History & Tradition
History and Tradition
The different village's names over the course of history
. La Chapelle des Frasses
. La Chapelle en Abondance
. Le Mont "Dor" or "d'Or" during the "révolution française" of 1792 to 1815
. La Chapelle
. La Chapelle d'Abondance
The two shrines of the village were founded the 17th century responding to the visit of St François de Sales, Bishop and Prince of Geneva who, at the time of his pastoral visit to the Valley, fired the religious support of the inhabitants against the danger of the Genevese Calvinism.
Discretely decorated they display especially through the statues which decorate them, testament to the religious worship of the Saints and Notre Dame (Our Lady) which had obtained great importance.
The shrine to "Notre Dame de La Compassion" (Our lady of compassion), in the center of the village was according to the inscription ;Notre Dame de Pitié, of St felix, St Andre and all the Saints... was not therefore randomly selected!
The Shrine of "La Chapelle Saint-Jacques", in the hamlet of " Ville du Nant", accommodates a statue of pope St Felix - perhaps remembering Felix V, the anti-papist in Basle, better known under the name of Amédée VIII, Duc of Savoy who, after being dislodged from his cumbersome throne, came to end his days in pious servitude in the "Château de Ripaille" castle located on the banks of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) near Thonon-les-Bains..
The church of La Chapelle d'Abondance
Take a vitual visit to the Eglise St Maurice (the church of St Maurice)
The 19th century writer Francis Wey, journeyed through Haute-Savoie to record the entry into France of this new Departement which had just voted to affiliate with France, and records his surprise to see the appearance of the bell tower thus...
La Maison des Soeurs - The Convent of the Sisters of Charity
"... One thus reaches the Valley d'Abondance whose odd bell tower is topped by two lanterns one above the other separated by copper balls..."
The Sisters of Charity, was an Order founded by Jeanne Antide THOURET in the Doubs region of France, who were summoned to the Abondance Valley to establish a school to educate local girls. Built in 1842, the ground floor contained an Herbalist-Pharmacy, the classrooms and the bath house. On the first floor was the lodgings for the Sisters.
La Chapelle - Land of Art and History!
In 2003, the "Vallée d'Abondance" was awarded by the French Ministry of Culture and Communities, the official title of Land of Art and History, in recognition of Communities which actively work to support, preserve and share their cultural inheritence with others. Exhibitions, guided tours themed trails, children activity workshops are all ways to discover the richess of our history and our daily newsletter. From preserving mountain vistas and pastures, the Abondance Abbey and its cloister, and pulpits, from woodworking crafts to winter sports activities, through all these many ways we aim to introduce this special region to the hearts of our visitors!
Le Fourneau de pierre - The Stone Furnace
The Traditional House
In 1865 the visiting journalist Francis WEY, wrote when entering the hamlet of "Passengués", he was impressed by " the very large and most original farmhouse which one can imagine". Sometimes they are capped by high pyramidal timber chimeys, whose hearths warm the milk used to make the famous cheese of the Abondance area.
This combination of enterprise and the architecture did not come about by chance. They reflect particular and original solutions to the problems arising from the local natural environment. In winter, it is necessary to house the inhabitants and their livestock and provide for two essential requirements : First to house both groups of inhabitants, and 2nd enough space to store reserves of food necessary for both groups of inhabitants. In these "households" the volume of building required for hay will depend the number of animals wintered in the building stables.
The Vallée d'Abondance has adopted a traditional building style which you will not find elsewhere. Visitors will be struck by the vast proportions of these traditional farmhouses. The eye will be drawn to two or three magnificently decorated balconies running across the frontage of the building. These immense farmhouse can comprise two symmetrical properties. The stone base contains the store rooms. On the first floor balcony the dwelling house is separated from the stables by a long corridor. Whilst the balcony on the upper floor would be used to dry the harvest. At the rear of the building the slope of the ground would normally allow direct access from the fields to the hayloft in the roof.
The stone furnace was a typical mode of heating the house. The furnace carved from stone are found in many larger dwellings located in the upper part of the valley. The stones were either carved and sourced locally or brought to the valley from Bagnes in "Valais" (Switzerland) where they were adorned with the evocative name of "Convict".
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