Les Contamines -Montjoie is a commune in the French department of Haute- Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region.
Les Contamines -Montjoie is at 1164 m, east of Megeve, about 60 km southeast of the city of Geneva (air line). The village is located in a wide valley, the Val Montjoie in the Savoy Alps at the western foot of Mont Blanc.
The area of 43.55 km ² municipal area includes a portion of the Savoy Alps. The area occupies the whole upper part of the strong in relief commuting area of the Bon Nant. Multiple source streams from the glaciers of the Mont- Blanc massif unite to Bon Nant, which flows in an open valley north to the Arve. The valley is flanked by wooded slopes; the treeline is usually in the range of about 2000 m. Furthermore located on the western side of the valley the great pastures of Mont Joly ( 2525 m), Aiguille Croche ( 2487 m) and the Col du Joly (1989 m). The eastern side of the valley is characterized by rugged cliffs, by the ice-capped peaks of the Mont Blanc massif belonging Domes de Miage ( 3670 m), Tré la Tête ( 3930 m) and Aiguilles des Glaciers ( 3816 m) can be surmounted. They form the area of origin of the Glacier de Tré la Tête, the glacier tongue extends down to 2200 m. To the south, the municipality's area extends to the Alp Jovet with the mountain lakes Lacs Jovet. Much of the soil community is part of the nature reserve Contamines -Montjoie.
At Les Contamines -Montjoie next to the village itself includes various hamlets and holiday settlements and farms, all located in the area of the valley of the Val Montjoie:
- Tresse (1020 m)
- La Chapelle (1050 m)
- Le Champelet (1100 m)
- Revenaz La (1120 m)
- Berfière La (1130 m)
- Nivorin ( 1160 m)
- Le Baptieu (1200 m)
- Le Cugnon (1180 m)
- La Gorge ( 1190 m)
Neighboring municipalities of Les Contamines- Montjoie Bourg -Saint -Maurice, Beaufort and Hauteluce in the south, Saint- Gervais- les- Bains in the north and the Italian municipality of Courmayeur in the east.
The Val Montjoie has been inhabited since the 2nd century. The first written mention of the village was carried out in 1277 under the name Contamina; From the 1730s the spelling Les Contamines was common. The place name comes from the Latin word condominium ( co-managed property). In the Middle Ages Les Contamines belonged to the lords of Faucigny, who established a castellany in the Val Montjoie. As part of the Dauphiné reached the place in 1349 in France, but was delivered in a country Abtausch to the Counts of Savoy under the Treaty of Paris in 1355. After Les Contamines shared the fate of Savoy. Since 1949, the municipality is officially called Les Contamines -Montjoie. Since 2000 there has been twinned with the Breton Nevez.
The present parish church of Sainte- Trinité was built in 1760 in baroque style on the site of a medieval castle, which once controlled the road over the Col du Bonhomme. Also in the Baroque style, the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge is held at the southern end of the Val Montjoie. It replaced a previous building in 1699 from the 13th century and served until the construction of the church of Sainte -Trinité as a parish church in the valley. Other chapels are located in the hamlets of La Chapelle and Baptieu.
The town is a popular starting point for hikes in the Mont Blanc massif. They range from simple day trips (eg Mont Joly, Col de la Fenêtre or Col de Tricot ) to multi-day challenging high gear such as exceeding the Domes de Miage. So the high alpine day trip to the Refuge de Conscrit gives a first insight into the wildness and beauty of the nature reserve. Through the town also leads the distance footpath Tour du Mont- Blanc.
With 1192 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011) Les Contamines -Montjoie is one of the smaller towns in the Haute-Savoie region. Over the past decades several variations of the population were recorded.
Economy and infrastructure
Les Contamines -Montjoie was until well into the 20th century a predominantly coined by agriculture and Alpine village. Today there are various operations of small businesses. In recent decades, Les Contamines- Montjoie has developed into an important tourist resort. The community is specialized in both the summer and on winter tourism. Numerous mountain railways and ski lifts run on the surrounding mountain slopes, especially on the summit of the Col du Joly. From this pass, and the ridge of Mont Joly, you have excellent views of the Mont Blanc massif.
The village is located off the major thoroughfares, but transport network is quite well developed. Access from Saint- Gervais- les- Bains through the Val Montjoie. The nearest links to the A40 motorway is located at a distance of around 15 km.