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Religion, religions, and the Gotthard Base Tunnel opening

[ by Charles Cameron — in which a railway tunnel assumes an almost mystical significance ]

There were some pretty strange-looking goings-on at the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, to be sure:

Gotthard Base Tunnel opening ceremony Ibex

But in case that Ibex looked just a tad too pagan — or even Satanic, as it did to some — let me assure you that Saint Barbara has a shrine inside the tunnel:

santa barbara

and that clerics from a handful of reputable religions were on scene to provide appropriate blessings in any case:

religious figures





  • BBC, Gotthard tunnel: World’s longest and deepest rail tunnel opens in Switzerland
  • BBC, Switzerland tunnel: The oddest moments of the opening ceremony
  • Dark Horse News, Bizarre Opening Ceremony For Gotthard Base Tunnel In Switzerland
  • One Response to “Religion, religions, and the Gotthard Base Tunnel opening”

    1. Charles Cameron Says:

      There’s an excellent piece on the Gotthard Tunnel opening, it’s theatrical intent and conspiracist interpretations on Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, always a source of interesting tid-bits —
      Barth references a brief note on the Artistic actions for opening ceremonies which identifies the director of the events, Volker Hesse. From that description:

      Works of music, choreography and visual art are intended to raise awareness of the tunnel project and its significance. Selected highlights of the artistic opening programme will also be on view during the events for the general public (4 and 5 June 2016).

      The piece features a stunning image from the event — worth a look!

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