The Old Axenstrasse is the name of the sharply winding and precipitous ascent in a a steep and narrow zig-zag road in Central Switzerland, with a length of 3,4 km. This old road has been bypassed by the European route E41.
The road still remains an adrenaline- pumping journey and is definitely not for the faint of lungs, heart, or legs. A quick glance at the map, at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. The road, with panoramic views, it’s a world-famous tourist attraction. The drive is definitely worth it. This road is only open for bicycles and pedestrians now. All others have to use the new road.
The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. The road is built along steep cliffs on the east side of Lake Lucerne, weaving through many rock fall galleries and tunnels along its route. Any barriers along the edge afford little more than token protection; large stretches should be taken at a snail's pace and a lookout kept for vehicles coming from the opposite direction!
Exercise extreme caution when passing on-coming traffic, over-taking and around corners. Upon completion in 1865, the Axenstrasse was the first way to get to Uri that did not involve navigating Lake Lucerne. The route between the Axen Mountain and Flüelen existed in 1776 as the Landstrasse (country road). Construction on a new road to connect Flüelen to Brunnen began in 1861, and was completed in 1865. It was named the Axenstrasse because the road is located along the Axen Mountain. Drive with your headlights on at all times as it is easier for oncoming vehicles to see you.