Oratories & Crosses in and around the Chamonix Valley
Religion has obviously played a very big part in the history of the Chamonix Valley and the surrounding regions. There are a large number of Christian churches and chapels spread out all over region. Most of these are French Catholic but there are a few exceptions. Besides the churches and chapels there are also many oratories, or Oratoires in French. These little places of worship were often placed on paths and intersections near or inside settlements to provide protection to both the local inhabitants and travelers passing through. The common design is a small stone structure with a niche which contains the statue of a saint or other religious person. It also happened quite often that a religious site will start out as an oratory and get replaced by a church or chapel over time. Besides the oratories, you will also find many crosses of varying sizes and materials all around Chamonix Valley. Often these will have an inscription with the date written on it. One common design will feature the words "Mission" followed by a year.
A few noteworthy ones are the Oratoire Vieux Servoz in the old town of Servoz. This one is a bit hidden but its absolutely wonderful. The Cross along the Voie Romain is special because it has an inscripture telling the story of how an old woodcutter fell down the cliff and was saved by the river below and thanks the rains that year for saving his life. The Cross at Les Saix Blancs comes with incredible views of the Vallorcine valley.
# Oratories & Crosses:
We try to make the trails we present on our website as interesting as possible by combining as many points of interests as possible in a single trail. This way you get you to maximize your time spent. We got many other points of interest listed in the Chamonix Valley and beyond. You can pick a different category from the list on the right.
If you know an oratory or cross in or around Chamonix that is missing from our site, then please send us a message