The Englischer Viertel lane accesses a hidden world behind the Bahnhofstrassse. The little road leads through a quiet residential district to old wooden agricultural buildings still used by local farmers.
This is Zermatt’s backyard, as it were. The lane leads from the church on Zermatt’s main square and along the rear of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. As the name suggests – Englischer Viertel means “English quarter” – the English have left their mark on Zermatt in many ways over the years. The lane is named after the many British visitors who came here in large numbers in the 19th century: to explore the alpine world, and to be the first to conquer the famous 4,000-metre peaks of Valais.
This district is home to houses dating from different periods. Some are in Walser style, combining stone and wood, others are typical of a mountain village, built of larch. One of the barns stands crooked, perched on stilts and balanced on flat slabs of stone to keep out mice. The buildings are beautifully adorned with flowers.
The Englischer Viertel lane leads straight to the Inderbinen fountain. This memorial fountain commemorates the most famous of all Zermatt mountain guides, Ulrich Inderbinen, who lived from 1900 to 2004. From here, a lane on the left leads to the heart of the old village, with 30 old wooden barns, stores and houses.