|Added by||Bart Perdieus|
|General Description||Great St. Bernard Pass (Fr. Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard, It. Colle del Gran San Bernardo) (el. 2469 m.) is the third highest road pass in Switzerland. It connects Martigny in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland to Aosta in Italy. It is the lowest pass lying on the ridge between the two highest summits of the Alps, Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa. The pass itself is located in Switzerland in the canton of Valais, very close to Italy. It is located on the main watershed that separates the basin of the Rhône from that of the Po.
Great St. Bernard is the most ancient pass through the Western Alps, with evidence of use as far back as the Bronze Age and surviving traces of a Roman road. In 1800, Napoleon's army used the pass to enter Italy, an event depicted in Jacques-Louis David's Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass and Hippolyte Delaroche's Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, both notable oil paintings. Having been bypassed by easier and more practical routes, particularly the Great St Bernard Tunnel which opened in 1964, its value today is mainly historical and recreational.
Straddling the highest point of the road, the Great St Bernard Hospice was founded in 1049. The hospice later became famous for its use of St. Bernard dogs in rescue operations.
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