Andermatt Tourist Attractions
Andermatt lies in the wide Urseren valley at the junction of four important Alpine roads, which with the exception of the access road from the Reuss valley are closed for between four and six months in the year. The old village has developed into an ideal base for walkers and climbers and a popular winter sports resort. The Urseren valley was settled from the Valais, and the oldest parts of Andermatt and Hospental still show Valaisian features. The people of the valley were long subject to the authority of Disentis abbey, but achieved independence in 1382, with their own constitution and their own amman (chief magistrate) and the village is still a separate district within the canton of Uri.
In the town of Andermatt the Baroque church of St Peter and Paul dates from 1695 (Roccoco interior). On Andermatt's mountainside is the little 13th C. church of St Columban (dedicated to the Irish monastery saint). In the Schönbächler House, with rare Roccoco paintings of 1786, is the Uri Valley Museum (domestic culture). From the Mariahilf chapel, above the village to the south, there are far-ranging views of the Bäzberg (2,550 m/8,367ft), the Furka pass, with the Muttenhorn (3,103 m/10,181ft), and the Badus (2,931 m/9,617ft).
The area surrounding Andermatt offers many beautiful sights including the Schöllen gorge and Göschen valley.
The five-hour walk along the Urschner Höhenweg from Andermatt to Tiefenbach is recommended.
There is a cableway up to the Gernstock (2,963 m/9,721ft; length 4,036 m/13,240ft; height difference 1,525 m/5,003ft; time 12minutes; magnificent views).
Road 2 runs north up the wide Urseren valley (Bear Hunters' Valley), a massive Alpine trough flanked by high mountains, some of them snow-capped, and by scree-covered slopes, and watered by the streams which feed the Reuss. The road crosses the Devil's Bridge (Teufelsbrücke 1,402 m/4,600ft), built in 1955-56, which spans the Reuss at a waterfall 30 m/98ft high. The bridge, 86 m/282ft long, inherited its name from an old 15th C. bridle-path bridge at the same spot. A stone cross 12 m/39ft high commemorates the fighting in September 1799, when General Suvorov's Russians, coming from the St Gotthard pass, defeated the French force which attempted to bar their way. To the right, on the old road, is the Teufelsbrücke restaurant.The road passes through the Teufelswand ("Devil's Wall") in a short tunnel, and leaving a parking place (fine views) and five sharp bends (Schöllenen restaurant) returns to the right bank of the river of the Spänngi bridge (1,234 m/4,049ft).
After passing the Spänngi bridge, Road 2 enters the Schöllenen (probably from Latin "scala"=ladder), a wild gorge enclosed between precipitous granite walls. After another four sharp bends (fine views) the road crosses to the left bank again on the Vordere Brücke. Thereafter it crosses the Göschenen-Reuss and continues to wind sharply downhill on the St Gotthard road to the village of Göschenen.
Göschenen (alt. 1,115 m/3,658ft) is magnificently situated at the junction of the Göschenen-Reuss with the Reuss, which issues from the Schöllenen gorge. It lies near the north entrance to the 15km/9mi long St Gotthard tunnel and has a large railroad station. The builder of the tunnel, Louis Favre, died of a stroke in the tunnel in 1879, shortly before its completion, and is buried in Göschenen churchyard.
To the west of Göschenen an attractive road ascends the beautiful Göschenen valley to a reservoir on the Göschener Alp (9.5km/6mi). 7km/4mi from Göschenen, on the right is the Göschener Alp inn (1,715 m/5,627ft), and 2.5km/ 2mi beyond this, in a magnificent mountain setting, the Dammagletscher inn (1,795 m/5,889ft) with a large parking place. Above the inn, from a reservoir (75million cu. m/2,648million cu. ft), there is a superb view of the Dammastock and its glacier. The Göschenen Alp is the starting point of a variety of rewarding climbs: to the Lochberg (3,088 m/10,132ft: 4.5 hours, with guide), the Dammastock (3,633 m/11,920ft: 6.5 hours, with guide), the Susterhorn (3,503 m/11,497ft: 6.5 hours, with guide). The road continues down the bare mountainside and once again crosses to the right bank on the Schöni Bridge (981 m/3,219ft). Below, on the right, lies the Teufelstein ("Devil's Stone"), a massive boulder which was moved 127 m/417ft upstream in 1973, during the construction of the St Gotthard road tunnel. The road passes the village of Wattingen (920 m/3,019ft) and crosses to the left bank of the Reuss, with the Rienzenstock (2,964 m/9,725ft) on the right and the magnificent Dammafirn (névé) on the left.
5km/3miles from Göschenen we reach Wassen (934 m/3,064ft), a beautifully situated village at the junction with the road over the Furka pass. From the terrace in front of the church (1734), which stands on higher ground, there are superb views of the valley in both directions.
The Circuit of three passes is a very scenic round trip from Wassen through the mountains. The route takes visitors over the Susten, Grimsel and Furka passes.