Portrait of the City

Martigny, capital of culture


Martigny is pleased to welcome you at the Manor for the world music festival “5 Continents” at the foot of the La Bâtiaz Castle for the great fireworks display on August 1, in the town’s historic quarter for the arts and crafts market; at the heart of its vineyards for the Fête de Plan-Cerisier, at the Valais Fair, at the Amphitheatre for the Cow-Fighting festival, at the Bourg for the Bacon festival or in the City for the Christmas’ Market.

Martigny portrait Martigny portrait


Let yourself be inspired by Martigny’s art of living and the taste of the fruit brandies distilled at Morand since 1889, as well as by the southern climate, in the shade of centuries-old plane trees, and the annual art exhibitions in the city’s galleries, museums, and at the Pierre Gianadda Foundation. The city also offers several sports activities and is a starting point for breathtaking excursions to Chamonix, Trient, Salvan, Les Marécottes, Fully, Saillon, Verbier and many other regions.





On the 5th century BC, the Véragres - a Gallic tribe - found Octodure. Later, between 41 and 47 AD, Romans build the Claudium Vallensium Forum not far from Octodure. The 12th century, the village is named Martigny. It is a enclave dependent on the Sion bishop on a Low-Valais ruled by the Savoie Counts. The bishops of Sion built the Castle of Bâtiaz between 1270 and 1280.

Napoleon Bonaparte marched through Martigny with his reserve army of 40,000 men on the way to Marengo, via the Great St. Bernard Pass. 15 years later, Napoleon abdicates and the Valais enters the Swiss Confederation.

In 1859, inauguration of the Simplon railway in Martigny. Activities of the town moved from Bourg to City. The definitive station would only be built in the Central Square axis in 1878, when a road was also built to link the station with the town. The railway lines Martigny-Châtelard and Martigny-Orsières were opened in 1906 and 1910, respectively.


Martigny History Martigny History

In 1956, Martigny-City merges with La Bâtiaz. 4 years later, The Martigny Comptoir is created; in 1992, it became the Valais Fair. The opening of the Great St. Bernard Pass dates back to 1964, the same year in which Martigny-Bourg was connected to the city.

The creation of the Pierre Gianadda Foundation (which has received over 30 million visitors in 30 years of its existence) took place in 1978; in 1981, the first motorway was opened in Martigny. Finally, the new Central Square was built in 2012, 3 years after the Tour de France route arrived in Martigny!


The Via Francigena is a pilgrims’ walking trail linking Canterbury (GB) with Rome (I) across the Alps. The Swiss sections leading to Aosta (I) are St-Maurice, Martigny and Pays du St-Bernard. They are of great historical and religious importance, because pilgrims have the opportunity to visit the Basilica of the Abbey of St-Maurice, the oldest in Switzerland, the remains of the first cathedral of the Valais in Martigny as well as the Great Saint Bernard hospice, situated at 2,469 m altitude on the pass with the same name, which has welcomed pilgrims and alpine climbers for more than a thousand years.



Tourist Assets


In Martigny, art is everywhere: in the works of young talents or experienced artists in the city's many galleries; in the sculptures of Swiss artists you can find on the streets, installed on roundabouts. The city also has many examples of Roman art and the Contemporary art, which can be particularly admired in the prestigious exhibitions at the Gianadda Foundation. Close to European capitals, Martigny is easily accessible and located near several winter ski resorts and summer excursion routes served by a small picturesque train. It is also located along the St. Bernard and the Mount Blanc Express railway lines (bound to the surrounding valleys of Entremont, Trient and Chamonix), considered the most beautiful routes of the Valais.

Surrounded by vineyards and orchards, Martigny is also a stop for gourmets. It was the starting point of specialized asparagus and tomato cultures, and also of the William pear and the apricot cultures, both essential ingredients to the famous Morand brandies. We invite you to visit the terraced vineyards of Plan-Cerisier and then make a stop at the Mazot-Museum, the smallest museum of Switzerland: a unique experience!

Martigny Tourist Assets Martigny Tourist Assets


For business activities among the Alps, Martigny offers high-quality services and facilities for meetings, fairs, conferences and other events, all year-round. Our hotel infrastructure (ranging from 2 to 4 star hotels) will suit every type of customer.


With its multiple facets, and others which you will certainly discover, Martigny will be happy to welcome you on your next stay.