A brief hit of background on Zermatt
Until the year 1500 A.D. the history of Zermatt is shrouded in darkness.
Roman coins found on the Theodul Pass, however, prove that it served as a means of access in the form of a military highway to Gaul and Helvetia between 200 and 400 BC.
A hundred years after the birth of christ the people of Zermatt lived in scattered peasant houses clustered around what is today the site of Zermat. The first document mentioning Zermatt’ featuring its initial name “Protobornum”, originates from 1280.
The old seal of the municipality also bears a similar inscription: Vallis “Prato Borni” whose equivalent translation leads to today’s name “Zermatt”, which was first discovered on a map dated 1495.
The valley of Zermatt had always been under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Sion, who transferred or leased his rights to various worldly barons (von Raron, von Thurn and Blandrati, Dukes of Savoy, 13th century) In the course of time the people of Zermatt bought their freedom with money, paying for it in an old Swiss currency called “Mörserpfund”.
Now with the resort one of the most popular destinations in Europe, it is the tourists who are buying their freedom with money. Now it is called the Swiss Franc.
Tourism in Zermatt started in 1820. In 1838 Vicar Ruden encouraged a surgeon, Dr.Josef Lauber, to open the first inn. That modest three bed beginning went under the name “Hotel Cervin” (later Mont Roas).