Les Contamines Montjoie, a Savoyard village at the foot of Mont-Blanc
The name of the village originates from ancient local dialect. The word “Contamines” once meant ploughable land on the squires estate.
- 1760: Birth of an independent parish (detached from the parish of Saint-Nicolas de Véroce)
- 1850: Creation of the local Mountain Guides Company
- 1900: Development of the first tourist infrastructures, hotels etc
- 1911: Creation of the local ski club
- 1937: Creation of the first ski Lift
- 1949: Les Contamines is renamed Les Contamines-Montjoie
- 1952: Creation of the first chair-lift and the summer playground at l’Etape.
- 1971: Development of Bellevue, La Ruelle and the Col du Joly.
The valley of Les Contamines is a jewel at the heart of the Mont Blanc region. The sensation of a hidden valley results in a very close knit local community.
The village has preserved its historic aspect. More than 70% of old farm buildings have been restored in respect of the local Savoy architecture.
Famous people from les Contamines
ALEXIS BOUVARD (1747 - 1843)
Alexis BOUVARD, a famous French astronomer was born in Les Contamines on the 27th June 1767 and died in Paris on the 7th June 1843.
He was director of the Paris Observatory and a member of the Science Academy.
One ignores how a young man, employed as a domestic servant in Paris at the age of 18, became an astronomer only 8 years later.
Some of his most significant discoveries included eight comets and the tables of astronomy for Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.
SAMIVEL (1908 - 1992)
Paul Gayet "SAMIVEL" was a nature lover, artist, alpinist and ecologist.
Renowned alpine specialist and film director, he owned a chalet in Les Contamines where he spent most of the summer months. He made the majority of his films in the Tré la Tête mountain range, actively promoting Les Contamines between 1950 and 1980.