Hamlet of Herbrigg

Various small hamlets overlook Zermatt. In early centuries, they were used for farming and agriculture in summer. One such is the hamlet of Herbrigg, located up on the slopes south-west of Zermatt at an altitude of 1,754 m.

People call them “Alpwüstungen” and “Ackerwüstungen” – “alp wildernesses” and “field wildernesses”. Centuries ago, farmers cultivated these fields and alpine pastures. At Herbrigg, the terraced fields extend up to 2,000 m. They turned into “wildernesses” after long years of neglect. Today, these wildernesses are home to an exceptionally rich alpine flora. The buildings at Herbrigg show the typical construction style of the Walsers: barns built of larch, balanced on stilts and flat stones to keep out mice.

Many stories and legends have grown up around these hamlets and tell of the life people used to lead there. The hamlet of Herbrigg (also called Herbriggen) features in the collection of tales by Karl Lehner (see “Reading”). The story tells of a ghost that sneezed endlessly in one of the barns in Herbrigg. One day, after many years, one of the numerous milkmaids who worked at Herbrigg said “Bless you!” The ghost then appeared and thanked her with the words “May God bless you, too.” He explained that he had been banished here many years ago and had to wait for this “Bless you” to be released.

  • Photo subjects: barns and other buildings in traditional Walser style at Herbrigg
  • Very rich alpine flora
  • Large number of bird and butterfly species (including the Apollo butterfly)

“Zermatter Sagen und Legenden”, by Karl Lehner, available from the ZAP bookshop in Zermatt

free entry
freely accessible / always open



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