From June to September 2015, Chamonix invites you to discover and reflect on life in the valley 150 years ago, by virtue of themed exhibitions throughout the valley.

827 P Ricois

P Ricois – © Musée Alpin

Discover the changing face of the valley during this crucial period: the Savoy region had been annexed by France four years previously, the railways were developing across the country, Napoleaon III, Emperor of France was building a new road to improve access to the valley and the hotel industry was expanding to accommodate the thousands of tourists flocking to Chamonix each summer…

1865 also corresponds with the end of the “small ice age” and the beginnings of photography. The opportunity to discover exclusive glacial landscapes through exceptional private photographic collections.

Alpine Museum

“The Treasures” of the Alpine Club

29th June 2015 to 17th April 2016.

E.T Compton © Alpine Club

E.T Compton © Alpine Club

  • The Alpine Club, founded in London in 1857 by a group of mountaineering friends, is the first of its kind. It contributed enormously to the development of the « sport » during the Golden Age. Club members were encouraged to describe their climbs and to immortalise alpine landscapes. Hence the Alpine Club posesses a rich and unique collection of paintings, engravings, books, photographs, archive documents and artefacts.
  • Chamonix will have the immense privilege of exhibiting the treasures of the Alpine Club during the year 2015
  • 19th century mountain art, archives and artefacts: oil paintings, water colours, engravings, photographs, guide’s diaries…

Maison de la Montagne 

Devouassoud et Freshield au centre

Devouassoud et Freshield au centre

Roped up: Guides and their Clients

29th June to 30th September 2015.

  • Notorious partnerships, remarkable achievements, lifelong frienships, distant voyages, anecdotes! Exhibition of photos, portraits, itineraries and alpine maps.

Espace Tairraz

The Grands Mulets, first high mountain refuge

29th June to 2sd November 2015.

  • The Grands Mulets rocks were a landmark and resting point on the historic intinerary of Mont-Blanc long before the first shelter was built in 1853. A succession of huts with increased capacity were built on this strategic point. Photos from Rémy Fontaine’s private collection.
  • Contemporary huts in the Mont-Blanc Massif  (Cosmiques, Gouter)

Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine

Glaciers and photography 1850-1870

Le glacier des Bois - Coll. Rémi Fontaine

Le glacier des Bois – Coll. Rémi Fontaine

13th June au 27th September 2015

  • Glacial landscapes in the Chamonix Valley, between 1855 and 1870  : collection Rémi Fontaine and Chamonix archives.
  • The first “glaciologists”: Forbes, Agassiz, Tyndall, Venance Payot (alpinists, scientists and friends)

  • How are the glaciers fairing today? In collaboration with L. Moreau et S Couterrand.

Mountain Museum – Les Houches 

Zacharie Ducroz, growing up in 1865

1st July 2015 to 30th April 2016

  • Annexation in 1860, Napoléon III’s visit, improved access to the valley, farming and tourism, fighting for France in 1870… Proposed by the association Dans l’temps

2 AG Guérard

Maison du Lieutenant – Servoz          

The trials of travel to Chamonix in 1865

30th June 2015 to 17th April 2016, school holidays only, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 2pm to 5pm.

  • Travelling to the Chamonix valley in the 1800′s. Geneva: gateway to the Alps. Exhibiton proposed by the association “Histoire et Traditions”.

Maison du village Argentière     

In Jemima’s footsteps. 1865 : Tourism in 3D  

16th June to 30th September 2015

Tourist activities and excursions in 1865. An exhibition of stereo images with the collaboration of Peter Blair.

Pôle Culturel at Vallorcine   

La roche percée de Tête Noire

La roche percée de Tête Noire

19th travel and by-ways between Martigny and Chamonix

29th June to 21st November 2015. Every day except Wednesday and Sunday.

  • Travel  between Chamonix and  Martigny in the latter 1800′s;  evocation of trades related to Vallorcine. Proposed by the association Valorsnà


The Temple of  Nature, the Glaciarium, the Grand Hôtel

  • A crossroads of science, art, exploration and contemplation spanning the 19th century.

Aiguille du Midi

  • Le Pas dans le vide

    Le Pas dans le vide

    60th anniversary of  the cable car construction

  • Contemporary and extreme Alpinism