Chamonix is recognised for two things – its world-class winter sports and its striking alpine architecture that are a delight to the eye and a joy to ski past.
With layers of steeply peaked roofs, dormer windows and tall chimneys creating a backdrop for your vacation like no other, Chamonix’s architecture embraces its rugged landscape.
Many buildings date from the 19th century when the town was prosperous as a centre for mountain tourism. In Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, you’ll find villas and apartment buildings in all architectural styles.
About Chamonix, France
Chamonix is one of Europe’s most spectacular year-round ski resorts. Close to Geneva in the French Alps, Chamonix has small but manicured ski areas and plenty of off-piste terrains. There are also hiking and mountain bike tracks galore. The resort itself is chic and sophisticated, with plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants. Much of the resort straddles a mountain stream, which creates an idyllic setting for summer hiking or mountain biking. In the summer there are still opportunities for sightseeing on foot or by bike. In winter the landscape takes on a very different look.
Types of Property in Chamonix
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The Golden Age of Architecture in Chamonix
In the second half of the 19th century, a mania for building swept through Chamonix. Its golden age of architecture spanned from 1850-1914. The spectacular peaks and dramatic proximity to the equator attracted visionaries, scientists and visionaries.
Many of the majestic stone buildings that line Chamonix’s dazzling Alpine landscape are from this historic period: from the flowery opulence of the Victorian era to the more sober, austere styles of Art Deco and Functionalism.
The golden age of Chamonix architecture is seen in buildings such as the Victorian houses on Rue du Chat, Les Houches, and La Mettrie Square.
As you walk through town and explore these impeccably preserved gems, you will begin to understand how Chamonix came to be known as “the most beautiful village of Savoy.”
The Villas Period
During the Belle-époque period, many villas appeared in Chamonix.
The villas can be classified into three categories: a) those constructed before 1900 and belonging to an important family of Chamonix, b) the villa Giordano built in 1919 on the Square Schallenberger for Winter Olympics champions Lucien and Louis Giordano, c) those belonging to mountain guides.
With their grandiose proportions, collonaded porticos and finely decorated interiors, Chamonix’s ‘Villas Aristocrats’ were truly impressive palaces of pleasure. With their summer terraces, sculpted gardens and separate buildings for staff, villas like these are typically found across the French Riviera.
The Chalets in Chamonix
Chalets have been a presence in Chamonix since the 1800s, and continue to be an essential part of the architecture, style, and culture here.
The chalets of Chamonix were originally built as summer dwellings for the burgeoning Industrial Class of Europe. Following the Industrial Revolution, many European families traveled to the Alps for their summer residence; these estates ultimately gave rise to what is known today as the Chamonix villa style of architecture. The use of wood and stone as primary building materials gave this style its rustic look and feel, but also created a sense of significance and grandeur in those that possessed them.
Chamonix’s Modern Architecture
Chamonix has captured the art of architectural confluence. Modern structures make up the Alpine village with contemporary steel, stone and glass melded into the timeless natural surroundings.
Lush green parks and flower-lined cobblestone pathways make Chamonix idyllic for recreation of all sorts, whether you’re hanging out along the bustling Rue Balmat or enjoying a leisurely pedal around the Chamonix Valley on one of our electric bikes.
Properties in Chamonix
Chamonix has an enviable selection of properties to invest in. With a superb selection of Chalets and apartments to suit every budget, there is a property to please everyone wishing to grab a slice of the Chamonix life. From leisurely strolls through Le Praz and alongside Lake Argentiere, to adrenaline fuelled ski days in Les Aiguilles Rouges or Vallee Blanche, and everything in between there is something for all the family in Chamonix.
Apartments in the centre of Chamonix are generally more expensive than the same sized apartments in the Les Bossons and Les Houche areas, but offer easy access to all amenities (restaurants, bars, shops etc). The second option is a larger apartment or chalet in Les Bossons or Les Houche, close to the cable car and chairlift, so no waiting for buses.
Whether you are looking for a luxury property in town with its own swimming pool, or the ultimate retreat in a private hamlet, Skiingproperty.com property directory is the best place for you to start your search.