In the fall of 1799, exactly 220 years ago, Field Marshal Alexander Vasilievich Suvorov made an unprecedented feat in history - led the Russian army through the impregnable Alpine mountains to Switzerland, which was waiting for help in the fight against the French.
Today, for the anniversary of the heroic campaign, everyone can visit the Suvorov places of glory and with their own feet walk the path of the Russian army in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Excursions along the route of the great commander’s hike are organized by many travel agencies.
Today everyone can explore the way of the Russian army in the heart of the Swiss Alps, photo WEB
The starting point of the tour is usually the small village Airolo in the Swiss canton of Ticino, at the foot of Saint Gotthard. This is the first point on the St. Gotthard Road, where they begin to speak Italian, and the place where Alexander Suvorov began his Alpine compaign in 1799. Airolo is located at an altitude of 1179 meters above sea level, and you can get here by train from the airport.
The first evening of the tour is usually free for walking - after being placed in a local hotel you can admire the looks and gain strength for the upcoming climb to the heroic pass of St. Gotthard.
The village Airolo - the place from where Alexander Suvorov began his campaign, photo WEB
On the winding Saint-Gotthard road there are 46 turns along the steep southern slope of the mountains, tourists climb with their own feet up to a height of 2091 meters from the hospitable Airolo to the place of the Russian's army battle with the French - the outcome of this battle opened the way for Suvorov through Saint-Gotthard. Numerous glaciers and lakes located in these places nourish many famous rivers, including the Reuss, Rhone and the Front Rhine.
The climb here takes about four hours, after which travelers find themselves on the shore of a mountain lake, where it is convenient to stay at the hotel at night.
On a winding Saint-Gotthard road there are 46 turns, photo WEB
After seeing the sights of the pass, you can go to the place of the most difficult battle of Suvorov, which threatened to fail the entire project - to the Devil's Bridge, thrown at a height of 23 meters above the rumbling stream of the Reuss river. The tourist route passes along the gentle northern slope of the mountain, through the Schöllenen Gorge to the memorial bridge and the grandiose monument erected next to it in memory of the dead Russian soldiers.
Devils Bridge in Switzerland, photo WEB
Here a 12-meter-long cross is carved in the rock, as well as a dedication to the soldiers and their "Generalissimo Field Marshal Count Suvorov-Rymniksky, Prince of Italy". Nearby is a separate monument to Alexander Vasilyevich - the commander is riding a horse, and next to him is an old Swiss man, Antonio Gamma, who was the guide of the Russian army through the Alps in the campaign.
12-meter cross in memory of the fallen Russian soldiers, photo WEB
All the way from the pass to the nearest village Andermatt takes about five and a half hours. Pride of Andermatt is one of the most beautiful chalets of the Ursern Valley, in which Suvorov spent the night before the next battle. Today, the Talmuseum is located in this house, preserving the atmosphere of that time.
Having completed the cultural program in the village, it is time to continue the descent from the pass. After four hours of walking along the beautiful valleys and suspension bridges over the Fellitobel gorge, the tour route rests on the Wassen village. Here, too, it is worth staying at least for a short while to admire the main attraction of this place - the Baroque Catholic Church, the most outstanding in all of Switzerland.
Talmuseum, photo WEB
Further, the descent from the pass stretches from the Wassen village, hidden between the steep slopes of the mountains, to the capital of the canton of Uri - Altdorf. Eight hours of walking usually fly unnoticed in these places, since the excursion route lies through the picturesque Ruesstal valley, where the stunning beauty of nature is adjacent to medieval architecture.
Andermatt Village, photo WEB
The next day, having a rest after a long descent from the St. Gotthard pass, on a boat on Lake Lucerne you can go to Lucerne, a beautiful city surrounded by green hills and inaccessible mountain slopes. Here you can use the services of a guide who will conduct a sightseeing tour in two hours. Having completed the journey to the places of Suvorov's glory, you can get to the airport from Lucerne by train, taking away with you a nagging feeling of touching something great and really significant.