The Méribel resort boasts a long history and a rich and varied culture. During your visit, do not neglect the valley’s vast heritage. From Allues to the summits, the routes and visits on offer (in winter and summer, on foot and by bus) are both varied and numerous.
The Baroque routes, created in 1992 for the Albertville Olympic Games, bring together 80 Baroque art sites in Savoie. Within the resort, you will find this specific Baroque spirit in the church of Saint-Martin aux Allues, rebuilt in 1698. You can visit this church with or without guide; explnatory signs are found both inside and outside the church. Its relatively simple facade contrasts with the building’s interior decor, which is busy with bright colours, which appears luxuriant. The Baroque spirit. This décor can be seen with the Arolla pine which has, unusually, preserved itself quite well. Just above the church, we can find the Museum of Allues which presents the valley’s history and the traditional bread oven which is still used for some venets (Fanfoué Festival, Ski World Championships, etc.). The occasion to find out more about your destination, a different mountain setting near to your accomodation.
The resort’s heritage can also be seen with the gastronomy. Get to know Méribel via its cuisine. The “Archipel d’altitude” itinerary focuses on the mountain layout and tourism purposes.
Finally (and primarily!), local heritage! Méribel boasts genuine, unqiue architectural and rural elements. The resort extends over fifteen villages, over more than 1,000 hectares, from Allues to Méribel-Mottaret and features affiliated architecture. It has 2,000 permenant inhabitants and can accomodate 36,000 overnight. The Méribel resort, doyen of 3 Vallées, was created in 1936. Peter Lindsey, A Britishman who was looking for a new area to ski following Anschluss fell in love with the area and decided to invest, from 1938, using a private company, upon the advice of champion skier, Emile Allais. The first chalets and equipment were established at Mussillon and the resort was named Méribel for pronunictaion purposes. The vision of Peter Lindsey and his architects was to create a residential village amidst nature.
Built to be in harmony with nature (few cut trees) and using local materials, the resort’s chalets had to comply with strict specifications devised by the architect, Christian Durupt. Each chalet had to include materials such as stone, wood and slate so that the resort’s architecture would be genuinely unified. These obligations saw that its image is harmonious and appealing. Even presently, the chalets being renovated must rely on this style.
The altiport area, developed in the 70s, perfectly demonstrates the philosophy of the resort. The chalets in this historic area located at an altitude of 1,700 m comply with specifications, are harmonious with the nature and near to the sports commodities (golf in summer, ski slopes in winter). Going back down the valley, we can find the route des chalets and the route de la renarde, two routes which lead you to Méribel village (where there are no hotels). Numerous chalets frame these routes, some recetntly built, others renovated, some which are much older, such as the one built by Charlotte Perriand, a very well-known architect and decorator within the design universe. She worked with Peter Lindsey’s team designing the interior of the first chalets and hotels within the resort. In the 60s, as payment, she received an area of land on which she could build; she chose land on a gradient, near to the mountain river and behind the trees. This chalet still belongs to her family and is classified as an historic monument.
In 1972, to correpsond with the openng of Val Thorens, the resort opened Méribel-Mottaret at an altitude of more than 1,700 m. Constructed to resemble Méribel, but much smaller and more functional, this new village at the foot of the slopes represents a better junction (as it is higher) than Méribel for the 3 Vallées.
And this is just a glimpse…Patrimoine Guide