The village of Megève

History, culture and heritage

Roots & tradition

Since the dawn of time, Megève has been a land of legends, with so many stories to tell.
Discover the history of Megève, its treasures, its roots and the exceptional natural environment around the village.
Take a look at the information provided below and learn about the transfer of cultural knowledge, traditions, expertise, legends and wonders of Megève.

The Legends of Megève

Etymology of the name Megève
Megève (Mageva) is thought to derive from “media aquarum”, a Latin expression that means “in the midst of the waters”. This expression is believed to refer to the location of the Medieval priory, the central point of the urban area, that is between two waterways: the Planay (that runs behind the current town hall) and the Glapet (that runs alongside Megève Tourisme).
The first ever written mention of Megève (Megeva) as a place, dates back to 18th September 1202.

The foundation of Megève and the legend of the “Flying Serpent”
According to legend, Muffat and Grosset were the founding fathers of Megève. Two brave and bold companions who fought a risky battle. When they arrived in Megève, this land was under the torment of a terrifying monster, the Flying Serpent* who was devouring anyone who stood in its way, Muffat and Grosset decided to fight this monster. They won the battle and then went to meet the local sheep farmers and got to know them. Together, they began to populate and cultivate this land. The news that the monster had been defeated spread to the neighbouring lands, and soon enough, comforted in the fact that their fears had been alleviated, the Allobroges came to settle in this new colony.
Spoken legend documented in October 1791 by Jean Baptiste Berthet, a priest from Megève in the 18th century, in his work on “Histoire de Megève”.
*Fantastic beast, better known as a wyvern.

History of the Cross of Megève
To tell you about the beautiful story of the Cross of Megève, we have to take you back to the reign of Charles-Emmanuel III, King of Sardinia, Duke of Savoy and Prince of Piedmont. Back then, the natives of Megève would leave to carry out their military service for their country (Savoy) for a period of seven years in Piedmont. During their last year of service, the Megève natives would place an order for a beautiful golden Cross from a goldsmith from Turin, whose address would remain a secret. When they got back to Megève, they would give this Cross to their betrothed who had stayed in the village, as a reminder of their love. Dating from 1732, the Cross of Megève is today passed on from mother to daughter in the families of Megève, and it is an important symbol of Megève.