The History of Evionnaz
Today, Evionnaz is a village of about 1230 inhabitants and extends across the Rhone Valley to the Swiss-French border with the peaks of the Haute-Cime, at 3259 m (10 755 feet) elevation forming the highest point. Known as “Epanum” in Roman times, a name derived from the Celtic word “eve” which means “water,“ Evionnaz became an independent municipality in 1822. Thanks to direct access to the Swiss railway networks and highways, the economic development of the municipality continues to flourish as a vibrant community with diverse activities.
Hub of Cultural and History
As the gateway to the Valais, Evionnaz lies in the heart of a region with a dynamic and lively culture: from the “Théâtre du Dé“ in the center of the town of Dé, to Western Europe’s oldest abbey, the 1500-year-old Abbey in nearby St. Maurice with its remarkable treasure chamber, to the archaeological excavations and the extraordinary Foundation Gianadda exhibit hall in Martigny. The fortress of Evionnaz is well worth a visit as a witness to the turbulent history of Europe, as well as the famous Toblerone Path – reminiscent of the chocolate of the same name because of the shape of a ridge that served as a tank barrier that runs through the entire region. A highpoint of the local culture is the “Battle of the Queens,” which has Eringer breed cows fighting to establish the hierarchy of the herd. Although such battles can be observed on virtually all Alpine meadows during the springtime ascent to the Alps, the “Queens’ Final” held in May in Aproz is an extremely popular event, attracting many spectators.
The Valais offers countless leisure activities and attractions for every season. Evionnaz is ideally located close to the Verbier and Portes du Soleil ski resorts. In the summer, the Dents du Midi and Grand Muveran peaks are popular destinations for ambitious mountaineers and hikers. The Emosson Dam, not far from Evionnaz, can be scaled either with the panorama train or the “Pied du Barrage,” the steepest funicular in Europe; the Bex salt mines are also a popular destination for visitors. For the adventurous, Evionnaz offers the “Labyrinth Adventure,” the largest permanent labyrinth in the world. The alpine thermal baths can also be reached in just five minutes from Evionnaz, and the baths of Lavey, a thermal paradise at the foot of the Dents du Midi and the Dents de Morcles offer the ideal ambience for relaxation.
Hub for Gastronomy
With vineyards covering 5000 hectares (12 355 acres) and growing a number of grape varieties, Valais is the largest wine region in Switzerland, which is why getting together for a glass of wine is such a big part of the nature of the Valais. The various Valais specialties – such as raclette, dried beef and local rye bread – will satisfy even the most demanding gourmets. Numerous excursions help discover the diverse areas of this region and give a tasty insight into the world of the valley’s gastronomy and wine culture.
Facts & Figures:
Habitants: 1234 (2016)