42 Route 6. BRENNER. From. Innsbruck
12 M. Matrei (3241 ft.), with the chateau of Trautson, the prop¬
erty of Prince Auersperg, is charmingly situated. — 14 M. Steinach
(3430 ft.); the village lies on the other side of the valley, at the
mouth of the Gschnitzthal. — The train now ascends a steep incline,
crosses the Schmimer Thai in a wide curve above the village of
Stafflach (two tunnels), and runs high above the profound ravine
of the Sill to (1972 M.) Gries (4100 ft.). It then, in another curve,
passes the small green Brennersee, and reaches —
2372 M. Stat. Brenner (4485 ft.), on the summit of the pass, the
watershed between the Black Sea and the Adriatic. View limited.
The Sill, which rises on the N. side of the pass, falls into the Inn;
the Eisak, rising on the S. side, descends to the Adige. The train
follows the course of the Eisak and soon stops at (26 M.) Brenner-
bad (4353 ft. ; *Logirhaus), a popular bath-establishment. It then
descends rapidly by means of a long embankment and through two
tunnels to stat. Schelleberg (4065 ft.), where it turns into the
Pflersch-Thal. Here it enters the N. slope of the valley by a curved
tunnel, 800 yds. long, from which it emerges in the opposite direc¬
tion , soon reaching (33 M.) Gossensass (3481 ft.; *Brauhaus),
which lies 584 ft. below Schelleberg. This is one of the most in¬
teresting parts of the line , and is most striking when seen in the
reverse direction. — The train now runs high above the Eisak,
passing at places through wild rocky scenery, and enters the broad
basin in which lies —
38 M. Sterzing (3107 ft. ; Goldner Greif; NeuePost; Schwarzer
Adler; Stoetter's Hotel, at the station), a clean and picturesque
little town with curious old buildings and arcades, deriving its
prosperity from mines formerly worked here.
The train now crosses the Pfitscher Bach; on the left rises the
castle of Sprechenstein, and on the right bank of the Eisak the
ruins of Thumburg and Reifenstein are visible. — 4072 M.
Freienfeld. The train crosses the Eisak; on the left bank rises the
ruined castle of Welfenstein (said to be of Roman origin), and the
village of Mauls. — Beyond (45 M.) Grasstein the train enters the
narrow defile of Mittewald, where the French were defeated in 1809.
The lower end of the defile, called the Brixener Klause, near
Unterau (2460 ft.), is strongly fortified by the Franzensfeste,
which was constructed in 1833, and commands the Brenner route.
Franzensfeste (4772 M. from Innsbruck) is the junction for the
Pusterthal line (for Carinthia); the station (*Rail. Restaurant,
with rooms to let, D. 1 fl. 20 kr., R. 1 fl.) lies at some distance
from the fortifications. The vegetation now assumes a more southern
character, vineyards and chestnuts gradually appearing.
5672 M. Brixen, Ital. Bressanone (1833 ft.; *Elephant, adjoining
the post-office, 72 M. from the station), was for nine centuries the
capital of a spiritual principality, which was dissolved in 1803,