Last modified: 2012-04-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: haute-savoie | megève | goat's head |
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Flag of Megève - Image by Ivan Sache, 13 November 2011
The municipality and mountain resort of Megève (4,139 inhabitants in 2010; 4,411 ha) is located in the Northern Alps, 14 km of Sallanches and 70 km of Geneva.Megève was until the early 20th century a big mountain village (more than 2,000 inhabitants) living from agriculture, cattle breeding and wood exploitation. The first summer tourists seem to have visited Megève in 1902. In 1913, Mathilde Maige-Lefournier, journalist for the Club Alpin Français, encouraged the development of winter tourism; a tourist bureau and a skating rink were set up.
Megève is today a posh winter resort, often considered as the most chic and expensive in France. It is a proud member of the Best of the
Alps network formed by the 12 Alpine "classic mountain resorts" of
Megève and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (France), Zermatt, Grindelwald, St.
Moritz and Davos (Switzerland), Lech Zürs am Arlberg, St. Anton am Arlberg, Seefeld and Kitzüühel (Austria), Garmisch Partenkirchen (Germany) and Cortina d'Ampezzo (Italy).
Megève has set up the Évasion Mont-Blanc domain, together with the neighboring resorts of Combloux, La Giettaz, Saint-Gervais, Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce and Les Contamines-Hauteluce. The Megève domain proper is made of 219 pistes (449 km, from 1,113 m to 2,350 m asl) served by 107 ski lifts and 647 snow cannons.
The local hero of Megève is the skier Émile Allais (b. 1912, still skiing). Trained by Austrian instructors, Émile Allais was the first French skier of international fame. In the early 1930s, he
developed with Armand Allard the stirrup ski pants, which quickly
superseded the Norwegian golf trousers and were adopted within ten
years by all ski national teams. Allais wrote with Paul Gignoux the
first French book on ski, promoting a new training method that would
eventually allow the French skiers to challenge the Austrian
supremacy. Allais himself won in 1936 (Garmisch Partenkirchen) the
bronze medal in combined, the first Alpine ski competition ever
organized in the Olympic Games; he won eight medals in the World
Championships, with three wins in 1937 in Chamonix (downhill, slalom
and combined). After the Second World War, Émile Allais moved to the
Americas, where he contributed to the establishment of the ski resorts
of Portillo (Chile), Squaw Valley and Sun Valley (California, USA) and
trained the American and Canadian ski national teams. Back to France,
Allais imported modern methods of ski resort management, favoring the
development of Courchevel, Flaine, Vars and La Plagne.
The "Émile Allais" piste in Megève, inaugurated on 21 January 1951, was the seat of a famous downhill competition. In 1970, the skier Marcel Bozon hit a tree and was killed during the competition; deemed obsolete and too dangerous, the piste was closed in 1975. On 21 January 2001, that is 50 years, day for day, after its inauguration, the "Émile Allais" piste was reinaugurated. Its course was not changed, but the piste is today not packed down, reserved to experienced skiers, and no longer used for competitions (video).
Megève is the cradle of the Duvillard skier's dynasty, made of Adrien Duvillard (b. 1934, member of the national team, 1953-1962), his brother Henri Duvillard (b. 1947, member of the national team, 1967-1973), his son Adrien Duvillard (b. 1969, member of the national team, 1992-1998) and Adrien's wife Sophie Lefranc-Duvillard (b. 1971, member of the French team, 1992-1998), and, probably, more younger members.
- Presentation of Megève by Sergio Palumbo, 123Savoie website
- J.P. Brusson, L'invention du chalet. Henry-Jacques le Même, architecte à Megève, Revue de géographie alpine, 84, 41-50 (1996)
Ivan Sache, 13 November 2011
The flag of Megève (photo) is white with the municipal logo in the middle.
The logo of Megève is derived from the municipal arms, "Azure a goat's head argent a chief or", the shield crowned by a Count's coronet or,
below the shield a scroll or. On the logo, the writing "megève", in
white letters outlined in gold, is placed horizontally over the
The arms belonged to the Counts of Capré, lords of Megève. The Capré arms are canting, capra meaning in Latin "a goat". According to Annuaire de la noblesse française (1861), the Capré de Megève probably descended from a Piedmontese Capris family. François de Capré, President of the Chamber of Accounting of Savoy, published in 1654 the "Records of the Knights of the Annunciation". His son, Hyacinthe de Capré, was involved in the preparation of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and made Count.
Dominique Cureau & Ivan Sache, 13 November 2011
Beginning of the 1990s, the flag of Megève was vertically divided blue-yellow. See also a photo presumably dating from the mid 1960s.
Jan Mertens, 13 November 2011