Grandfey Viaduc

EXTRAORDINARY FEAT OF ENGINEERING

In the 19th century, it was a case of daggers drawn during the planning of the major transalpine rail link from Lake Constance to Geneva. There was heated debate about whether the railway line should go through Fribourg or La Broye. In the end, Fribourg won, with the Federal Assembly voting 59 votes to 47 in its favour. This decision profoundly shaped the destiny of the canton. Once again, it was a bridge that took centre stage, namely the pont de Grandfey. So, work began on the construction of a metal viaduct (truss bridge) spanning the Grandfey gorge, hitherto deemed impassable. The arrival of electric trains and the increasing speed at which they travelled eventually led to the construction of a concrete bridge (1925-1927).

The pont de Grandfey is a sight that is hard to forget. Generations of walkers who cross this deep chasm via the footbridge below have marvelled at the sheer height of this viaduct, and been moved by the vibrations of the trains as they trundle overhead.

The pont de Grandfey is a sight that is hard to forget. Generations of walkers who cross this deep chasm via the footbridge below have marvelled at the sheer height of this viaduct, and been moved by the vibrations of the trains as they trundle overhead

The entrance to the Grandfey footbridge features one of the most important examples of minimalist art in Switzerland – a sculpture by Richard Serra, from 1988.
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