38 Route 5. SPLUGEN. From Coire
♦Second Bridge (2844ft.), built in 1739,1 M. from Rongellen. The
Rhine, 260 ft. below the road, winds through a ravine so narrow
that the precipices above almost meet. At the third bridge, built
in 1834, about 1 M. farther, the Via Mala ends.
The road now enters the more open Valley of Schams, the
green meadows and cheerful cottages of which present a pleas¬
ant contrast to the sombre defile just quitted. To the S. in the
background are the peaks of the Hirli (9373 ft.). Above the old
bridge the Rhine forms a small waterfall. The first village in the
valley of Schams (6 M. from Thusis) is Zillis, Roman. Ciraun
(3061 ft.; Post), with the oldest church in the valley. On the
hill to the right, on the left bank of the Rhine, stands the ruined
castle of Fardiin, or La Turr. Below lies the village of Donat, above
which towers the Piz Beverin. On the same bank are the village
of Clugin and the tower of the ruined castle of Cagliatscha.
2372 M. Andeer (3212 ft. ; *Krone, or Hotel Fravi) is the prin¬
cipal village in the valley, with 600 inhabitants. Fine view of the
valley from the church, built in 1673.
The road ascends in windings , passes the ruins of the Bdren-
burg, and enters the *Rofna Ravine, a gorge 3 M. in length, in
which the Rhine forms a series of waterfalls. Near the entrance
the Averser Rhein descends from the Ferrera Valley and joins the
Hinter-Rhein. Towards the end of the gorge, an old bridge crosses
the Rhine. Farther on, a rocky gateway (Sassa Plana), 16 yds. in
length, is passed. The open Alpine landscape of the Rheinwald-
thal ( Val Rhein) is now disclosed; to the right lies Suvers (4673 ft.);
opposite rise the Pizzo Uccello(8dll ft.) and the Einshorn(9650ft.) ;
to the left of the Spliigen, near the Uccello, is the Tambohorn
(10,748 ft.); to the W. the Zapporthom (9803 ft.), etc.
32i/2 M. Spliigen, Roman. Spluga (4757 ft.; Hotel Bodenhaus
or Post), the capital of the Rheinwaldthal, is a busy place, owing to
its position at the junction of the Spliigen and Bernardino routes.
The latter (p. 40) here runs to the W. The Spliigen route turns
to the left, crosses the Rhine, and ascends in windings, passing
through a tunnel 93 yds. in length. Retrospect of the barren Kalk-
berg rising above Spliigen. The road then enters a bleak valley
and ascends on the W. side by numberless zigzags, passing a soli¬
tary Refuge, to the summit of the Spliigen Pass (Colmo dell' Orso;
6946 ft.), lying between the precipitous Tambohorn, or Schnee-
hom (10,748 ft.) to the W., and the Surettahom (9925 ft.) to
the E. This narrow ridge forms the boundary between Switzer¬
land and Italy. The pass, which was known to the Romans, was
traversed down to 1818 by a bridle-path only. The road was con¬
structed by the Austrian government in 1819-21. About 3/4M.
beyord the pass is the Dogana (6247 ft.), the Italian custom¬
house, at the head of a bleak valley surrounded by lofty mountains.
The road now descends by numberless zigzags along the E.