It was a great surprise for me to find out that at some point in European history the Russian army set feet in Swiss Alps. I have always thought that the Alps were impassable ( and they are ) and therefore no army has ever attempted to cross it. That probably shows the depths of my ignorance, but let’s not dwell on my personal shortcomings 🙂
The Alpine pass at Andermatt took us past the monument and we had to stop and investigate. The weather was as inhospitable as you can imagine. Temperatures dropped to barely few degrees Celsius and the wind was blowing straight through us. Bearing in mind that we are on our way to sunny and hot Rome, we put on all the clothes that we had on hand and braved the weather. What is a few moments in the freezing weather anyway, right? For the sake of unforgettable experience and memorable photographs? We shall certainly remember that one for a long time… 🙂
The Suvorov monument commemorates the fighting that took place at the Schöllenen Gorge on 25 September 1799. Here, Russian troops under General Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov fought against and defeated Napoleon’s forces.
On 15 September 1799, Suvorov with 21,000 men reached Monte Ceneri and on 24 September defeated the French at the Gotthard Hospice. The French then filled the Urnerloch with rock debris and blew up the Devil’s Bridge. A day later, Suworow had his men construct an emergency bridge by tying wooden beams together with his officers’ scarves and this enabled him to make the crossing against heavy losses.
The monument was erected in 1899 by Russia in honor of Suworow and the fallen soldiers. During his state visit to Switzerland, the Russian President Dmitry Medwedew visited the monument on 22 September 2009.