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The Glass Pass - The Gateway to the Outside World
Mattli Hunger, Walser, grew up in the Safiental:
"The glass pass was for the Safiers for centuries the gateway to the outside world. The goods were transported in the summer with the Tragreff, a wooden frame that was carried on the back from valley to valley. In winter, the very steep descent to Safien could be overcome by sledge over the snow track. At that time, the farmers of Safien Platz owned meadows on glass and had to drag the hay from the stable into the Safiental in winter. The postman took the mail from Thusis via the Glass Pass to Safien on the same day. Until the fifties of the 20th century, the Safiers and their cattle still went over glass on the "Thusnermärt".»
During centuries, the Glass Pass was the most important route for the inhabitants of the Safien valley. They regularly migrated across the Glass Pass to Thusis to get food and other goods. The interest for the monastery of Cazis was transported over the pass and at the market in Thusis the Safiers often sold their cattle. In winter, sledges were used for the transport of materials, in summer the Tragreff, a wooden frame on the back, was used. The cargo was tied up with ropes and knots so that it arrived safely at its destination. The steep ascent from Safien to InnerGlas, which was also called "Stägä" because of its many curves, took about 1 1/2 hours. Avalanches, mudslides and fallen trees made it even more difficult to pass. In 1501, Tschappina took over the maintenance of the trail. This was elaborate and led again and again to disputes between Tschappina and Safien. Nevertheless, this route was easier to keep open than the route over the Safierberg to Splügen in the south of the Safienvalley.
construction of the road in the Safiental
The Glaspass lost its importance when the road from Thalkirch to Versam was built in 1885 and the valley opened to the north. The journey by stagecoach from Safien Platz to Versam took four to five hours in good weather conditions. The post, which used to be brought over the Glass Pass by Tragreff, could now be delivered by carriage to Thalkirch. It was not until the winter of 1953/54 that the horse-drawn carriage was replaced by a post bus in winter.
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