Placidus a Spescha
Placidus a Spescha was a Benedictine monk and early Alpine explorer born in Trun, near Disentis, in the valley of the upper Rhine in Graubünden. He went to Einsiedeln to complete his education; the rest of his life was spent in serving various cures in his native valley, though he suffered much at the hands of his brother monks, who could not understand his scientific tastes. In 1799 he was accused of being a spy in favour of the French invaders, when the French did come, he had to give up to them all his scientific collections. In addition he had the dreadful experience of learning, soon after his departure, that his monastery, with all its most precious archives, including his own original collection, had been burnt by order of a French general so as to punish the peasants who dared to resist his advance. Despite all these disadvantages, Spescha achieved an extraordinary amount of success in his mountain explorations around his native valley, it is true that Spescha failed to attain the highest summit, the Tödi, although in 1788 he ascended the Stockgron, close to it, only 673 ft lower, while in 1824, sitting on the depression, now called the "Porta da Spescha", he had the satisfaction of seeing the two local chamois hunters that he had sent forward attain the loftiest point.
Here are the names of some of his principal climbs -in 1789, the Rheinwaldhorn, the highest summit around the sources of the Hinter Rhine, and, in 1806, the Güferhorn, the second summit of that region. Oddly enough, he does not seem to have visited any of the higher peaks of the Medel group, but only its outliers, here again the dread of glaciers holding him back, it is noteworthy that in the course of all his climbs he set foot on a glacier, though in 1812, on occasion of his second ascent of the Oberalpstock, he did cross the easy glacier Brunni Pass. The Raetian Museum in Chur contains part of his geological collection
Nature parks in Switzerland
Switzerland has eighteen official natural parks classified in three categories. The three categories of natural "parks of national importance" established by the Federal Act on the Protection of Nature and Cultural Heritage are national parks, regional nature parks and nature experience parks. National parks and nature experience parks have strict protected areas, something which does not exist in regional nature parks; the latter focus much more on striking a balance in the level of support between nature conservation and the regional economy. As of 2016, the eighteen official nature "parks of national importance" in Switzerland are: National parks Swiss National Park Regional nature parks Aargau Jura Park Beverin Nature Park Binntal Nature Park Chasseral Nature Park Diemtigtal Nature Park Doubs Nature Park Parc Ela UNESCO Entlebuch Biosphere Gantrisch Nature Park Gruyère Pays-d'Enhaut Nature Park Jura vaudois Nature Park Pfyn-Finges Nature Park Thal Nature Park Val Müstair Biosphere Nature experience parks Wildnispark Zurich Sihlwald Candidate national parks Parc Adula Locarnese National Park Project Candidate regional nature park Schaffhausen Regional Nature Park The environmental organisation Pro Natura takes care of about 650 nature reserves of various sizes throughout Switzerland.
Environmental movement in Switzerland Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments Federal Office for the Environment World Network of Biosphere Reserves in Europe and North America List of nature parks in Germany Official website Nature reserves in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. National park in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. Protection of nature in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
The Tödi, is a mountain massif and with the mountain peak Piz Russein the highest mountain in the Glarus Alps and the highest summit in the canton of Glarus, Switzerland. It is located on the border between the cantons of Graubünden, to the south, Glarus, to the north, close to the point where those two cantons meet the canton of Uri, to the west. Although not the culminating point of Graubünden, it is its highest peak outside the Bernina range; the Tödi lies in the west part of the Glarus Alps, between Linthal on the north and Disentis on the south. The Tödi is a vast mountain massif projecting as a promontory to the north from the range that divides the basin of the Linth from that of the Rhine. There are three principal peaks; the lowest, northernmost, that seen from the Ober Sand Alp, is called Sandgipfel. The Glärner Tödi, long supposed to be the highest, most conspicuous from Stachelberg and other points of view to the north, is the second in height; the highest summit lies west of the Glärner Tödi, is distinguished by the Grison name Piz Russein.
Politically, the Tödi is split between the municipalities of Disentis and Sumvitg, Glarus Süd. The central mass of the mountain is enclosed between two glaciers, of which the most considerable is the Biferten Glacier; this originates in a vast snow-basin south-east of the Tödi, bounded to the south by the peaks of Stoc Grond, Piz Urlaun and Bifertenstock, forming the boundary of the two cantons. The last-named peak is connected with the Selbsanft by a massive wall of precipitous rocks enclosing the glacier on the east side, forcing it, after descending at first nearly due east, to bend round first to north-east, due north. On the opposite side a ridge of rocks called Bifertengrätli, descending north-east from the Tödi, forms the boundary of the Biferten Glacier; the end of this nearest the Tödi is the Grünhorn, whereon stood the first hut of the Swiss Alpine Club. The Biferten Glacier is difficult to access, it includes some ice-falls, with intermediate steeps, is much crevassed. On the west side of the Tödi lies the Sand Glacier or Sandfirn, which descends towards the Sand Alp from the dividing ridge forming the pass to the south.
This does not extend so far south as the head of the Biferten Glacier. The ridge running due north from the Stoc Grond to the summit of the Tödi overlooks the head of the Val Russein on the Graubünden side of the chain, but it appears that the main mass of the Tödi lies altogether on the north side of the watershed; the 1,570-metre prominence is visible from the Glarus side, where the difference of altitude between the summit and the Linth Valley is 3 km. The difference is smaller on the south side. On the south side, the massif of the Tödi is composed of gneiss, according to Escher von der Linth, overlies a pioritic granite with large felspar crystals; the summit and the northern flank are composed of metamorphic slate, in which talc predominates, but is sometimes replaced by felspar, so that the rock sometimes approaches the condition of gneiss and sometimes that of mica slate. There are manifest traces of anthracite at the Bifertengrätli, where the rock in some places assumes the appearance of a quartzite mixed with fragment of talc, which has elsewhere in this region been referred to the Verrucano.
To these strata succeed dolomite and Jurassic limestone, similar in character to those developed on a large scale in the canton of Glarus. The first recorded attempts to reach the summit were made by Placidus a Spescha, one of the founders of mountaineering, he was entered the monastery of Disentis. It was not until 1824 that the peak was climbed, when Placidus a Spescha, accompanied by a servant and two chamois-hunters, made his sixth and final assault from the south side. On the way up they spent a night at the Russein huts and the next day, on September 1, they climbed to the gap called Porta da Spescha where Placidus and the servant watched the two hunters complete the climb to the top, they were Augustin Bisquolm and Placi CurschellasOn April 19, 1863, the Swiss Alpine Club is founded. Rudolf Theodor Simler became central president, designated the Tödi and Clariden region as the first area of exploration. A simple shelter was made at the foot of the mountain near the Biferten Glacier, the Grünhorn Hut, the first mountain hut of the Swiss Alpine Club.
Europe contains some of the world's largest vertical relief available to mountaineers, including lines that exceed the scale of Himalayan routes. According to Reudi Beglinger, mountain guide and founder of Selkirk Mountain Experience, ski-mountaineering options on the Tödi include what is "generally considered one of the most technically difficult lines in the Alps a 10,000-foot descent". List of mountains of the canton of Glarus List of mountains of Switzerland List of most isolated mountains of Switzerland Tödi on Summitpost
St. Chrischona is a hamlet in the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt, it is part of the municipality of Bettingen. The centre of the village is located on the highest point of the canton, at 522 metres above sea level. East of St. Chrischona, near the German border, is located a 250 m high communication tower. St. Chrischona is the home of the St. Chrischona Pilgrim Mission, an evangelical training school for home and foreign missions, led by Karl Heinrich Rappard and his wife Dora Rappard. Conrad Schick, German architect and evangelical missionary active in Jerusalem St. Chrischona, mythische-orte.eu
At 2,501.9 metres above sea level, Säntis is the highest mountain in the Alpstein massif of northeastern Switzerland. It is the culminating point of the whole Appenzell Alps, between Lake Walen and Lake Constance. Shared by three cantons, the mountain is a visible landmark thanks to its exposed northerly position within the Alpstein massif; as a consequence, houses called Säntisblick can be found in regions as far away as the Black Forest in Germany. Säntis is among the most prominent summits in the Alps and the most prominent summit in Europe with an observation deck on the top; the panorama from the summit is spectacular. Six countries can be seen if the weather allows: Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy. Säntis is located in nearly 10 km southwest of the town of Appenzell. Three cantons meet on Säntis: Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, St. Gallen, the mountain being split between the municipalities of Hundwil and Wildhaus-Alt St. Johann. Though its summit is at only 2502 metres above sea level, the mountain ranks number 13th in the Alps and 29th in Europe in topographic prominence at 2021 metres.
Peaks with high prominence have impressive summit views if their elevations are modest, Säntis being a prime example. Säntis is the highest mountain of both cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Appenzell Innerrhoden; the exposed position of Säntis results in weather conditions observed in the high Alps, which means being a polar climate with heavy precipitation not found in most of the Arctic. For example, in April 1999, just beneath the summit on the northern snowfield of the mountain, a snow height of 816 cm was recorded; the daily mean temperature is −1.9 °C with a precipitation of 2,701 mm per year. The name Säntis dates back to the 9th century, it is an abbreviation of the Romansh language for Sambatinus, thought to be the name of a nearby area. The name was used to refer to the summit. In the German language it was called Sämptis; the mountain gave its name to a canton of the Helvetic Republic. The International Meteorological Congress of Rome in 1879 declared it as a necessity to build weather stations on adequate and accessible summits.
Therefore, the Swiss built a weather station on Säntis. The position of the northern ridge proved to be ideal for such an endeavour; the weather station was commissioned in autumn of 1882. The so-called Säntismord happened in the winter of 1922, it refers to a crime in which his wife were murdered. The murder was only discovered because of missing weather reports on 21 February; as a result of the missing reports, a search party was sent to Säntis, where they discovered the bodies. The prime suspect was shoemaker Gregor Anton Kreuzpointer, who committed suicide three weeks after the murder; the truth about this double murder hence remains unclear to this day. Säntis has one of the highest rate of lightning strikes in Europe. In 2010 a lightning measurement station was installed atop a 120 m tall telecommunications tower on the mountain by the Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab of the EPFL in Lausanne; the station automatically records about one gigabyte of data per strike and notifies researchers.
In the first nine months of operation it recorded about 50 strikes, including 7 positive lightning strikes. Located at the peak of the Säntis is a 123.55 meter high transmission tower, commissioned in November 1997. The original tower stemming from the year 1955 had to be renovated several times due to the rough weather conditions before being replaced; the antenna of the new transmission tower got a fibre-glass enforced plastic layer on the outside in order to prevent ice falling onto the visitors' terrace. Swiss radio channels such as DRS 1, DRS 2, DRS 3, RSR la Première and RSI Rete Uno are broadcast from the tower. Swiss television channels such as SF 1, SF 2, SF Info, TSR 1 and TSI 1 are broadcast from this location. Today, the summit is accessible by aerial tramway from Schwägalp, it had been a popular destination for tourists since the mid 19th century. However though many ideas to make the summit more accessible existed since those days, it took another century for them to materialize.
Many approaches, using various types of railways starting from several nearby towns, were tried, but failed. One project planned to access Säntis from Unterwasser by rack-and-pinion railway. While the lower section of this project between Appenzell and Wasserauen was built and is still part of today's active railway network, the rest of it was halted due to a lack of funding. Local businessman Dr. Carl Meyer of Herisau came forward with the idea to construct an aerial tramway from the base of the mountain, at Schwägalp, build a mountain road from the nearby town of Urnäsch for easier access to its lower terminal. On 22 September 1933, his project was selected for construction and Meyer was awarded with the necessary licences by the federal government. On 1 July 1935, the aerial tramway started operations; the original cabins were replaced by larger ones in 1960. The entire aerial tramway installation was replaced between 1968 and 1976. In 2000, new cabins were commissioned; the aerial tramway Luftseilbahn Schwägalp-Säntis is one of the most frequented tramways in Switzerland.
It has a total length of 2307 meters. The altitude gain between the terminals is 1123 meters; the journey takes 8 minutes. The first tramway was constructed from 1933 to 1935. In honour of the Swiss National Da
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
Blenio is a municipality of the district of Blenio, in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland. Blenio was created on 22 October 2006 when it incorporated the autonomous municipalities of Aquila, Campo Blenio, Ghirone and Torre of the upper Blenio valley. A legal challenge to the merger was raised by Aquila, but was rejected by the Federal Court on 18 April 2006. Aquila is first mentioned in 1196 as Aquili. Ghirone is first mentioned in 1200 as Agairono. Olivone is first mentioned in 1193 as Alivoni in 1205 it was mentioned as Orivono. In Romansh it was known as Luorscha. Around 1200, the settlement of Ghirone belonged Aquila; the present borders were established in 1853 with the final separation of the two municipalities. The parish church of San Vittore was built in 1213, it was rebuilt in 1728-30. One important source of income for the village came from money sent back by emigrants from the village to other European countries. Starting in 1914 many of the inhabitants of Aquila worked in the chocolate factory Cima-Norma in Torre Arbeit.
In addition the residents often farmed land and raised livestock. The closure of the factory in 1968 led to a large population decline. In 1990, about 39% of the population worked in manufacturing, while 49% worked in the services sector. About 60% of the worker commuted out of the village. In 1334, Disentis Abbey acquired rights over all the land in Ghirone; the village was part of the community of Aquila, in 1803 it merged with the municipality of Ghirone. In 1836, Buttino and Ghirone separated from Aquila and together founded their own community. Buttino was inhabited until the late 19th Century and was an autonomous village as far back as the 13th Century; the two municipalities rejoined Aquila in 1842 and 1846 and separated in 1853. The Citizens Community, which still bears the name of Ghirone-Buttino was founded in 1914; the Church of SS Martino e Giorgio was first mentioned in 1215 and was rebuilt around 1700. The parish became independent; as with the other municipalities of the Blenio Valley, much of the population emigrated to other European countries.
While this was a major source of revenue, it led to a steady population decline. In the late 1950s the Luzzone Dam was built between the municipalities of Aquila; the dam is used to generate hydroelectric power. The large-scale construction of the dam and the new road tunnel at Toira in 1958, improved the local economy; the new tunnel allowed winter and summer tourism, the development of a winter sports center gave the economy a definite boost. Livestock farming, for centuries had been the main occupation, fell sharply; the political power in the upper Blenio valley was in the hands of a branch of the De Torre family. They owned land in Olivone and possessed the patronage rights in the parish church until the oath of Torre in 1182 ended their supremacy. In 1213 the villages of Olivone and Aquila revolted and united against the Da Locarno family, given power over the valley by canons of Milan, they were able to drive out the Da Locarno's and return to the previous situation, where they were ruled by a governor out of Lombardy.
The assemblea di uomini liberi, first mentioned in 1136, provided for the management of common forests, alpine pastures and helped maintain the Lukmanier and Greina passes. By the end of the 14th Century the assemblea di uomini liberi took advantage of Olivone's lease on the Santa Maria alpine pasture, which belonged to the abbey of Disentis; the village customary law was written down in the statutes of 1237 and 1474. During the Early Middle Ages, Olivone was the center of a parish, over the whole valley. Starting in the High and Late Middle Ages, the village's history follows the course of the entire valley; the Parish Church of S. Martino was built before 1136, in the 17th century, was rebuilt, followed by renovations in 1974 and 1984-91; the church contains frescos from the 18th Centuries. Valuable vestments on display in the Cà da Rivöi, a building from the 15th Century. On Lukmanier street the hospice of SS Sepolcro e Barnaba at Casaccia, was built in 1104; this was followed by the Hospice of S. Defendente in Camperio, built in 1254.
The noble families of da Torre and da Lodrino founded these two hospices. They were managed by the neighborhood and had until the 15th Century, were of major social and economic importance. Much of the local economy was based on agriculture. However, between the 15th Century and the 19th Century, much of the economy depended on money sent back home from emigrants to Italy and England as well as other cities in Switzerland; the chocolate makers from Olivone enjoyed a good reputation in Italy and France starting in the 17th Century. In the last decades of the 19th Century, tourism became important. In the 20th Century, tourism grew in importance and initiatives for nature and heritage protection were further promoted. At the beginning of the 21st Century the village was known for its summer tourism. Olivone retained its agricultural character, but in 1956 it became home to the Blenio Kraftwerke AG power plant and certain construction companies, it houses the Alpine Institute of Chemistry and Toxicology of the Alpine Foundation for Life Sciences.
In 2005, 22% of jobs in Olivone were in agriculture. Blenio has an area, as of 2006, of 202.2 square kilometers. Of this area, 22.6% is used for agricultural purposes, while 27