The Cement trail - The history of a territory seen through the cement production
The Cement Trail is the most eminent element of the environmental improvement carried out in the area of the former cement works SACEBA. The trail is located at the entrance of the gorge of the Breggia river, in the geological Park of the Gole della Breggia. The walk goes through the infrastructures of the old works to show the visitors the steps of the production, from the rock to the finished cement. At the same time it points out two very different realities, the rural one and the industrial one, that coexisted for almost half a century in the same territory. The requalification of the industrial area is a unique example in Switzerland and represents an important testimony of a time that has deeply marked the landscape of the Ticino.
The walk has a length of 2 km. It goes from the outdoor mine to the underground tunnels where the raw material was extracted, to the rock crusher that grounded the rock and ends at the Tower of the vertical furnace, the very heart of the cement production, now an exhibition space.
Note: in the tunnels the temperature is quite fresh (10-13 °C / 50-55 °F) and the humidity high (over 80%). An appropriate clothing is required. The tour takes 3 hours and it is not recommended in case of cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, claustrophobia or other troubles. A helmet, an electric lamp and a reflective safety vest are provided by the Park staff.
The environmental improvement and the Cement Trail have been possible thanks to Holcim Switzerland, the Parco delle Gole della Breggia Foundation and numerous federal and cantonal authorities.