The first ascent of the Matterhorn took place on 14 July 1865 and Switzerland Tourism has announced that travellers to Zermatt in July this year will be in for a treat as celebrations will be in full swing with many activities taking place throughout July and August.
Director or Switzerland Tourism, Mark Wettstein, says Zermatt has lined up a series of events to celebrate the occasion, including an the open-air theatre, possibly meeting Queen Elizabeth, village tours, hikes and the Zermatt Folklore Festival where they can get in and amongst the 1200 participants from around the country dressed in folklore costumes.
To kick off the celebration, Zermatt’s first open-air theatre at 2600m above sea level on the Gornergrat will see 40 performers artistically deliver the “The Matterhorn Story”. Documenting the dramatic and triumphant, yet tragic first ascent of the pyramidal summit, the theatre performance guarantees to take audiences on a gripping emotional roller coaster. It premiers on July 9 and finishes on August 29.
During the jubilee week of 10-18, other events include the illuminating of the Matterhorn, a range of alpine excursions and the celebration of Italy Day where alpinists from Italy, France, the UK and Switzerland join famous alpinists such as Hervé Barmasse in Valtournenche in Italy to commemorate the Matterhorn.
To top it off, the much-anticipated celebration may even be graced with the presence of Queen Elizabeth of England.
More than 13,000 Australians visit Zermatt each year; and while most visits peak during the winter for skiing and snowboarding, more and more are enjoying the region during the warmer months as well.
Swiss Tourism; www.myswitzerland.com