The Gotthard Pass, which joins Italy and Switzerland, is the result of a titanic feat that saw the sacrifice of so many men. Its construction lasted ten years.
The 15-kilometer tunnel linking Airolo in Ticino to Göschenen in the canton of Uri was built between 1872 and 1882 by Switzerland, Germany and Italy, by the “Entreprise du Grand Tunnel du Gothard” owned by Geneva-based Louis Favre.
The epic feat, which cost the lives of two hundred people, is celebrated today with both a monument at the entrance to the tunnel on the forecourt in front of the Airolo train station and a special museum, the “Sasso San Gottardo.”
This is how the specialized website ticinotopten.ch describes the site, “Two museums in one and a unique experience that allows you to walk miles into the heart of the Alps in tunnels excavated during World War II. On the one hand, the Sasso San Gottardo Museum looks at the recent past, offering tours of military fortifications from the 20th century. On the other, it projects us into Switzerland’s (and the world’s) future challenges with the issues of meteorology and climate, as well as those of sustainable water management, mobility, habitat, energy and security.”
In this evocative underground setting, some tunnels traveled in the past by miners and soldiers, now become places of culture and memory to share with tourists who literally enter “the heart of Europe” emotions and reflections both historical and social also through the creative use of Light.
Commissioned by the client Moving Light Design, Goboservice graphic designers reproduced on the gobos, which were then mounted on Coemar “P White 5600 K” Led projectors, 4 images of the tunnel’s construction epic: a hand-crafted machine used by the miners, the first strike of the Swiss workers, a medallion of entrepreneur Louis Favre, and a snapshot of the tunnel’s inauguration.
This is not the first time Goboservice has “descended into the cave” with its screenings. The granite walls of the Gotthard have already been used for other projections that have … shed light on the past and future of a crucial corner of Europe.