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Airolo

Airolo is a municipality in the district of Leventina in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland.HistoryIn the settlement of Madrano, Roman tombs from the 2nd and 3rd Centuries AD were found. They belonged to a Vicus, whose inhabitants probably collected crystal, which was processed in Locarno into glass. The ruins of Stalvedro Castle are probably from a 13th Century Lombardy noble family. Tradition and written sources confirm the existence of another castle, situated near the parish church tower. Near Madrano was a small castle which was rebuilt in the late 13th Century by the Anexia family. Archaeological excavations conducted in 1995 inside the parish church of SS Nazaro Celso (first mentioned with a parish in 1224) discovered a construction history dating back to the 5th or 6th centuries. The present building was given its form in 1879, though the church tower dates from the Roman era. At the train station there is the famous high-relief carving by Vincenzo Vela, devoted to the construction workers who lost their lives digging the Gotthard Rail Tunnel.The modern municipality of Airolo is first mentioned in 1210 as Oriolo. In German it was known as Eriels and in Romansh as Iriel, though these names are no longer official.
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