Tales of the Alps – Napoleon’s unpaid bill

Napoleon Crossing the Alps - painting

The story of a very longstanding debt owed to a very small village At the dawn of the 19th century, newly republican France was at war with much of Europe. In the south-west of the country, the Alps formed a natural barrier against invasion,…

Tales of the Alps – Barry der Menschenretter

Barry on display in museum

How a St. Bernard named Barry became a Swiss legend Although relatively unheard of outside his native Switzerland, Barry is known as the most famous dog in the country to the Swiss. In German, he is called Barry der Menschenretter, or “Barry the people…

Tales of the Alps – The Devil’s Bridge

Pont du Diable

This story recounts the legendary origins of the Pont du Diable, or Devil’s Bridge, in St. Christophe-en-Oisans.  Saint Christophe-en-Oisans is a sleepy alpine hamlet halfway up the Veneon Valley. The inhabitants keep livestock in the high pastures, or welcome the visitors who come for…

Tales of the Alps: L’Escalade, Geneva

Painting of the battle

How one old woman saved the city with a pot of vegetable soup… In this series, we look at some of the more interesting tales of the Alpine region. Some, like the battle of the ‘Escalade’, are true. Others have their origins in myths…

Cheeselore in the Western Alps

Reblochon

We all know that France and Switzerland are famous for their cheese, from Camembert to Gruyere, and cheese dishes like Fondue or Raclette. Cheese forms a big part of the local culture in the Alpine regions. Consequently, countless stories surround the production and even…