ALBULA PASS, SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭
The Albula Pass is located in the Swiss canton of Graubünden amidst the wonderful Engadine Alps and links the Albula valley with the Engadine. The luxurious mountain resort of Saint Moritz in Switzerland can be found at the south end of the alpine pass.
The pass follows the Albula river for a while and is somewhat more beautiful in the northern section. Before you reach Berguen you have to climb the pass along side a cliff with a few serpentines. Up here a wonderful view over the Albula canyon is waiting.
The second part of the Albula Pass is a little narrow and the surface can get a little rough. But it's worth it to travel underneath the Albula railway viaducts upwards to the top of the pass.
Here at the summit the view opens to a small plateau with a tiny lake. We recommend to stop for a coffee at the 1873 hospice and enjoy the view. Marmots and other wild animals can often be observed from here.
On the other side the wide curves are winding down into the Engadine valley. At La Punt-Chamues directly after the railway crossing the drive over the Albula is coming to the end.
The locals drive the Albula Pass with a shocking confidence. Tourists should always expect a cow or two behind every turn.
During winter month the Albula Pass is used as an open air bob sledge and remains closed for traffic. That also explains why the road surface is not always the best.
A BIT OF HISTORY. Already during prehistoric and Roman times the passages was in use as a trading route for different goods, like honey, cheese and animal skins. The Bishop of Chur later generated a good income from tools to use the pass during the middle ages.
Gunpowder was used in 1695 to blow a tunnel into the Albula Gorge to get easier access to the Bergün valley. Later between 1864 and 1866 the pass was extended to 4.20 metres road width in some sections to allow horse-drawn post coaches on the pass. The journey between Chur and St. Moritz back then was now only fourteen hours, still less than the Julier Route.
Since July 1st 1903 the Rhaetian Railway connects the two places via a 5.9 km train tunnel as well and the importance of the pass declined considerably.
The railways follows parallel to the Albula Pass for some time and with a bit of luck you can see one of the trains crossing over the Albula Pass on one of the impressive stone viaducts. There is also an interesting railway museum in the town of Bergün to visit.
Since the opening of the railway the alpine pass lost importance. The car route to St. Moritz is mainly served by the Julier Pass, which is normally kept open even during the winter.
In 2008 the Rhaetian Railway became only the third railway in the world to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.