Galleries an der Axenstrasse mit Blick auf Vierwaldstättersee u. Brisenstock
[Galleries (the open bits on the side) along the Axenstrasse with views of Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) & Brisenstock (the mountain)]
Publisher: E. Goetz, Lucerne
The engineer, Landamman (cantonal council’s president) of Uri, and Federal Councillor of State Karl Emanuel Müller (1804–1869) initiated the first road for horse-drawn carriages. Construction on a new road to connect Flüelen to Brunnen began in 1861, and was completed in 1865. The name of the Axenstrasse refers to one particular part of the mountains the Axenstrasse circumvents and traverses, the 600 m (2,000 ft) high, vertical rock between Flüelen and Sisikon, actually a farmed meadow terrace (Ober Axen and Unter Axen) right below the much higher Rophaien (2,078 m (6,818 ft)). The route, especially in the part south of Sisikon, involves many open passages with rock galleries and numerous openings in the west tunnel walls viewing Urnersee as a result of the tunnel blasting through the calcareous rock. The road costs were 842,000 francs in 1865, half of which was paid for by the federal government of Switzerland. Between 1937 and 1939, the Axenstrasse was altered to suit modern traffic in lieu of horse-drawn carriages, and a lane in each direction for road traffic was paved. Many sections of the old Axenstrasse were also closed to automotive traffic to serve as hiking trails
The road was built along steep cliffs on the east side of Lake Lucerne, weaving through many rock fall galleries and tunnels along its route. Adverse weather conditions are common. Ice and snow can be on the way. Upon completion in 1865, the Axenstrasse was the first way to get to Uri that did not involve navigating Lake Lucerne. The route between the Axen Mountain and Flüelen existed in 1776 as the Landstrasse (country road). Construction on a new road to connect Flüelen to Brunnen began in 1861, and was completed in 1865. It was named the Axenstrasse because the road is located along the Axen Mountain.