Valle di Gressoney

Gressoney-Saint-Jean

Walser Cultural Centre

The Preservation of Walser Culture

By: Gressoney Monterosa

centro culturale

The Walser Kulturzentrum, Centre for Walser Studies and Culture of the Aosta Valley, based in Gressoney-Saint-Jean, was established in 1982 and its purpose is to promote and safeguard the Walser language and culture in particular in the villages of Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Gressoney-La-Trinité and Issime.

Every year, the centre promotes extracurricular courses of Titsch, Töitschu and German and organises exhibitions, conferences and various activities related to local culture. 
The Walser Kulturzentrum also actively participates in the activity of the Internationale Vereinigung für Walsertum (International Walser Association based in Brig in Switzerland www.wir-walser.ch) as well as in that of the United Committee of Historical Germanic Linguistic Islands in Italy (www.isolelinguistiche.it) and over the years has published several books on the language, history and architecture of the Walser in the Lys Valley.
It also take care of contacts between the Walser and aims to strengthen and intensify the relations of old friendship and parenthood between them and their countries of origin. To this purpose, it proposes to pass on Walser traditions to new generations, who should ensure that the dialogue with the past never fades away.

For more information visit the official website

 

official website

The Walser

The migration of the Walser was not the migration of an entire people.

Their migration was rather a succession of exoduses from the Valais homeland of individual groups of colonists, who moved in successive moments, split up, branched off and dispersed in such a way that it was difficult to determine the origin and course of the migration and colonisation in their details.  The routes of these colonists soon crossed and the radiations of the primitive colonies touched and interpenetrated, so that in some cases one is left in complete darkness as to their origin, especially for certain scattered and isolated settlements, now abandoned and undocumented.

As early as 1100, no more than two hundred years after their arrival in the Valais, driven by the migratory impulse that always characterised them, part of the Alemannic settlers set out again to found new colonies beyond valleys and mountains, in three successive periods.

Gressoney

The territories of the Gressoney Valley, which begins at the border of Gaby, belonged to the Bishops of Sion, the Lords of Challant, the Vallaise and the Saint-Gilles chapter of Verrès.

The Walser established their small villages up to an altitude of 2000 m, exploiting pastures and meadows, reclaiming land and deforesting large areas to create fields for cultivation and new meadows.

The oldest document mentioning the place-name 'Gressoney' dates back to 1219, in which the Lord of Quart, Giacomo della Porta, declares that he has in fief from the bishop of Sion, beyond the Lys, up to the summits of the mountains, cultivated and uncultivated land, pastures, woods, meadows and the Gressoney and Verdoby Alps.

The community grows and the two centres of Gressoney St Jean and Gressoney La Trinité, are formed, with many villages scattered over the territory.
From a religious point of view, they depend on the church of Issime, although they have their own chapels that are a fundamental meeting point for the communities.

The cultural centre's publications

An important aspect of the cultural centre's activities is certainly its publications.

The Italian-Titsch and Italian-Titschu dictionaries 

The ancient chronicles and legends of Gressoney

Books of culinary recipes and food uses

The songbook of Gressoney and Issime 

These are just some of the publications that you can find at the cultural centre in Gressoney-Saint-Jean.

Indirizzo e orari

Address
Strada Regionale 44 n.1
11025 Gressoney-Saint-Jean (AO) Italy

Opening hours to the public

Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Contacts

Walser Cultural Centre

Email: walserkultur@libero.it

Phone: 0125356248

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