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Great St. Bernard Pass Hospice

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Great St. Bernard Pass Hospice Bourg Saint Pierre  Switzerland
Great St. Bernard Pass Hospice Bourg Saint Pierre  Switzerland
Great St. Bernard Pass Hospice Bourg Saint Pierre  Switzerland
Great St. Bernard Pass Hospice Bourg Saint Pierre  Switzerland
Great St. Bernard Pass Hospice
Up until 2004, Switzerland’s iconic furry friends—St. Bernard dogs—were bred at this monastery and hospice. While the canines have been relocated, the Great St. Bernard Hospice, which sits on a barren, treeless plane at 8,100 feet, is still an active monastery run by Augustinian monks. The steep four-mile ascent from the valley is a killer on foot, but still doable—on groomed trails in summer and on snowshoes in winter. Inside, monks greet you and show you to communal tables in the stone dining hall where vegetable soups are served with hunks of Bagnes cheese, thick slices of brown bread, and honey-sweetened tea (or a carafe of red Dôle wine produced in the Valais region just below, which seems to be the more popular option). Don’t miss the odd museum, displaying local taxidermy, ancient coins, and maps once used for Alpine crossings; the 800-year-old crypt is allegedly stuffed with the bodies of ancient travelers who didn’t survive the journey. A register of "Les passants célèbres" includes Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Alexandré Dumas but omits Charles Dickens, who lived nearby for a summer.
Great St. Bernard Pass Hospice
The Great St. Bernard Pass is probably the most famous of its kind in Europe. Not only does it offer winding mountainous roads which penetrate some quite spectacular views, but it is also laden with history and intrigue. The pass which runs from Martigny in Switzerland to Aosta in Italy dates back as far as the Bronze Age and has been crossed by armies, pilgrims, tribes, and, most famously in the 1800s, by Napoleon and his army. Its idyllic setting can also be seen on the opening scene of the original Italian Job movie. Nowadays visitors skirt its roads simply for the incredible views of sunken lakes and mountains, and also to visit the St. Bernard hospice to see the dogs named after the pass.
Great St. Bernard Pass Hospice Bourg Saint Pierre  Switzerland

Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard, 1946 Bourg-Saint-Pierre, Switzerland
+41 27 787 12 36