The rich heritage of Morzine
The Maison du Bourg museums project
The museums’ program of the Maison du Bourg is the fruit of labours led by a scientific committee consisting of members of the Association of History and Heritage, heritage guides and elected officials. Over the last few decades Morzine-Avoriaz has developed a tourist image revolving around the mountains and outdoor pursuits. However, there is more to Morzine-Avoriaz than just winter sports as the area is steeped in a vastly rich history and heritage. So the Commune of Morzine decided to undertake long term work on the rehabilitation and promotion of the area’s architectural and cultural heritage. The organ in the church of Sainte Marie-Madeleine has been restored. This instrument, listed as a historic monument, is one of its kind in France.
This year will also herald the completion of the renovation of the old cemetery. The new landscaping will allow the creation of a meditative garden space that offers the visitor the opportunity to pause and reflect, will redefine the pathways promoting the local materials used, in particular slate, and alternating planted and open green spaces. This will be a garden walkway that will create a link with pedestrian footpaths in the historic quarter.
This project of enhancement is supported voluntarily by local associations such as the Association of History and Heritage which has been collecting and communicating the history of Morzine and its inhabitants for the last 20 years. Recently a second association came into being to breathe life into a project aimed at reconstructing a working traditional sawmill: “La Battante Morzinoise”. Located in the Dérêches Park, this educational tool will be fully integrated into the Maison du Bourg project via a pedestrian pathway.
The saw mill and the Maison du Bourg have been reconstructed in order to bring to life the environment and architecture of the Morzine of yesteryear. Finally, the “La Fraternelle” Cooperative has launched a large renovation project which will restore the historic building that once housed the first ever general cooperative store in the Commune and which will eventually provide public spaces and meeting rooms. This building, situated on the edge of the historic village, will be linked to the Maison du Bourg via the pathways through the old cemetery. The museum, once finished, will offer a year round tourist attraction.
The History and Heritage Association
The association has been working for over ten years to create a space where tourists and locals alike could gain a better understanding of the history of this mountain village turned ski resort and international tourist destination. The association is brimming with old photos, documents, newspaper articles and traditional clothing. Its team of volunteers is tireless in its efforts to gather information on the history of the community of Morzine and the Aulps Valley and hopes soon to be able to exhibit the fruits of its labours in the Maison du Bourg. Watch this space!
To know more about the association, follow their activity on the Facebook page: Histoire et patrimoine de Morzine (History and Heritage of Morzine)