Set just off the beaten path, the hamlet of Monthey was born in the French Savoie and passed under the domination of several different masters over its first centuries of existence. The city earned its franchise as early as 1352, however, which may have something to do with the inhabitant's good-natured but often-sardonic humor.
Add to this, a unique geographical setting between mountain and lake and you have heaven on earth, or almost. "Nothing is missing but the beach, one could say, if one absolutely has to find fault with Monthey", as a visiting journalist once said of the town. Gatekeeper to the Val d'Illiez, this city is at once Valaisan and Chablaisan, with Savoyard and Bourgignon undertones. Over the past century, Monthey has become an industrial boomtown. The influx of immigrants from far-away horizons has made Monthey a melting pot of cultures living together in harmony. Here, we cultivate tolerance and open mindedness.
The heart and economic capital of the Chablais and the jumping off point for the Val d'Illiez, Monthey is known for its festive character and love of culture. The historic old city enchants visitors with the castle, now home to the Musée du Vieux Monthey, the thrilling legend of Gros-Bellet and the Old Wood Bridge, which once provided passage to Napoleon's troops. Monthey is also a cultural centre hosting a variety of plays, shows, concerts and conferences in the renowned Crochetan Theatre and the P'tit Théâtre de la Vièze. Among the most important events in Monthey are the weekly market held on Wednesdays in the central square, and the traditional Carnaval celebration, one of the largest and oldest Carnavals in French Switzerland. Finally, the city's proximity to the Choëx plateau and to the resort of Giettes makes Monthey an ideal home base for outings on skis or on foot. The sporting facilities here are countless and the extensive infrastructures for swimming, skating, tennis and horseback riding also allow the town to host numerous sporting events.
In short, life here is an art that even a visitor for a day will appreciate. And yet, Monthey is a city that should be lived, explored and returned to. This city has a life and, above all, it has a soul.
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