October 27, 2011

0021 SWITZERLAND (Bern) - Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (UNESCO WHS)

0021 Bernina Express across the Landwasser Viaduct

Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes. Opened in 1904, the Albula line in the north western part of the property is 67 km long. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. The 61 km Bernina pass line features 13 tunnels and galleries and 52 viaducts and bridges.

The property is exemplary of the use of the railway to overcome the isolation of settlements in the Central Alps early in the 20th century, with a major and lasting socio-economic impact on life in the mountains. It constitutes an outstanding technical, architectural and environmental ensemble and embodies architectural and civil engineering achievements, in harmony with the landscapes through which they pass.

The Bernina Express, operated by the Rhaetian Railway company, connects Chur in Switzerland with Poschiavo and Tirano in Italy and since summer 2008 the section between Thusis and Tirano has been classed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The trip on the Bernina Express is a 4 hour railway journey across 196 bridges, through 55 tunnels and across the Bernina Pass on the highest point at 2,253m in altitude, without the use of toothed-wheel mechanism. It seems very spectacular and the postcard received from Gabriela - that captures the train across the Landwasser Viaduct (Landwasserviadukt), built between 1901 and 1902 by Müller & Zeerleder – proves it the most.

About the stamps
The first stamp it’s a special one (I know, I said that many times, but it’s really special), issued on September 9th, 2011. The series title, Handicapped Artists pays tribute to those who continue to follow their artistic path despite being handicapped by a disability that makes this path more demanding. The author of this painting is Claudia Aebi-Torre (33), a former nurse and medical masseuse who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 27 and now works reduced hours with a non-profit organization and paint. The picture on the stamp, entitled Emmental, showing, as Gabriela says, a landscape of the region with the same name, forming part of the canton of Bern, famous for the Emmentaler cheese.

The other two stamps, depicted Rye (0.20 CHF), are part of the Agriculture & Food series, about I wrote here.

Sender: Gabriela Bläsi (direct swap)
Sent from Büren an der Aare (Bern / Switzerland), on 21.10.2011

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