All of the municipalities in the pays d’Evian vallée d’Abondance are labeled Pays d’Art et d’Histoire. This label is awarded to local authorities, which engage in the animation and enhancement of their architecture and heritage.
Historically the Abondance valley territory lies between the Portes du Soleil and Pas de Morgins glacial lock according to the valley’s donation act to the Augustinian canons in 1108.
The church that oversees this large parish is in Frasses, centralised between its borders. At the beginning of the 13th century debates between Aymon de Grandson, the Bishop of Geneva, and Abondance Abbey took place to choose the priest for Frasses church.The Abbey decided in favour of Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254).
The St Maurice des Frasses church is downgraded to a secondary church and becomes La Chapelle des Frasses. The monastery’s church, Saint Marie, is accorded parish primary status.
In the centuries that follow, the parish’s name is sometimes linked to the valley to become La Chapelle de l’Abondance.
A first parish split takes place when the church is reconstructed at its present location in Contamines at the beginning of the 15th century. But independence from Abbey will happen after François de Sales († 1622) arrives in the 17th century. He will also authorise the creation of the Châtel parish that will be established a few years later.
During the Revolutionary Terror the village carries the name Mont d’Or but returns to its name La Chapelle a few years later.
La Maison des Sœurs was originally a building constructed for the Sisters of Charity Order nuns in 1842. Long abandoned, it was restored to become the current Tourist Office reception, a games library and an exhibition space.
Situated in La Chapelle d’Abondance’s village centre, the Maison des Sœurs is instantly recognisable with its arcades facing the Notre-Dame de Compassion chapel.
Wildlife and flora are an integral part of our lives and hold a great importance to our quality of life.
The Abondance Valley, renowned for its remarkable landscapes also possesses this living heritage of flowers and wild animals.
Whether this may be part of the micro-fauna in our gardens or our Alpine lawns, whether it is wildlife that wanders in a herd or solitary, this discreet but omnipresent wildlife is our lifetime companion. From the popular ibex or chamois to the lesser-known arctic ptarmigan, from the surprising wallcreeper to fritillary butterflies, from the discreet edelweiss to the flamboyant lady’s-slipper orchid, they have all been there since the dawn of time, and continue their life’s eternal path.
Unless Man decide otherwise. No nature, no future.
Captured through photographic lenses, the images bear witness to this natural world that is inseparable from our own human microcosm.
Thanks to Bishop François de Sales, the parish of La Chapelle will be released from the Abbey’s jurisdiction and will enlarge its church in the 17th century. The current building is a reconstruction of the 19th century Sardinian era, restored in 2008.
Open daily, all year round, free access.
Notre Dame de la Compassion Chapel
Founded in the 17th century at the same time as the Saint- Jacques de la Ville du Nant Chapel, it recalls the visit from François de Sales, Bishop and Prince of Geneva, who stimulated the religious ardour of the inhabitants during his pastoral visits at La Chapelle, following the fear of Genovese Calvinism.
The decorations and statues bear witness to a time where the cultural relationship with the saints and Notre Dame was of great importance.
According to the legend this chapel should have been built on the site of another place of worship destroyed when the banks of the River Chevenne overflowed. Its original name: Notre Dame de Pitié, de St Félix, de St André and all the Saints.
Open daily, all year round, free access.
The La Chapelle d’Abondance Tourist Office, in association with the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire, have free audio-guides at your service to visit freely the Saint Maurice Church.
In addition to La Chapelle d’Abondance, the Pays d’Évian Vallée d’Abondance boasts numerous treasures linked to the history, water, and local traditions.
Make the most of your stay to discover them!