Mountaineers' Cemetery

Mountaineers' Cemetery, Zermatt

Mountaineers' Cemetery
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Cemeteries
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The mountaineers’ cemetery is a moving reminder of the accidents that have occurred in the mountains around Zermatt. The tranquil site is a memorial to all climbers who have lost their lives here. The inscriptions reveal that women and men from all over the world have died on the Matterhorn, Täschhorn, Weisshorn, Liskamm, Obergabelhorn and on the Monte Rosa massif. At the mountaineers’ cemetery, visitors can see the graves of about 50 climbers who perished in the surrounding mountains. Most date from the 19th century, some from the early-20th century. Grave of two climbers from the first ascent of the Matterhorn One gravestone is an exception. It commemorates two famous climbers who died naturally rather than on the mountain: Peter and Peter Taugwalder, father and son. These were the mountain guides of the first person to climb the Matterhorn, Edward Whymper. Only these three out of the original party of seven returned to Zermatt alive. The ascent, on 14 July 1865, was a success: on the way back down, however, four of the climbers fell to their deaths, including Michel-Auguste Croz, a mountain guide from Chamonix. His gravestone stands beside that of the two Taugwalders. Two of the English climbers who died on the descent were laid to rest at the English Church in Zermatt: D. Robert Hadow is buried outside, while the Reverend Charles Hudson lies by the church altar. The third English climber who lost his life on the expedition, Lord Francis Douglas, has no grave as his body was never found. Another tombstone in the mountaineers’ cemetery belongs to probably the most famous female mountaineer of the 19th and 20th centuries: Eleonore Noll-Hasenclever (1880–1925). She lost her life as she descended the Bishorn on 18 August 1925, carried away by an avalanche. Symbols of mourning Some of the memorial stones bear candles and flowers left by relatives and fellow climbers. In some cases, the stones reveal the causes of accidents: an avalanche, a rockfall, a crevasse. One memorial to a young climber carries a simple and striking statement: “I chose to climb”. The mountaineer’s own red ice axe adorns the stone, along with the US flag.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
439 reviews
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188
Very good
202
Average
46
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1

Janet M
Cordova, TN632 contributions
After visiting the Matterhorn Museum, we walked to the Mountaineers’ Cemetery located in the yard of St. Mauritius Church. The cemetery is a sad reminder of the many lives lost in the mountains around Zermatt. It contains 50 graves dating from the 19th century and early-20th century. Most of these deaths occurred on the way down the mountain by an avalanche or rock fall. There are graves of men and women from all over the world, including a grave of an American from New York who died in 1975 on the Breithorn. He was 17-years old and his headstone reads “I chose to climb” and is decorated by his red ice axe along with the U.S. flag.
Written December 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dranujkiran
New Delhi, India1,027 contributions
Family
38 of the 76 European 4000 m plus peaks lie in the Zermatt region . Of these the scariest ones are the soaring , pointed Matterhorn , Weisshorn , Dom , Taschhorn and many others . Every year some 2000 climbers climb the Matterhorn . Starting from the first scaling 150 yrs ago , almost 400 climbers have lost their lives on Matterhorn alone . This is no match to the 10% mortality on the Everest but least most Alpine fatalities are recovered for a decent burial unlike Everest where hundreds of bodies litter the '' Rainbow valley '' [ so called because of the multicolored dresses of the unfortunate climbers ] . The final resting place for many Alpine climbers is this peaceful and sombre patch of green behind the Catholic Church , in the shadows of the mighty peaks . It is an strange feelig when you read the epitaph of a person your age who died 35 years ago . A very moving experience indeed . I am sure some memory , some forgotten lyric will stir awaken while you read the memorials . For me it was a long ago read poem by Khayyam [ translated by Fitzgerald ]--

I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Cesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head
Written July 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Janet W
Toronto, Canada14 contributions
Couples
Have been to Zermatt on 6 occassions, and always come here. I especially like wandering through here at night when all the votive lamps are glowing red in the snow. So many young lives lost on the mountain.
Written April 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robbyremi19605
Reading, PA140 contributions
We visited the cemetery out of respect for those brave souls who paid the price to chase their dreams. We spent over an hour wondering what pushes someone to pay the ultimate price, one as young as 17. Mountaineering has always fascinated me, so for me this was a must see.
Written September 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

txeh
Cambridge, UK175 contributions
Headstones set on a steepish bank behind the church in the centre of the village. Very sad but of historic importance. Do visit.
Written August 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

barney3123
Hawthorn, Australia31 contributions
Couples
If you are in Zermatt, the Matterhorn is what dominates the town. So those that die on it and the stories are inescapable but also sadly interesting. This is a nice compact little graveyard but probably best to get the context from the museum just before your visit. Easy, quick and reflective must see.
Written August 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anthony H
Sydney, Australia152 contributions
Couples
This is a simple memorial headstones of mountaineers who died while climbing the Matterhorn. It is locaated in a peaceful part of Zermatt that allows sombre reflection of what drove those young men and women to climb the sheer grannite mountant? Sadly, many of the fatalities were from Asia and the USA. RIP.
Written January 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SuziReckless
Cambridge, UK242 contributions
Couples
I like getting the feel for the local culture and this is a great way to do so! It's humbling to see how many people passed away while seeking adventure (and maybe some fame). Incredible how many family members of the same mounteering family are there too!
Written February 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jaybeeFL
Palm Harbor, FL2,944 contributions
Couples
Walking through this cemetery and reading the various headstones of young adventurers who have lost their lives in pursuit of a mountain brings to mind the real question----WHY???? Why does one risk it all to plant a flag on top of a piece of granite?? I could understand it if it was a first but so many have conquered it that it has become commonplace among expert mountaineers. Why risk it----guess the best answer is always " Because it's there". Not for me.
Written August 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KeenHiker97
Bath144 contributions
Solo
You can reach this cemetery by walking from the direction of the train station straight along the main street of Zermatt, Bahnhofstrasse, until you reach the church. You turn left immediately before the church and you will find the cemetery just behind the church in a small garden area on the right. Don't get confused with the larger Zermatt cemetary which is slightly further on.

It is a moving experience to read the various names and inscriptions on the stones. It is also interesting to see several stones engraved with the names of those who fell during the descent from the first successful climb of the Matterhorn.

The cemetery only needs a fairly short visit, perhaps 15 minutes or so, but it is definitely worth seeing if you are in Zermatt.
Written July 9, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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