Verbier Resort History
Posted by George Biffen
Last updated on February 22nd, 2018 at 04:22 pm
The first time skiing in Verbier was attempted was in 1925 when a group of keen mountaineers hiked up 15km from Sembrancher for the sole purpose of skiing back down again.
At this time the village was inhabited by cows and a couple of herdsmen.
After the war, a study conducted by the Swiss government concluded Verbier was in an ideal location for a ski resort and in 1946 the first lift system was installed.
However, it was the ski boom in the 60s that helped transform this small farming village into one of the leading resorts in the Alps.
Today you can still see reminisce of the Verbier’s past. Much of the original architecture is in place including old windmills, charming hamlets, and chapels.
Today you can even see the recently uncovered ruins of the Verbier Castle overlooking the Val De Bagnes valley.
They provide unique insight into the 12th Century when it was built by the Count of Savoy before being destroyed in 1475 after the battle of La Planta.
As a result, Verbier has a number of fascinating museums and galleries that are well worth visiting as are the Verbier churches.
The Verbier Village Chapel which at the time dominated the resort was built in 1686.
It was replaced after it became too small to serve the community in 1866 while maintaining a number of the 17th-century effigies.
Le Chable parish church was built in 1488; the bell tower is the churches oldest original feature. In contrast to this, in 1962 another church was erected with a 40m high spire and a modern design.
Verbier’s lift system has seen a great deal of development throughout the years.
The 1970s saw the introduction of the Savoleyres gondola.
6 chairlifts and one ski-tow were built during this period allowing the expansion of Verbier into the 4th valley.
Mont Fort was later conquered with the 1981 cable–car Tortin-Col.
Since its formation, the Televerbier Company has invested more than 250 million Swiss Francs into the maintenance and building of its lifts which has been the catalyst for Verbiers leading reputation and bringing added value to the economy of the region.