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Home | Zermatt | Activities | Memorials and Fountains at Zermatt Part 1

Memorials and Fountains at Zermatt Part 1

There are many memorials and fountains located at Zermatt. Whether you want to take a break from shopping at the village or just want to get away a little from the crowd, these memorials and fountains offer peace and tranquility. They have wonderful and educational history which is quite interesting and is great for people with family or to couples who want some peace alone.

Mountain guide’s memorial is a monument that honors the Zermatt mountain guides who lost their lives as they practiced their profession. Despite mountain guide’s great experience and knowledge, they are always exposed to an element of risk, whether from rockfall, avalanche or other natural hazards. Many Zermatt mountain guides have lost their lives in such ways in the Zermatt area, elsewhere in the Swiss mountains or abroad. This monument was built in their memory. The following words are engraved in the memorial stone; “Mountain guides: victims of their vocation.” The text continues: “Here, we lost our lives. Up there, we found life again. On the holy mountain of the Lord.”

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Mountaineer’s cemetery is actually one of the popular places even though it is a cemetery. It is a moving reminder of the accidents that have occurred in the mountains around Zermatt. The tranquil site is a memorial to all climbers who have lost their lives here. The inscriptions reveal that women and men from all over the world have died on the Matterhorn, Taschhorn, Weisshorn, Liskamm, Obergabelhorn and on the Monte Rosa massif. At the mountaineer’s cemetery, visitors can see the graves of about 50 climbers who perished in the surrounding mountains. Most date from the 19th century, some from the early 20th century. Here, there is graves of two climbers from the first ascent of the Matterhorn. These grave stones are one of the popular attraction to tourists since Peter and Peter Taugwalder, father and son, were the mountain guides of the first person to climb the Matterhorn with Edward Whymper. Only these three out of the original party of seven returned to Zermatt alive. The ascent, on July 14th 1865 was a success but on the way back down four of the climbers fell to their deaths including Michel Auguste Croz, a mountain guide from Chamonix. His gravestone stands beside that of the two Taugwalders. Two of the English climbers who died on the descent were laid to rest at the English Church in Zermatt. D.Robert Hadow is buried outside, while the Reverend Charles Hudson lies by the church altar. The third English climber who lost his life on the expedition, Lord Francis Douglas, has no grave as his body was never found. Another tombstone in the mountaineer’s cemetery belongs to probably the most famous female mountaineer of the 19th and 20th centuries, Eleonore Noll-Hasenclever. She lost her life as she descended the Bishorn on August 18th 1925, carried away by an avalanche. Many mountaineers who are planning to climb the high mountains come here before their ascent to pray for success and to learn about the famous mountaineers.

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Ibex fountain is modeled on a real creature, a magnificent male that was killed by an avalanche. A plaster cast was made, which was then used to cast the bronze statue. This cute and magnificent fountain is very popular for both locals and visitors of Zermatt.