Septimer Pass

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Septimer Pass
Piz da la Margna, Piz Salacina and Piz Murtaira as seen from south of Septimerpass.jpg
Septimer Pass
Elevation 2,310 m (7,579 ft)
Traversed by Trail
Location Switzerland
Range Alps
Coordinates 46°25.2′N 09°38.28′E / 46.4200°N 9.63800°E / 46.4200; 9.63800Coordinates: 46°25.2′N 09°38.28′E / 46.4200°N 9.63800°E / 46.4200; 9.63800
Septimer Pass is located in Alps
Septimer Pass
Septimer Pass
Location of Septimer Pass

Septimer Pass (German: Septimerpass, Italian: Passo del Settimo, Romansh: Pass da Sett) (el. 2310 m.) is a high mountain pass in the canton of Graubünden in the Swiss Alps between the valleys of Bregaglia (Bergell) and Oberhalbstein (Surses). During the Middle Ages, this, the Great St. Bernard and the Brenner Passes were the preferred routes over the Alps for traveling emperors.[1]

Already in use by the Romans who maintained a legion camp in the pass around 15-16CE,[2] this pass was an important trade route from Milan, through Bivio to Augsburg[3] It was easier to use than the Splügen Pass, due to the latter having the difficult gorges of the Hinterrhein River.[4] One of the earliest mentions of a Christian hospice was the one placed at the pass itself, mentioned in 831. It had been mentioned in documents for the following millennium, even though it was abandoned in the tenth century and rebuilt in the turn of the eleventh. (The hospice was later abandoned for good in 1778.)[5] During the Middle Ages the Septimer Pass was crucial to the temporal power of the Bishopric of Chur[6] whose extensive territories until the fourteenth century included Chiavenna. In 1236 the St. Gotthard Pass opened, allowing traffic from Lucerne to Milan, which diverted merchants from going through Chur.[7] The pass further lost importance after the construction of roads over Julier[8] and Maloja passes.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hyde, 325. Freshfield, 20.
  2. ^ Fassbinder, 69.
  3. ^ Freshfield, 18.
  4. ^ Freshfield, 19.
  5. ^ Hyde, 325-6.
  6. ^ Freshfield, 20.
  7. ^ Freshfield, 18.
  8. ^ Freshfield, 20.
  9. ^ Munro, 31, n. 81.