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Zermatt

Switzerland, Central Europe





Switzerland facts and history in brief


Zermatt

Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Zermatt is a village located (461'N, 745'E) at the base of the Matterhorn in the German-speaking section of the Valais canton in southern Switzerland.
It is 62 km southwest of Gstaad, and only about 10 km from the border with Italy.
It has a population of around 4,000 people, although this varies considerably through the seasons.
The village is situated at the end of a south-facing valley, at an altitude of 1620m (5315 ft).
Zermatt is famed as a ski resort and as a general tourist destination.
Until the mid-19th century, it was predominately an agricultural community - its name, as well as that of the Matterhorn itself, derives from the alpine meadows or matten in the valley.
It was "discovered" mid-century by British mountaineers, whose conquest of the Matterhorn made the village famous world-wide.
The town is carfree, although motor vehicles are permitted with permission from the cantonal police (generally granted only to some permanent residents).
Most visitors reach Zermatt by cog railway train from the nearby town of Tasch.
Trains also depart for Zermatt from farther down the valley at Visp.
The only passenger vehicles operating within Zermatt are the tiny electric shuttles that hotels provide to carry visitors from the town center to the hotel properties.
Zermatt is a starting point for many hikes into the surrounding mountains, including the Haute Route that ultimately leads to Chamonix in France.
A complex of cable cars and chair lifts carry skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer; the highest of them leads to the Klein Matterhorn, a small outcropping on the ridge between Breithorn and Matterhorn that offers spectacular views in all directions.
It is possible to cross into Italy via the Cervinia cable car station.
A spectacular rack and pinion railway line, the highest open-air railway in Europe, runs up to the summit of the Gornergrat at 3089m (10134 ft).
Zermatt is also one terminus for the Glacier Express connecting to St. Moritz.

External link

  • Zermatt official website (http://www.zermatt.ch/)


    Retrieved from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zermatt)


    This information was updated & correct in December 2004. E. & O.E.


    All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
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