Klausen Pass, Switzerland

The Klausen Pass reaches an altitude of 1952 metres and links the cantons of Uri and Glarus in Central Switzerland. The road was built from 1893 to 1899, roughly following the line of an old mule track. Since then the pass has of course been much improved and, depending upon snow conditions, is normally open from June to late October. Motor races were held on the Klausen Pass between 1922 and 1934 with legendary race drivers including Caracciola, Stuck, Bullus, Nuvolari, Varzi and Chiron pitting their skills against each other. The turbulent 1930s brought an end to the event but the memory of this most difficult and prestigious race, with its 136 bends, lingered on. In 1993 the 1st International Klausen Memorial Race took place and the event was repeated in 1998, 2002 and 2006, with more to follow. The race lives on! But it’s well worth driving the pass at a less speedy pace. The drive from Altdorf to Linthal is simply spectacular. And for the more energetic, it makes a superb, if challenging, cycle ride.


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