After a recent trip to Martigny I was massively impressed with the towns generous offerings of culture and history.
Martigny, surrounded by vineyards and orchards, is famous for its gastronomy which is celebrated at many outstanding restaurants and guest houses. Blessed with the warm Valais sunshine, the region is ideal for growing strawberries, apricots, grapes, asparaguses etc. And in the past famous figures, such as Rousseau, Goethe, Stendhal and Liszt, already succumbed to the delights of the region’s culinary delights.
Martigny’s history stretches back two thousand years: Celtic tribes, the Romans and Napoleon’s troupes have left behind traces. A restored amphitheatre, Roman thermal baths, temples and living quarters can be admired in Martigny today. Later Martigny became the first bishop’s seat in Switzerland and nowadays is admired for the historical districts of La Bâtiaz and Vieux-Bourg featuring several churches and secular buildings worth seeing.
The Pierre Gianadda Foundation (Fondation Pierre Gianadda) is the most important cultural attraction in Martigny and in addition to the Gallo-Roman Museum houses a car museum and every year two top exhibitions focussing on world-famous artists. The building was constructed around the remains of a former Roman temple.
Close to Chamonix it is accessible in one-and-a-half hours travelling on the boldly constructed narrow-gauge tracks of the “Mont Blanc Express”. The “Sankt Bernhard Express” takes passengers from Martigny to Orsières and from there by bus through impressive mountain countryside to the hospice on the Great St. Bernard. Thanks to Martigny’s ideal transport connections the winter sports regions of “4 Vallées”, “Portes-du-Sole
il” and Ovronnaz are only a short journey away.