The Alte Schollbergstrasse was completed in 1492 as the first “national” road of the Old Swiss Confederation. The Alte Landstrasse (SG 3.1) led from Werdenberg to Sargans and overcame the key point of the left-bank Rhine valley route at Schollberg, which had to be used to avoid the Rhine, which was still “wild” at the time.
According to the Inventory of Historic Traffic Routes in Switzerland (IVS), the sections that have not been rebuilt or overlaid by the SG 3.2 state road (cantonal road of 1822) are considered historic traffic routes of national importance. After the construction of the cantonal road of 1822, the old Schollbergstrasse lost its previous importance.
In Roman times, the road on the right bank of the Rhine over the St. Luzisteig was the main north-south connection. The one on the left bank of the Rhine led over the Saumpass Matug near Trübbach, as the Rhine reached the foot of the Schollberg until around 1850 (Rhine correction). As unique blocking points, Luzisteig and Matug were fortified early on.
With the takeover of the counties of Sargans and Werdenberg by the seven confederate towns in 1483, they needed a better connection with the newly acquired territories on the other side of the Schollberg. The Schollberg road from Sargans through Howand to Trübbach was to replace the mule track over Matug, which was over 200 m higher. In 1490, at the conference in Lucerne, the confederate towns decided to build a road as a trade and military route over the Schollberg.
The 2.5 metre wide road, completed in 1492, became a loss-making business for the contractor Michel Prentel from the Adige Valley. The high costs of maintenance could hardly be covered by the Thirteen Old Towns through customs revenues. The road, which was competed by the road on the right bank of the Rhine over the Luziensteig, had to be adapted again and again according to the wishes of the merchants (widening because of larger carts etc.). The steep and slippery terrain often caused damage. The first major renovation of the road on the Schollberg took place in 1790.
In Vild, near the key point of the Schollberg road, a horse changing station, a salt factor and a customs station for the collection of customs duties were established. The customs at Vild were already mentioned in 1490 in one of the first official accounts of the Sargans bailiff.
The canton of St. Gallen, which had joined the Swiss Confederation in 1803, was able to open the new Schollbergstrasse on a dam at the foot of the Schollberg in 1822 as part of the expansion of the connection on the left side of the Rhine valley.
The route of the old Schollbergstrasse, no longer in use, was buried and overgrown over time. Stone quarrying and fortifications affected the route and at the large quarry the line was completely interrupted. The Alte Landstrasse has been preserved where it was built elevated above the Rhine plain, as at Holenweg (section SG 3.1.2) and at Schollberg (Maziferchopf, section SG 3.1.3). The sections running through the Rhine plain were deformed in the 19th century by the SG 3.2 state road or were reclaimed in the course of the extensive melioration of the Rhine valley.
Restoration as a hiking trail
Between 2010 and 2012, the route was repaired using traditional construction methods (cement-free special mortar and limestone from the region) and thus upgraded in terms of monument preservation and ecology. In order to be able to restore the original dimensions and the course of the old Schollbergstrasse, exploratory cuts were made in advance by archaeologists.
On 20 September 2014, the old Schollberg road could be reopened as a hiking trail. It is to form an impressive section of the Via Rhenana, which is to be extended from Lake Constance to Graubünden on behalf of the St. Gallen authorities.
above infantry plant Schollberg 3
Footbridge over the Howand
Information board on the hiking trail
- Otto Ackermann: Die Schollbergstrasse bis zum Ende der Landvogtszeit. In: Werdenberger Jahrbuch 1997, pp. 43-59. Buchs 1996
- 1] Cornel Doswald: Die alte Schollbergstrasse – vom archäologischen Befund zum regionalen Wanderweg. Geomatik Schweiz : Geoinformation und Landmanagement. Volume 113, 2015, Issue 1
– Collection of images, videos and audio files
- Municipality of Wartau: Completion of work on Alte Schollbergstrasse
- Sarganserland-Walensee: Detailed picture documentation and history of the old Schollberg road
- IVS documentation Canton St. Gallen 3: (Rheineck -) Werdenberg – Sargans (- Chur)
- Sargans: Magazine July 2015
- ITS object: SG 3.1.3 Trübbach-Vlid; Schollberg: practical example Schollbergstrasse Wartau (SG)
- Sarganserland-Walensee: The Old Schollberg Road in the Past and Today
- Ostschweizer Tagblatt of 16 September 2014: The Old Schollberg Road is opened