Champéry. Photo/Foto: TES.


The village takes its name from Pery (Champ à Péry, Champ Péry and Champéry), apparently the first inhabitant of the valley in the Middle Ages. The village was part of the second kingdom of Burgundy (888-1032) and was ruled by the Dukes of Savoy until 1536.

In 1536, the Sieben Zenden ( les Sept-Dizains) of the Haut-Valais (Upperwallis) invaded the Bas-Valais (Lowerwallis). The valley and Champéry were part of Monthey, the main town of Bas-Valais, until 1798. (see Swiss Spectator 26.1.2021).

The inhabitants mainly lived from agriculture, cattle breeding and the wood trade. Military service for foreign powers (mercenaries) was also an important source of income until the middle of the 19th century. In 1848, the federal constitution prohibited this trade.

In 1839, the Canton of Valais granted Champéry municipal independence. The village separated from Val d’Illiez. The second half of the 19th century was marked by the emigration of many families (especially to Argentina). During this period, the first roads were built and tourism boomed.

Champéry gradually became a touristic destination. In 1908, the railway was put into operation. In 1959, the first ski lift was built. Despite tourism, the village has retained its rural character, as evidenced by the old chalets and many mazots (small wooden storage places for hay and grain).

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