1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mont Cenis
|←Montceau-les-Mines||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 18
|Montchrétien, Antoine de→|
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MONT CENIS, a pass (6893 ft.) in Savoy (France) which forms the limit between the Cottian and Graian Alps. A carriage road was built across it between 1803 and 1810 by Napoleon, while a light railway (named after its inventor, Mr. Fell, and worked by English engine-drivers) was opened alongside the road in 1868, but was destroyed in 1871, on the opening of the tunnel. This tunnel (highest point 4249 ft.) is really 17 m. west of the pass, below the Col de Fréjus. From Chambéry the line runs up the Isère valley, but soon bears through that of the Arc or the Maurienne past St Jean de Maurienne to Modane (61 m. from Chambéry). The tunnel is 8 m. in length, and leads to Bardonnèche, some way below which, at Oulx (18 m. from Modane) the line joins the road from the Mont Genèvre. Thence the valley of the Dora Riparia is followed to Turin (621⁄2 m. from Modane). The carriage road mounts the Arc valley for 16 m. from Modane to Lanslebourg, whence it is 8 m. to the hospice, a little way beyond the summit of the pass. The descent lies through the Cenis valley to Susa (37 m. from Modane) where the road joins the railway. To the south-west of the Mont Cenis is the Little Mont Cenis (7166 ft) which leads from the summit plateau (in Italy) of the main pass to the Étache valley on the French slope and so to Bramans in the Arc valley (7 m. above Modane). This pass was crossed in 1689 by the Vaudois, and by some authors is believed to have been "Hannibal's Pass."