Interesting facts 

Legends as Climate Evidence

People here used to be at the direct mercy of the nature's moods. Dramatic natural events or noticeable changes in the climate sank deep into the collective memory, and could endure for centuries, or even millennia, in the form of myths and legends. 


“There are many legends among people which tell that the climate used to be much warmer, that there was scarcely a trace of any glaciers and that orchards and vineyards grew high up in the mountains. Then along come others who claim the whole of the Valais was once a huge lake. And finally, learned geologists maintain that terrifying glaciers once filled up all the valleys, right to the very bottom, and advanced far beyond the borders of our Valais. Which is right? I believe them all.” (Tscheinen and Ruppen in “Walliser Sagen”, 1989)

The World Heritage Region is not without its legends and stories which deal with climate changes or tell of an earlier climate, better because warmer. These memories are probably mainly rooted in the mediaeval warm period, but perhaps also in even earlier mild phases. The legend of the Blüemlisalp tells of lush alpine meadows which once stretched up as far as what are now icy mountain peaks, but were destroyed as a result of people's wicked behaviour. This legend is to be found in different variations throughout the alpine area.