Alpine cattle descent at Saint Cergue


Saint Cergue lies high above Lake Geneva in the wide hills of the Vaudois Jura. But the magnificent view becomes secondary, when 700 cattle walk past you at close quarters during the alpine procession through the village.

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”La Désalpe Saint-Cergue”, as the alpine cattle descent in Vaudois Jura is called, is among the most impressive in the country. All morning cows, goats, donkeys and dogs walk with their shepherds through the center of the village: around 700 animals - about 10 different herds – walk up close past the audience to their winter quarters. Colorful flowers are piled up between the horns of the cows, large bells hang around their necks and the farmers wear traditional costumes in classic black.

Besides the procession there is a lot of authentic alpine folklore to be experienced with eyes and ears - the cracking of the whip, swinging the flag, the sounds of the Alphorn or the alpine choir. At the booths along the route visitors admire the local art, and when they bite into a piece of alpine Gruyère cheese they can still taste the past mountain summer on their tongue.


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