Lucerne, Switzerland started out as a tiny fishing community and expanded during the 1200s when the Gotthard pass was constructed and goods started being shipped through Lucerne, into the Alps, and then into France. Lucerne had a widespread Roman-Catholic population, and still to this day keeps ties with old religious traditions. Lucerne endured various uprisings, and even a civil war, making it a historically rich destination for tourists. Lucerne was considered during the 1840s as a possible capital for Switzerland, but was not chosen, mostly due to its strong Roman-Catholic ties which endured despite the Reformation, making Lucerne unpopular with the ruling Confederate government at that time. Tourists began pouring in, despite the civil unrest, due to Lucerne's picturesque lake and proximity to the Alps. However, in the mid 19th century, most of the city's historic buildings were torn down in anticipation of redevelopment, which is a sore spot for many locals as much of Lucerne's rich history is lost in time as a result. When the railroad was completed in the late 1850s, Lucerne's population rapidly began to grow exponentially, expanding to four times its pre-railroad number of residents. Tourism became Lucerne's central source of economic development, and remains so to this day.