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Memorials and Fountains at Zermatt Part 2

At Zermatt there is also Mountaineer’s memorial which pays tribute to the climbers, snow sports enthusiasts and hikers who have lost their lives in accidents in the mountains. Commemorative plaque carry individual names and details. Since the start of the new millennium, the wall of the local’s cemetery has become a memorial site for climbers and snow sports enthusiasts who come to Zermatt as guests. They lost their lives in the mountains around Zermatt while climbing, hiking, skiing or snowboarding, or perhaps victims of an avalanche or a fall into a crevasse. The simple plaque carry a name, country of origin and year of death. Some of them honor accident victims whose bodies have never been found. The plaques were placed here on the request of family and friends. Other commemorative plaques carry the name and year of death of guests who died far from Zermatt’s mountains but who had a connection to the village over many years. In each case, relatives or friends built a plaque to honor their loved one’s bond with the village and mountains of Zermatt.


The Inderbinen fountain was built to celebrate the 100th birthday of the mountain guide Ulrich Inderbinen. The water is deliciously refreshing and the wooden bench alongside invites visitors to reflect on the life and achievements of this legendary Zermatt resident. Ulrich Inderbinen was born in Zermatt in 1900. Throughout his life he never owned a telephone, a bike or even a car. He climbed the Matterhorn for the first time at the age of 21 with his younger sister. When he was 25 he qualified as a mountain guide, and accompanied visitors on climbs in the Zermatt mountains until the Second World War. Hostilities led to a collapse in the number of visitors coming to Zermatt making it tough days for local people, including Ulrich Inderbinen. It was not until the 1960s that he was able to resume escorting guests up the Matterhorn. In all, he climbed the Matterhorn 371 times. As part of the 125th anniversary celebrations of the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1990, Swiss television broadcast a major program on the Matterhorn. It featured Ulrich Inderbinen, in his 90th year, standing on the summit of the Matterhorn for the final time. He continued working as a mountain guide, but suffered an injury on the Breithorn and had to give up his vocation at the age of 96. The charismatic climber remained simple and modest throughout his life. Until his very last ascents, he always carried a hemp rope for the safety of his clients. His slow but steady pace was legendary. Ulrich Inderbinen died on July 14th 2004 at the age of 104.


Marmot fountain is a much loved landmark at the heart of the resort, equally popular with locals and visitors. A whole family of marmots clambers over the rocks around the cascading water. The figures become more and more golden as people pass by to stop and touch them which proves that the animals are clearly very popular. The fountain dates from 1906. It is also called the Prato Borni fountain after the old name for Zermatt.