Two special stamps with a gutter document a strengthened sense of togetherness.
From time immemorial, the giant Gott- hard has been perched up high on the granite and gneiss of the massif. At least according to ancient legend. An imposing figure, he parts the waters, the four winds and the cardinal points and divides cul- tures, languages and mentalities, dash- ing all human dreams of mobility and freedom of movement. There have, of course, always been a few stalwart indi- vidualswhohavesomehowsucceededin climbing over the giant’s shoulders. But it was not until 1200 that the attack on the Alpine barrier began to take a systematic approach and the wild Schöllenen Gorge was conquered – with the construction of a swaying footbridge and, finally, a bridge allegedly built with the aid of the devil. It wasn’t long before the mule trains began to get in each others’ way. The story of tailbacks at the Gotthard massif had begun...
When the mule track was transformed into a pass road, the mail coaches took over. A famous painting by Rudolf Koller depicts galloping horses pulling the Gott- hard mail coach in Leventina. 15 or more coaches travelled in each direction daily. But even this was barely enough. When the first tunnel opened in 1882 – a mas- terpiece of railway technology – the “crocodile” locomotives and spiral tun- nels became famous all over the world. 1980 saw the opening of the road tunnel, and the story continued.
The Gotthard Base tunnel is opening up new prospects for the north and south. At 57 kilometres in length, it is a world-re- cord-breaking tunnel. 28,200,000 tonnes of rock were excavated during the con- struction process, and 325 trains a day are set to speed through the massif. Has Gotthard the Giant climbed down from his perch at last?
The “Gottardo 2016” souvenir pays trib- ute to the extraordinary achievement of constructing the world’s longest tunnel. The 37-page book tells the fascinating sto- ry of the Gotthard and offers insights into the building of both old and new tunnels. The information is in 4 languages (Ge/Fr/ It/En). It also contains a wealth of histori- cal and modern photographs and illus- trations. The centrefold and accompany- ing original stamps “Gottardo 2016”, “100 years of the Lötschberg Railway” and “100 years of the Gotthard Railway” make the product a valuable collector’s item – not just for stamp collectors and railway enthusiasts!
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 04.05.2016
Designer: Vaudeville Studios, Zurich
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, La Loupe, France
Process: Offset, special varnish, with powdered stone from the Gotthard tunnel
Colours: 5 Colours
Size: Stamps: 104×37 mm (inc. gutter) (32.7×37 mm, 38.6×37 mm, 32.7×37 mm), Sheet: 134×205 mm (5 rows of 2 stamps and gutter)
Values: CHF 1.00 x 2