at the Zapport Alps, they mounted to the spot named Paradies, located below the Paradies Glacier. A faint sheep-tract was followed for some distance: they took to the glacier, but after some time returned to its southern bank; the first stage of the ascent was completed when they gained the col in the ridge between the Rheinwaldhorn and Güferhorn. From thence the way lay along the arête; this was narrow, in some places difficult, where steep rocks projected through the névé. After overcoming the rocks, the travellers found the ridge wider, but much steeper than below, to reach the highest point it was necessary to wind round the north side of the peak, so that the final climb was made from the north-west; the summit is a ridge about 200 feet long, running from north to south, in one part bare of snow. Here in the two following ascents were found some remains of the cairn erected there seventy years before by Placidus a Spescha; the peaks of the Adula group had not been frequented by foreign travellers until 1863, when Morshead made the first ascent of the Vogelberg.
In the following year Freshfield, with two friends, reached the summit of the Rheinwaldhorn from the side of the Lenta Glacier, striking the shoulder of the peak above the lowest point in the ridge connecting it with the Güferhorn. The first winter solo ascent was made by Daniele Gianora in 1942. Nature parks in Switzerland List of mountains of Ticino List of mountains of Switzerland Rheinwaldhorn on Summitpost Rheinwaldhorn on Hikr Rheinwaldhorn on wandelpaden.com
Canton of Grisons
The canton of Grisons, or canton of Graubünden, is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. It has international borders with Italy and Liechtenstein, its German name, Graubünden, translates as the "Grey Leagues", referring to the canton's origin in three local alliances, the League of God's House, the Grey League, the League of the Ten Jurisdictions. Grisons is home to three of Switzerland's ethnic groups, whose spoken languages—Swiss German and Romansh—are all native to the canton, it is the only trilingual canton and the only canton where the Romansh language has official status. Grisons is Switzerland's largest canton by area at 7,105.2 square kilometres, 19.2% larger than the Canton of Bern. Only about a third of this is regarded as productive land of which forests cover about a fifth of the total area; the canton is mountainous, comprising the highlands of the Rhine and Inn river valleys. In its southeastern part lies the only official Swiss National Park. In its northern part the mountains were formed as part of the thrust fault, in 2008 declared a geologic UNESCO World Heritage Site, under the name Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona.
Another Biosphere Reserve is the Biosfera Val Müstair adjacent to the Swiss National Park, while Ela Nature Park is one of the regionally supported parks. Elevations in the Grison Alps include Tödi, at 3,614 metres, the highest peak, Piz Bernina, at 4,049 metres. Many of the mountain ranges feature extensive glaciers, such as at the Adula, the Albula, the Silvretta, the Bernina, the Bregaglia and the Rätikon ranges; the mountain ranges in the central area are steep, having some of the deepest valleys in Europe. These valleys were settled by the Raetians. Grisons borders on the cantons of St. Gallen to the north, Glarus to the north-west, Uri to the west, Ticino to the south-west; the capital city is Chur. The world-famous resorts of St. Moritz and Davos-Klosters are located in the canton, complemented by the larger all-year-round tourist destinations of Arosa, Lenzerheide, Scuol-Sammnaun and more; the inhabitants of Grisons are called Grisonians. Most of the lands of the canton were once part of a Roman province called Raetia, established in 15 BC.
The current capital of Grisons, was known as Curia in Roman times. The area was part of the lands of the diocese of Chur. In 1367 the League of God's House was founded to resist the rising power of the Bishop of Chur; this was followed by the establishment of the Grey League, sometimes called Oberbund, in 1395 in the Upper Rhine valley. The name Grey League is derived from the homespun grey clothes worn by the people and was used after 16 March 1424; the name of this league gave its name to the canton of Grisons. A third league was established in 1436 by the people of ten bailiwicks in the former Toggenburg countship, as the dynasty of Toggenburg had become extinct; the league was called League of the Ten Jurisdictions. The first step towards the canton of Grisons was when the league of the Ten Jurisdictions allied with the League of God's House in 1450. In 1471 the two leagues allied with the Grey League. In 1497 and 1498 the Leagues allied with the Old Swiss Confederacy after the Habsburgs acquired the possessions of the extinct Toggenburg dynasty in 1496, siding with the Confederacy in the Swabian War three years later.
The Habsburgs were defeated at Calven Gorge and Dornach, helping the Swiss Confederation and the allied leagues of the canton of Grisons to be recognised. However the Three Leagues remained a loose association until the Bundesbrief of 23 September 1524; the last traces of the Bishop of Chur's jurisdiction were abolished in 1526. The Musso war of 1520 drove the Three Leagues closer to the Swiss Confederacy. Between 1618 and 1639 it became a battleground between competing factions during the Bündner Wirren; the Protestant party was supported by France and Venice, while the Catholic party was supported by the Habsburgs in Spain and Austria. Each side sought to gain control of the Grisons to gain control over the important alpine passes. In 1618, the young radical Jörg Jenatsch became a member of the court of'clerical overseers' and a leader of the anti-Habsburg faction, he supervised the torture to death of the arch-priest Nicola Rusca of Sondrio. In response, Giacomo Robustelli of the pro-Catholic Planta family, raised an army of rebels in the Valtellina.
On the evening of 18/19 July 1620, a force of Valtellina rebels supported by Austrian and Italian troops marched into Tirano and began killing Protestants. When they finished in Tirano, they marched to Teglio and further down the valley killing every Protestant that they found. Between 500 and 600 people were killed in the following four days; the attack drove nearly all the Protestants out of the valley, prevented further Protestant incursions and took the Valtellina out of the Three Leagues. In response, in February 1621, Jenatsch led a force of anti-Habsburg troops to attack Rietberg Castle, the home of a leader of the pro-Catholic faction, Pompeius Planta, they surprised Planta and according to legend he was killed by Jörg Jenatsch with an axe. The murder of Planta encouraged the Protestant faction and they assembled a poorly led and disorganized army to retake the Valtellina and other subject lands. However, the army fell apart; this Protestant invasion provided the Austrians an excuse to invade the Leagues.
By the end of October and Austria had occupied all of Grisons. The resulting peace treaty of January 1622, forced Grisons to cede the Müstair, the Lower Engadine
The Hinterrhein is one of the two initial tributaries of the Rhine in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland, flowing from the village Hinterrhein near the San Bernardino Pass through the Rheinwald valley into a gorge called Roflaschlucht. In this gorge an sized tributary, the Avers Rhine, adds waters from the deep Val Ferrera and the remote alp Avers and its side valley Valle di Lei on Italian territory. After the Rofla Gorge, the valley widens into a section called Schams; the Hinterrhein reaches Andeer, before passing through another gorge, Viamala just before Thusis. Now another tributary of bigger volume reaches the Hinterrhein as the Landwasser, draining a system of valleys, known as Davos joins via the Albula coming from the Albula Pass, the name of a railway line that has become a UNESCO world heritage. Another big tributary of Albula river is Gelgia from the Julier pass area. After flowing to Rothenbrunnen through a valley called Domleschg with an incredible number of castles again the river is left alone from civilisation in the floodplain Isla Bella near Rhäzüns, before it joins the Anterior Rhine at Reichenau, all of them in Graubünden.
To learn about the importance of travel along the Hinterrhein, a multiday trekking route is signposted along the river from Thusis to Splügen, where it turns south to Splügen Pass, a important transit route to Italy. Nowadays there is no traffic across the Splügen pass in winter, whereas the route across its age-old rival, the San Bernardino Pass, was given a long road tunnel in 1967 that made it possible to keep the road open all year
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi