The Matterhorn - 150 years since first climbed
One of Switzerland’s iconic attractions – the Matterhorn at Zermatt – is this year celebrating 150 years since the first ascent on 14 July 1865.
Travellers to the mountain resort are in for a treat with a multitude of activities planned throughout July and August. A report by Features Editor John Newton.
Director of Switzerland Tourism, Mark Wettstein, says Zermatt has lined up a series of highly enjoyable events to mark the celebration, including an open-air theatre, village tours, hikes and the Zermatt Folklore Festival at which visitors can join the 1200 participants from around the country dressed in folklore costumes.
To kick of the celebration, Zermatt’s first open-air theatre at 2600-metres above sea level on the Gornergrat will see 40 performers artistically deliver the ‘Matterhorn Story’. It Documents the dramatic and triumphant, yet tragic first ascent of the pyramidal summit, with the theatre performance guaranteeing to take audiences on a gripping emotional roller coaster. The show premieres on 9 July and ends on 29 August.
During the jubilee week of 10-18 July, other events that will keep visitors entertained include the illuminating of the Matterhorn, a range of alpine excursions and the celebration of Italy Day, when alpinists from Italy, France, Switzerland and the UK join famous alpinists - such as Herve 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, along with other international guests of honour during the gala event.
According to Mark Wettstein, 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.
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