Transit Traffic on Horseback
Traffic and commerce between the North and the South had always been of great economic significance for Grisons, the land of Alpine passes. Customs revenues, toll fees, and transport wages were all important sources of income. Before the roads and tracks leading across the mountains had been improved, all goods were transported on the backs of packing animals: small mules as well as the larger pack-horses with a secure foothold. Our exhibit shows such a horse, capable of carrying up to 150 kilograms at a time. Local goods such as dairy products destined for the Southern markets would be exchanged for wheat, salt or wine.
Cooperative associations, so-called „Porten“, were in charge of these transports, each divided into individual sections along the trading route for which they were responsible. The goods from one such „Porte“ would be transferred on to other animals once the next trading post had been reached along the way. This type of transport was costly and rather slow. Anyone in a hurry had to switch to more expensive express transportation. A man with his horses in charge of such an express „Strackfuhr“ managed the journey from Chur to Chiavenna, a distance of c. 100 kilometres, in about three days.
Ihr Browser unterstützt kein HTML5 Audio.