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Valle di Gressoney

History & Culture Gressoney

Gressoney and its History

By: Gressoney Monterosa

Walser women's dress from Gressoney

The Aosta Valley is historically an entirely French-speaking region, particularly since 1536 when the Conseil des Commis chose French as its working language.

In 25 BC it was conquered by the Romans, who founded Augusta Praetoria, today's Aosta, there. Militarily and strategically important for control of the Little and Great St. Bernard passes.

A frontier with France and Switzerland, it is characterized by its linguistic distinctiveness; the population speaks a Galloromance language, referred to as Franco-Provençal: the Aosta Valley patois. 

However, there are valleys where the dialect is not the Valdostan patois but a particular variant of the South German dialect, very similar to Swiss German in its most archaic form: the Walser language. The Gressoney Valley differs here from the others in that the villages at the foot of Monte Rosa use the Germanic dialect, with two known variants, the titsch of Gressoney Saint Jean and Gressoney La Trinité, and the töitschu of Issime, while the villages at the beginning of the valley, including Fontainemore, use the patois.

Walsers are a population of Germanic origin who colonized the lands around the majestic Monte Rosa in the Middle Ages, creating settlements in the valleys of Gressoney, Ayas, and the Piedmontese lands of Valsesia.   

The name of this population really stands for where they came from: Walser, in fact, is a contraction of Walliser, meaning Wallesian, the Swiss Canton of Valais. The Walser people brought to their new colonies their language, traditions, and culture, which still make these lands so fascinating today.

During the Middle Ages, several castles arose in the Valle d'Aosta to control the different valleys and trade routes with France and Switzerland. Placed at the mouth of the Lys valley you can observe the remains of the castle or "castellaccio" of Pont-Saint-Martin belonging to a branch of the Bard family founded around 1200. Going up the valley you will find another castle in the village of Perloz, belonging to the Vallaise family, vassals of the Savoy. 

Speaking of castles, one of the most famous in the entire region and a symbol of Gressoney is Castel Savoia. A 19th-century villa was built at the behest of Queen Margherita in the locality called "Belvedere," because of the splendid view from there, that dominates the entire valley up to the Lyskamm glacier. 

The modern history of this region is characterized by a tourist development that has transformed the Lys Valley into a splendid tourist destination.

A valley to be discovered, treat yourself to a dream vacation among sports, entertainment, history, culture, and traditions.

Gressoney Walser dress

Gressoney Walser dress

Castel Savoia in summer

Castel Savoia in summer

Castel Savoia in winter

Castel Savoia in winter

History and Culture in the Gressoney Valley

centro culturale

Valle di Gressoney

Culture

Walser Cultural Centre

The Preservation of Walser Culture
Ecomuseo Walser

Valle di Gressoney

Culture

Walser Ecomuseum

A Journey to Discover the Traditions and Habits of Walser Culture

Altitude: 1635 m

Piazza Tache , 11020 Gressoney La Trinité AO

Gressoney Folk Group

Valle di Gressoney

Culture

Gressoney Folk Group

Greschoney Trachtengruppe
The traditional dress of Gressoney

Valle di Gressoney

Culture

The traditional dress of Gressoney

A precious Walser dress
Gressoney Castello

Valle di Gressoney

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Savoia Castle

Queen Margherita's mansion with Monte Rosa view
Queen Margaret of Savoy

Valle di Gressoney

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Queen Margaret of Savoy in Gressoney

The Queen who loved Gressoney and Monte Rosa
Villa Menabrea

Valle di Gressoney

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Beer and the Gressoney Valley

Lyskamm

Valle di Gressoney

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The seven men who conquered the glaciers

The history of modern mountaineering was born in Gressoney

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