Besides clocks, chocolate, and cheese Switzerland is famous for its beautiful scenery and impressive mountains. Of the 74 peaks that are higher than 4,000 metres, 55 are located solely in the country itself. The other 19 extend over the Italian border.
The most famous Swiss Mountains
One of the most popular attractions of the Swiss Alps is Matterhorn whose top raises 4478 m into the sky. It is located south of Zermatt, the well-known address for skiers who want to indulge in an exclusive ambience. Remarkably, the mountainÂ´s characteristic triangle peak inspired Swiss chocolat manufacturer Tobler to create his delicious, uniquely shaped bar Toblerone.
Long before that, in July 1865, Englishman Edward Whymper wrote history by being the first known human being setting a foot on it. With 3,970 m not quite as high but even more difficult to be conquered is Eiger, notorious for its dangerous northern face. The 1,650 m difference in altitude that have to be overcome caused many casualties amongst those who tried. Finally, in July 1938, a group of German and Austrian mountaineers succeeded in making it through that fatal place in one piece.
Swiss Mountains – The deadly North Face
However, it was a risky four-day endeavour. Not so famous for its degree of difficulty but because of its geological compounds is Jungfrau. The 4158 m high peak, together with Eiger and Mönch, forms the so-called Dreigestirn group of mountains. It can be found close to Swiss capital Bern and consists of different layers of sediments that were shifted together from various directions.
In December 2001, the UNESCO made it part of the Natural Heritage of the World. Another mountain, famous for its 27 km long pass, is Gotthard. Tourists travelling from North to South or vice versa may also appreciate the 110 km long Gotthardstraße that connects the villages Altdorf and Biasca.
The St. Gotthard pass itself is situated at an altitude of 2108 m, with a gradient of twelve percent. For a long time it has been the most important North-South connection. Even the Romans were aware of it. However, they hardly used it because of Schöllenenschlucht, an adjacent dangerous canyon.