Megève has always fascinated. But do you really know his story? Endowed with a past and a unique heritage, let us tell you about the origins of the village, from the agricultural town to the famous ski resort. Enter into the confidence of these stories which, transmitted from generation to generation by the children of the country, still shape the identity of the resort today, cradled between tradition and modernity.

Once upon a time in Megève

Before the advent of winter tourism, Megève was above all a peaceful agricultural town where the inhabitants benefited from a fertile and rich land. Megève, from the Celtic name "Mageva" which means the village in the middle of the waters, is a place conducive to agriculture and livestock farming. Very quickly, Megève became conducive to the practice of more sporting activities, such as hiking in summer and skiing in winter.

Indeed, the first tourists already came to Megève in the XNUMXth century. Many pilgrims frequent the Calvary shrine and with, the arrival of the first tourists in search of fresh air. The village then developed in small steps until it became an internationally renowned resort.

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© Tops Socquet
© Tops SOCQUET

But it was not until the beginnings of the First World War that skiing was mentioned in Megève, in particular thanks to an article by the journalist Mathilde Maige-Lefournier, a mountaineer from Chambéry, who praised skiing on the heights of the village. .

Entitled “Megève or the glorification of skiing”, his article is a real spotlight which will already have its influence and boost the village as a mecca for winter sports.

It was then that in 1914 the first ski competition was created, as evidenced by the many photos of this period of discovery and development. Farmers invent ski lifts, almost everything will be tested.

DID YOU KNOW ? – The history of the coat of arms of the city of Megève

To discover the origins of the current coat of arms, you have to go back to the time of the Counts of Capré, lords of the place in the 1698th century. Megève having long depended on the castellany of Flumet, it did not have its own coat of arms. Until XNUMX, the territory of Megève, with the notable exception of the town hall and the Pré de Foire, was part of the direct domain of the princes of the House of Savoy.

That year, Victor-Amédée II, to cover the costs of the last war with France, had to sell this castellany and the feudal rights deriving from it. Acquired by Joseph Nicolas de Bieux, Count of Flumet, they were sold in 1699 to François de Capré, auditor at the Chamber of Accounts, who also bought Demi-Quartier in 1702.

Victor-Amédée II, in recognition of the action of Hyacinthe de Capré, the son of François de Capré, during the negotiations which led to the Treaty of Utrecht dating from 1713, erected the seigneury of Megève into a county. The first Count of Megève then chose for his coat of arms a goat called Capra in Latin: "Azure with a head and collar of a goat cut in silver, with a chief in gold", with the motto "Non Indigna Coelo", i.e. " My family is not unworthy of Heaven”. In 2005 the coat of arms was slightly modified and now responds to this heraldic description: “Pave d'azur with a head and collar of a goat with a silver chief”.

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