Funivia del Colle (Kohlerer Bahn) – Bolzano, Italy - Atlas Obscura
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Funivia del Colle (Kohlerer Bahn)

The first passenger cable car in the world.  

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Funivia del Colle (Kohlerer Bahn) is an aerial lift connecting the city of Bolzano with nearby Monte Pozza, known locally as Colle. The lift starts at an elevation of about 853 feet (260 meters) and reaches the village of Colle di Villa at an elevation of over 3,000 feet (1,100 meters). The trip takes a little over six minutes.

The aerial lift was originally created by a local innkeeper named Josef Staffler in 1908. He designed it to connect Bolzano with the scenic tourist area at the top of the Colle. It was inaugurated on June 29, 1908, a month before the Wetterhorn Lift in Switzerland. This makes the Funivia del Colle the first aerial lift intended for passenger use in the world.

The initial cable car could transport six people, reaching the destination in 14 minutes. However, it was deemed unsafe and closed in 1910. A new, completely revamped structure was created by a German company and opened in 1913. This cable car had a capacity to carry 17 people, but was later destroyed in 1943 during a World War II bombing raid.

The third version of the cable car was established in 1965 by a local company and increased the capacity of the lift to 25 people. The cable car was modernized and repaired once more in 2006 and capacity was scaled back to 20 people.

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