The history of Valmeinier is closely linked to the Christian religion. Take a leap into the past by discovering the religious buildings still present in the area. Admire this heritage scattered across the valley and dating from the 14th century for the oldest buildings.

The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption

A turbulent history

Faithful to the French tradition, the church was the central place of the village where the inhabitants met. It is difficult to determine with certainty the date on which the first church of Valmeinier was born. A manuscript by Jean-Baptiste Aymard all the same evokes the presence of a parish church from the end of the 12th century on the site of the current bell tower. Other accounts tell of the construction of a church around 1350 near the current cemetery before it was enlarged during the 15th, 16th and 18th centuries.

First church (? – 1828)

One thing is certain, at least three churches succeeded each other and preceded the church that we know today. The first, whose inauguration date is therefore not known, was located on the site of the current cemetery. It was notably looted in 1793 during the capture of Valmeinier by the revolutionary troops. In 1824, an inventory highlights the deterioration of the building over the years.

Second Church (1828 – 1893)

This is how the decision to build a new building was taken, leading to its inauguration in 1828. This time, the location was at the level of the current church. Alas, it appears that this construction was slightly too hasty. The first signs of dilapidation appear quickly and the new ground turns out to be as fluid as the previous one. In view of the increasingly apparent dilapidation and the danger that this engenders, the project to build a third new building is discussed.

Third Church (1893 – 1987)

Following lengthy negotiations with the municipal council, the execution of the works was finally awarded to the Conseil de Fabrique. The chosen terrain always remains the same, only modifying the orientation of the building (passing from north-south to east-west) and providing for an extension of the building by 2m40. Only the bell tower is preserved. This third version of the church was completed in November 1893. Unfortunately for Valmeinier, the years (or centuries) followed and resembled each other. The same errors are reproduced with a friable building again requiring repairs.

Fourth Church (1987 – …)

After continual consolidation and restoration work during the 20th century, the church was declared too dilapidated and dangerous to receive the public in the 80s. The municipality finally decided to repair and consolidate it once again. Beyond all these construction defects, this did not prevent its embellishment. In particular, there are paintings, stained glass windows and statues from the period, contributing to the interest shown in it. After centuries of renovation and reconstruction, it is now hoped that the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption has finally found its balance.

If you are passing by this church, take the opportunity to walk through the narrow streets of the village with period houses. For more information on Valmeinier Villages, go to the link below.


Beyond the disappeared chapels, Valmeinier still has many small chapels spread over its territory. Here is a small presentation.

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows in Léchet

Housed at an altitude of 2100m in the heart of the Natura 2000 reserve, this chapel offers a magnificent view of the bottom of the Valmeinier valley. Built by the mountain dwellers, it remains an essential and symbolic place to be preserved for the Christian Valmineux.

Historically, its pilgrimage allowed mountaineers who spent the summer in the mountain pastures to place themselves under the protection of Notre Dame des Neiges. For a time disappeared due to the rural exodus, this pilgrimage was rehabilitated in 1986.

Accessible by hiking from the Chenalette car park, masses are still held there occasionally. Whether on a pilgrimage or a simple stroll, a visit to the Notre Dame des Neiges chapel is worth the detour.

The Chapel of the Ville-Dessus (Ville d'Amont – Saint François d'Assise)

Built during the 18th century by the Praz brothers, it is decorated with a canvas representing Saint Francis of Assisi. Currently in good condition, it underwent several repairs during the 19th and 20th centuries. You can come across it while strolling through Valmeinier Villages.

The Deuchères Chapel

Built on the site of a former oratory, the first construction of this chapel dates from the 16th century. A legend says in particular that during the plague epidemic in 1627, many families were spared after having dedicated themselves to the name of Holy Cross, Saint under which the chapel was placed at that time.

It was built by the inhabitants with the help of Pierre Lambert, bishop of Maurienne during the 16th century and to whom we owe the name of the nearby stream. It is near the village of 1500 at the level of the hamlet of La Duchère. A mass followed by an aperitif is celebrated there every summer in August.

The Chapel of Mount Tabor

Perched at 3164 meters above sea level, this emblematic chapel is located a hundred meters from the summit of Mount Tabor (3178 m). Commonly called the Chapel of Mount Tabor, it is also called the Chapel of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows. Originally a simple shelter, it has become a place of pilgrimage over the centuries.

Its construction dates back to around the 15th century, although it has undergone many renovations since given the altitude at which it sits. Majestic, it has an exceptional setting with a breathtaking view of the valley. It represents an obligatory passage for all hikers embarking on the mythical ascent of Mount Tabor.

Dedicated to Saint Barthélemy, several pilgrimages are organized there every summer.

Chapel of Mount Tabor

Beyond these chapels, also find below others still preserved and present in the surroundings of Valmeinier:

  • The Chapel of the Castle
  • The Combes chapel
  • The Larch Chapel
  • The Combaz and Tiers-Dessus Chapel
  • The Chapel of the Torelières


“Valmeinier from yesterday to today”

• By Germaine Mulet

• With the participation of Jean-Claude Magnin, Joseph Mulet, Jean Prieur and Louis Troccaz

• Under the aegis of the Association for the preservation and enhancement of the heritage of Valmeinier

On sale in local tobacconists or on order by returning your payment to us (28€ + 4€ postage), to be sent to:

  • • Heritage Association
    • Town hall of Valmeinier
    • 73450 Valmeinier

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