Rigi behind Lake Lauerz
|Elevation||1,798 m (5,899 ft)|
|Prominence||1,290 m (4,230 ft)|
|Isolation||13.1 km (8.1 mi)|
(massif partially in Lucerne)
|Range||North-Eastern Swiss Alps|
|Easiest route||Train and Cable-car|
The Rigi (or Mount Rigi; also known as Queen of the Mountains) is a mountain and massif of the Alps, located in Central Switzerland. The whole massif is almost entirely surrounded by the water of three different water bodies: Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz. The range is split between the cantons of Schwyz and Lucerne, although the main summit, named Rigi Kulm, at 1,798 meters above sea level, lies within the canton of Schwyz.
The Rigi Kulm and other areas, such as the resort of Rigi Kaltbad, are served by Europe's oldest mountain railways, the Rigi Railways. The whole area offers many activities such as skiing or sledging in the winter, and hiking in the summer.
|Name of peak||Height above sea (in meter)||Canton|
|Rigi Dossen||1,685||Lucerne/Schwyz border|
The name "Rigi" comes from Riginen which is the stratification that is clearly visible on the north-side of the mountain and is one of the identifying characteristics of Mt. Rigi. During the early days of tourism in the Alps, it was said that the name came from the Latin Regina montium-"Queen of the Mountains", this however is not accurate, as the first known use of Riginen dates back to 1384. The oldest known naming of the mountain at all is from 1368: in pede montis riginam ("at the feet of mount Rigina".)
There are multiple public transportation options available to ascend Mt. Rigi:
- By rack railway from Arth-Goldau and Vitznau, operated by the Rigi-Bahnen. The Vitznau-Rigi-Bahn started operation on May 21, 1871 and was the first mountain railway in Europe. On June 4, 1875 the Arth-Rigi-Bahn was finished, allowing access from the other side of the mountain. They were electrified in 1937 and 1907 respectively, with the Arth-Rigi-Bahn becoming the first electrified standard gauge rack-railway in the world. Both lines go all the way to the summit, Rigi-Kulm.
- By gondola lift from Weggis to Rigi-Kaltbad.
- By cable-car from the Kräbel station on the Arth-Rigi-Bahn line to Rigi-Scheidegg.
Mt. Rigi offers an area for recreation and sports measuring approximately 90 square kilometres (35 sq mi) offering a variety of well-maintained walking trails or mountain hikes where visitors can have a panoramic view of 150 km (93 mi) from various marked points. There are also numerous public grilling stations located near the hiking trails.
Mt. Rigi is also a perfect destination for people practicing winter sports and other winter recreation activities. The following equipment can be rented at Sport Center in Rigi Kulm: airboards, toboggans, snowshoes, walking sticks. Gloves, ski caps, socks, ski goggles and more can be purchased at same location.
Mt. Rigi in culture
Mt. Rigi has been featured in many works of art, including both paintings and literary publications. Perhaps the most famous paintings of the Rigi were a series by JMW Turner, including The Blue Rigi, Sunrise, several of which are in the collection of the Tate Britain art gallery in London.
Mark Twain also visited Rigi during his tour of Central Europe in the late 1870s, and wrote about his travels in his "A Tramp Abroad." There is a Catskills resort called the Rigi Kulm in Abraham Cahan's novel The Rise of David Levinsky (1917).
Technically, the Rigi is not a part of the Alps, and belongs instead to the Swiss plateau. It is mostly composed of molasse and other conglomerate, as opposed to the Bündner schist and flysch of the Alps.
- Swisstopo maps
- Retrieved from Google Earth. The nearest point of higher elevation is north of the Buochserhorn.
- "The Blue Rigi, Sunrise, Joseph Mallord William Turner". Tate, London. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
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