Fang at the crossroads

Based on visual assessments, conducted by the archaeologist of the Canton, the old village of Fang, located downstream from the present site, dates back about a thousand years. The new village of Fang would have been built as of 1700. Various buildings indicate dates such as 1718, 1724, 1747, and 1766.

   Map of Fang
 

In 1851 Chandolin, which had become an independent municipality in 1814, sent a request to the Canton to take possession of the territory of Fang. For the inhabitants of Chandolin, Fang was a blessing, thanks to its productive soil, while for the people of Fang, the distance between the two villages was too great ( over 1000 m in altitude ) along a dangerous path. Following a referendum in 1856, Fang was administratively attached to Chandolin, but continued to be part of the parish of Vissoie.

Until the 1950s, Anniviards from Chandolin, Saint-Luc, Saint-Jean and Pinsec, went to Fang in the spring to prune fruit trees, to use the last reserves of hay for grazing animals, and to plant trees or crops. Then they went to the villages above, the mayens, ( groups of small houses situated in the middle mountain pastures ), and up to Alpine pastures, returning to Fang in summer and autumn.

As of 1970, there were only eight persons living year-round in Fang ( see the movie “ Fang, l’âme de mon pays “Fang, the soul of my country. Valais Media, CEVIS 88-49 ). In 1973, a journalist asked about the reasons for the abandonment of the village, and Jean Zuber replied : “There is no work here, no pub, no shop, no school. The work of the countryside is hard and it is no longer profitable nowadays.”

At the end of the 1990s, Yvonne Jollien, a group of villagers and the “ Société du village “ decided to make every effort to bring Fang out of its oblivion. The village was brought to life in the eyes of Anniviards and tourists, by setting up tours, an exhibition, a small museum, a web site ( www.fang.ch ) along with the publication of a book.