55 ViaSuworow
55 ViaSuworow

Hiking

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ViaSuworow

Stage 5, Altdorf–Biel-Chinzig

Route report
53 photos

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ViaSuworow

At the Urnersee lake, Suvorov was unable to proceed any further as the French had seized all boats. So the ViaSuworow follows the route of the Russians from Altdorf into the Schächental valley, where cobbled cattle tracks bordered by drystone walling lead to Biel-Chinzig.
On 26 September 1799, Suvorov arrived with his troops in Altdorf. The threatening mountains and gloomy ravines faded into the background on the broad valley plain. However, not the entire army had made it to Altdorf, and many soldiers were exhausted from the exertions. Hunger compounded the situation. The supply train had stayed behind, and the French had largely plundered the country.

The fifth stage of the ViaSuworow is, first and foremost, dedicated to Switzerland's national hero, starting at the Tell monument in the centre of Altdorf. The bronze statue, inaugurated in 1895, presents William Tell with his crossbow shouldered together with his son, Walter. After a short walk through the old town and past the industrial area of Altdorf, you reach Bürglen after about half an hour. The beautiful Marienkirche of "burgulione" was first mentioned in a document in 817. The name Bürglen comes from the Latin burgus (castle). Right next to the church is the Tell Museum. Continuing through residential quarters and along dry-stone walls for another hour, you arrive at Brügg.

There was no way for Suvorov to march from Altdorf via Flüelen directly to Schwyz or Lucerne. The lake would have been the only connection, but all the ships had been taken away by the French. Therefore, despite overtired troops, he set out for Muotathal the following day. The night of 27 September was rainy and cold. At higher altitudes, there was even some snow. Remarkably, Suvorov ordered his exhausted and starving troops over the pass, given that the equipment, especially the footwear, had also been severely affected on the way to Altdorf.

Today's hiking boots are much more comfortable. For about 45 minutes, the trail leads along the Schächen valley to Gründli, where the occasionally steep 900-metre ascent begins. Scenic paths and cattle trails, partly enclosed by old dry-stone walls or a stile fence, climb to an altitude of over 1,600 metres above sea level. Along the way: magnificent views over the Reuss valley and the surrounding peaks of Tödi, Gross Windgällen and Gross Spannort. The stage ends on the sun terrace at Biel-Chinzig.

*Background information and quotations stages 55.1-55.9: Alois Camenzind (1992), Maultiere machen Geschichte oder Suworows Krieg in den Schweizer Alpen im Jahre 1799, Luzern: Verlag Pro Libro Luzern GmbH
At the Urnersee lake, Suvorov was unable to proceed any further as the French had seized all boats. So the ViaSuworow follows the route of the Russians from Altdorf into the Schächental valley, where cobbled cattle tracks bordered by drystone walling lead to Biel-Chinzig.
On 26 September 1799, Suvorov arrived with his troops in Altdorf. The threatening mountains and gloomy ravines faded into the background on the broad valley plain. However, not the entire army had made it to Altdorf, and many soldiers were exhausted from the exertions. Hunger compounded the situation. The supply train had stayed behind, and the French had largely plundered the country.

The fifth stage of the ViaSuworow is, first and foremost, dedicated to Switzerland's national hero, starting at the Tell monument in the centre of Altdorf. The bronze statue, inaugurated in 1895, presents William Tell with his crossbow shouldered together with his son, Walter. After a short walk through the old town and past the industrial area of Altdorf, you reach Bürglen after about half an hour. The beautiful Marienkirche of "burgulione" was first mentioned in a document in 817. The name Bürglen comes from the Latin burgus (castle). Right next to the church is the Tell Museum. Continuing through residential quarters and along dry-stone walls for another hour, you arrive at Brügg.

There was no way for Suvorov to march from Altdorf via Flüelen directly to Schwyz or Lucerne. The lake would have been the only connection, but all the ships had been taken away by the French. Therefore, despite overtired troops, he set out for Muotathal the following day. The night of 27 September was rainy and cold. At higher altitudes, there was even some snow. Remarkably, Suvorov ordered his exhausted and starving troops over the pass, given that the equipment, especially the footwear, had also been severely affected on the way to Altdorf.

Today's hiking boots are much more comfortable. For about 45 minutes, the trail leads along the Schächen valley to Gründli, where the occasionally steep 900-metre ascent begins. Scenic paths and cattle trails, partly enclosed by old dry-stone walls or a stile fence, climb to an altitude of over 1,600 metres above sea level. Along the way: magnificent views over the Reuss valley and the surrounding peaks of Tödi, Gross Windgällen and Gross Spannort. The stage ends on the sun terrace at Biel-Chinzig.

*Background information and quotations stages 55.1-55.9: Alois Camenzind (1992), Maultiere machen Geschichte oder Suworows Krieg in den Schweizer Alpen im Jahre 1799, Luzern: Verlag Pro Libro Luzern GmbH
10 km
1300 m | 150 m
4 h 30 min
medium (mountain hiking trail) | difficult

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Altdorf
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

More …

Saving metres in altitude
There is an aerial cableway lift between Brügg (Bürglen UR) (Seilbahn) and Biel (Kinzig) that saves about 1000 metres in altitude.
Saving metres in altitude
There is an aerial cableway car between Spiringen, Witerschwanden and Kesselberg that saves about 700 metres in altitude.

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Biel (Kinzig)
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Contact

Signpost management
Signposting is managed by the cantonal hiking trail organisation on behalf of the canton and the communities.
Urner Wanderwege
Rathausplatz 4
6460 Altdorf
info@urnerwanderwege.ch
www.urnerwanderwege.ch

Services

Accommodation

Hotel Zum Schwarzen Löwen
Hotel Zum Schwarzen Löwen
Altdorf UR
Naturfreundehaus Rietlig
Naturfreundehaus Rietlig
Spiringen
Berggasthaus Ratzi
Berggasthaus Ratzi
Spiringen
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Bookable offers

Tell Trail Luzern - Sörenberg
Tell Trail Luzern - Sörenberg
55 Via Suworow
55 Via Suworow
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Places

Altdorf
Altdorf
Biel-Chinzig
Biel-Chinzig
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Places of interest

Monument of Wiliam Tell
Monument of Wiliam Tell
Pumptrack Schattdorf
Pumptrack Schattdorf
Tell museum
Tell museum
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Swimming

Swimming baths Altdorf
Swimming baths Altdorf
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Signalization

Signalization
For hiking, follow the logo indicated on the yellow signposts. Take a printout of our web map on your hike for safety's sake.
Signalization