Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 135 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIMPLON PASS, a pass over the Alps. Not known early save as a purely local route, the Simplon Pass rose into importance when Napoleon caused the carriage road to be built across it between 'Soo and 1807, though it suffered a new eclipse on the opening of the Mont Cenis (1871) and St Gotthard railways (1882). The Simplon tunnel was opened in 1906. The pass proper starts from Brieg (Swiss canton of the Valais), which is in the upper Rhone valley and 901 M. by rail from Lausanne, past St Maurice and Sion. From Brieg it is about 14 M. Up to the pass (6J92 ft.), close to which is the hospice (first mentioned in 1235) in the charge of Austin Canons from the Great St Bernard. The road descends past the Swiss village of Simplon, and passes through the wonderful rock defile of Gondo before entering Italy at Iselle (28 m. from Brieg). Here the road joins the railway line through the tunnel, which is 124 M. in length, and 2313 It. high, being thus both the longest and the lowest tunnel through the Alps. From Iselle it is about 11 m. by rail to Domo d'Ossola, whence the Toce or Tosa valley is followed to the Lago Maggiore (23 m.). The new line runs along the W. shore of the Lago Maggiore past Baveno, Stresa and Arona, and so on to Milan. (W. A. B. C.)
End of Article: SIMPLON PASS

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