See Part I, from Italian Side, at Italy Road Ways, Italian Side, Alps, Gran San Bernardo Pass. FN 1
The San Bernardo Pass crosses the Alps from Italy to Switzerlandl and we took that south to north route. We started at Aosta, in Italy, and then went to Montigny, in Switzerland. The Romans called the primary mountain here Mons Jovis; in the Middle Ages, the Pass was Mont-Joux. Use those names to research very early material.
1. The Pass on the Swiss side; the Monastery at the Summit
2. An accident there - no injuries, and not ours. But no tow truck available, either.
3. The Saint Bernard dogs;
5. The Black Madonna image in the monastery; and excerpts from Legends of the Madonna
Don't take the tunnel. Cross the big one, the Gran San Bernardo, the Great Saint Bernard Pass.
Our route: South to north. We went from Italy, at Aosta, in Italy; to Switzerland, at Martigny. Napoleon crossed in the opposite direction - from Martigny, in Switzerland; to Aosta, in Italy. Same road.
You need to be prepared show your passport at the summit, because Switzerland is not part of the border-checkpoint-free European Union. The EU.
Saint Bernard rescue dog, Great Saint Bernard Pass, Italy
Saint Bernard rescue dogs, Gran San Bernardo Pass, Italy. Exercising, with handlers.
The Saint Bernard dog. Where is the little keg flask?
History: who succeeds, who finds the route, who learns the secrets of survival in nearly impossible conditions, and manages to pass them on.This pass has served for millennia.
There is no note of Napoleon on the Italian side. Only the Swiss, because he prevailed in battles against the Italians, probably. Is that so? The Swiss love Napoleon; and feature his army crossing in illustrations and hats by the side of the road. Italy? You would never know that the hatted, hand-inside-vest one, ever passed this way. The Swiss side so happily exploits Napoleon, we expected to see a halo over the hat.
It is curious that, hand in hand with this development of taste and feeling in the appreciation of natural sentiment and beauty, and this tendency to realism, we find the associations of a peculiar and specific sanctity remaining with the old Byzantine type. This arose from the fact, always to be borne in mind, that the most ancient artistic figure of the Madonna was a purely theological symbol; apparently the moral type was too nearly allied to the human and the real to satisfy faith. It is the ugly, dark-coloured, ancient Greek Madonnas, such as this, which had all along the credit of being miraculous; and "to this day," says Kugler, "the Neapolitan lemonade-seller will allow no other than a formal Greek Madonna, with olive-green complexion and veiled head, to be set up in his booth." It is the same in Russia. Such pictures, in which there is no attempt at representation, real or ideal, and which merely have a sort of imaginary sanctity and power, are not so much idols as they are mere _Fetishes_. The most lovely Madonna by Raphael or Titian would not have the same effect. Guido, who himself painted lovely Virgins, went every Saturday to pray before the little black _Madonna della Guardia_, and, as we are assured, held this old Eastern relic in devout veneration.
We have not yet found that particular black Madonna della Guardia. Do a find for "black" and this passage appears about 3/4 inch down the scroll bar.
Continue to the next occurrence of "black" and find the author's view further:
Because some of the Greek pictures and carved images had become black through extreme age, it was argued by certain devout writers, that the Virgin herself must have been of a very dark complexion; and in favour of this idea they quoted this text from the Canticles, "I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem." But others say that her complexion had become black only during her sojourn in Egypt. At all events, though the blackness of these antique images was supposed to enhance their sanctity, it has never been imitated in the fine arts, and it is quite contrary to the description of Nicephorus, which is the most ancient authority, and that which is followed in the Greek school.
Continue the "find" and there is Black Balthazar, the Ethopian King as the author identifies him, with his train borne by a white page, to signify equality of the races, she says. So, vet your sources, see if you agree, see what is objective fact, if anything, and what is authorly surmise and wishful thinking. Always interesting, not always reliable, is that so? Couldn't Balthazar, even if black (is that Biblical, be from elsewhere?)10. We will now turn to a conception altogether different, and equally a masterpiece; it is the small but exquisitely finished composition by Rembrandt. (Grosvenor Gal.) The scene is the garden in front of the house of Zacharias; Elizabeth is descending the steps in haste to receive and embrace with outstretched arms the Virgin Mary, who appears to have just alighted from her journey. The aged Zacharias, supported by a youth, is seen following Elizabeth to welcome their guest. Behind Mary stands a black female attendant, in the act of removing a mantle from her shoulders; in the background a servant, or (as I think) Joseph, holds the ass on which Mary has journeyed; a peacock with a gem-like train, and a hen with a brood of chickens (the latter the emblem of maternity), are in the foreground. Though the representation thus conceived appears like a scene of every-day life, nothing can be more poetical than the treatment, more intensely true and noble than the expression of the diminutive figures, more masterly and finished than the execution, more magical and lustrous than the effect of the whole. The work of Albertinelli, in its large and solemn beauty and religious significance, is worthy of being placed over an altar, on which we might offer up the work of Rembrandt as men offer incense, gems, and gold.
Find a website on Black Madonnas from the University of Dayton at ://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/blackm/blackm03.html
Now: go to the first half of the way over, from Italy, at Italy Road Ways, Italian Side, Alps, Gran San Bernardino.
We came from the south, Aosta on the Italian side, toward Martigny on the Swiss side, through the Gran San Bernardo Pass - abbreviated as GSB on the green road signs, on the highways. Note that the Gran San Bernardo is different from the less taxing Bernardino Pass.
For the lesser San Bernardino, see ://www.planetware.com/switzerland/san-bernardino-pass-road-ch-gr-spr.htm/ That lower, and easier, San Bernardino Pass, has had its place in enabling ordinary people to cross over, but has not been pivotal in history, as has the Great Saint Bernard.