Hard work, hard stone and Italian words in Wassen.
The Antonini quarry in Wassen is a unique testament to the heyday of Uri’s quarries. It is synonymous with hard work on stone, Italian stonemasons and elaborate products that were exported to Asia.
The Antonini quarry open-air museum is located above the railway station in Wassen. It provides an insight into a branch of industry that shaped the uplands of Uri for about 50 years after the 1882 opening of the Gotthard railway.
Back then, there were dozens of quarries in Gurtnellen, Wassen and Göschenen. Today, work continues in only a handful of them. Over the years, nature has overgrown the gashes of the decommissioned quarries that were once visible from far around.
The granite extracted from the Wassen quarry was used for a variety of different works. Primarily, it was used for building roads and bridges: the middle bridge across the Rhine in Basel, for example. 7700 cubic metres of granite blocks were required for the walls along it – a major order for the Antonini quarry. But houses, such as the schoolhouse and the Antonini residence in Wassen, are also built out of the local granite. In Manila, capital of the Philippines, a statue was built using Wassen granite.
An ideal place for a rest on the Gottardo hiking path.
An exhibition, various information panels and old machinery, plus a biotope and a big fireplace right next to the Gottardo hiking path, familiarise visitors with this branch of industry in an easy-to-follow way.
The open-air museum is open from May until November and admission is free.