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Apartment or chalet

Post 17. First Inn

In 1859, at the initiative of Jean-Baptiste and Julienne Epiney-Antille born in Zinal, the first inn in Zinal opened marking the beginning of summer tourism and a new era for the village. The chalet has the date 1859 inscribed on it.

This large two-storey chalet of larch wood is now a residence. On the ground floor, built in 1790, there was the kitchen and the dining room, while on the first level, there were some small rooms with short sliding beds that could accommodate ten people.

The inn is closely linked to the development of mountaineering: “The story started with a small wooden house, where, on a summer evening at the time of haymaking, an Englishman asked for lodging.“ (Alois Theytaz).

In 1864, Leslie Stephen stayed at the inn before succeeding in the first ascent of the Zinalrothorn. In 1865, Lord Douglas climbed the Obergabelhorn. Among its guests, there were such celebrities such as the British climber Edward Whymper who was the first to scale the Matterhorn in 1865. In 1859, in Zinal, Whymper completed the first crossing of the Moming Pass. A year before, Jean-Baptiste Durand Epiney brought a group of young Anniviards, dressed as they were in the village, with military bags, hay ropes, axes and provisions, up to the Durand pass. This outing symbolized a change of mentality due to the influence of foreign climbers.

Emile Javelle had also noticed : that people of the valley had no interest in the summits, previously surrounded by fear and legends. About the inn, he wrote: “As little known as Zinal is, there is a hotel : still very simple fortunately, like the good people who run it. Often it is empty ; today we are three travellers.”

In 1959 Zinal celebrated the centenary of the resort at the inn, whose creation marked the birth of the summer resort.

This is here, where “the story began...” that the historical visit of Zinal ends. We invite you to come back on the main road to the centre of the village, paying careful attention to all of Zinal, its infrastructure and its services, as well as the Zinal-Sorebois cable car that has been functioning since 1967.

Useful documents


Post 17. First Inn
3961 Zinal
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