Attraction Viamala

Splügen Pass


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Frühling auf dem Splügenpass

The Splügen Pass, which crosses the border into Italy, connects Graubünden with Lombardy.


The Splügen Pass was demonstrably travelled as early as prehistoric times. There are also references to it in Roman times, e.g. the Itinerarium Antonini, a Roman road map from around 300 A.D. The very close connections between the dioceses of Chur and Como ran over the Splügen Pass. As early as 1396, considerable customs revenues are documented on the Splügen. The widening of the Viamala gorge favoured its upswing. Goods were transported almost exclusively by mule, which meant frequent reloading.

Transit traffic formed an important part of the flourishing economy. As late as 1798, the Austrian Field Marshal von Bellegarde wrote: "The largest goods train from Milan to Germany passes over this pass, but mostly on horses and mules." Between 1818 and 1823, the first road suitable for freight wagons and stagecoaches was built at the same time as the San Bernardino, which is still largely the same today. Thereafter, the volume of freight and international passenger traffic over the Splügen increased many times over, reaching its peak around the mid-1850s.

The opening of the Alpine railways (1867 Brenner, 1872 Mont Cenis) already reduced transit traffic over the Splügen. The opening of the Gotthard railway in 1882 brought transit traffic in Graubünden to a virtual standstill. A large wave of emigration was a direct consequence. The decades-long efforts to build a Splügen railway were ultimately unsuccessful. The construction of the national road with car tunnel on the San Bernardino opened up new prospects again. The Splügen Pass has been closed in winter since the Second World War.

Two thousand years of transit history can be experienced today on the cultural and long-distance hiking trail viaSpluga from Thusis to Chiavenna. Further information can be found here.

Opening hours

Depending on snow conditions, the pass road is opened in May and closed again in November. Current information can be found here.

The Splügen Pass is closed in winter. In summer, depending on snow conditions, usually


Public Transport

In summer there is a bus connection (B 561) between Chiavenna and Splügen over the Splügen Pass. Click here for the timetable.


Plan your journey with the Google route planner.


There are free car parks at the top of the pass and also in Montespluga.


Responsible for this content: Viamala Tourism.

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