The Matterhorn is the most famous and one of the highest mountains in Switzerland, with an altitude of 4,478 meters. The "mountain of mountains" is the symbol of the entire Zermatt region and is one of the most photographed mountains in the world. The unique rock faces are impressive, as they rise freely and steeply into the sky from the rest of the mountain range, perfectly shaped as inspired by an Egyptian pyramid. The pyramidal shape symbolizes the link between nature and culture, landscape and history.
It sounds incredible, but millions of years ago it was part of the African continent. 100 million years ago, enormous compressive movements of tectonic plates brought Africa and Europe closer together. The ocean between the two continents begins to recede. 50 million years later, rock masses begin to warp and curl. The rocky masses pushing upwards give birth to the Matterhorn.
The Matterhorn is mentioned for the first time in medieval documents such as "Mons Silvus". The name then changes to "Mons Servinus" and "Mons Servin" then finally becomes "Cervin" in French and "Cervino" in Italian. Etymologists do not all agree on the origin of the name: some suppose that it comes from the Latin "silva" (forest), others from the Italian "cervo" (deer). The Matterhorn is mentioned for the first time in 1581 as "Mont Cervin" and later as "Monte Silvio" and "Monte Servino". The German word "Matterhorn" appears for the first time in 1682. The etymology of the name probably comes from the word "Matte", that is to say the grassy alluvial plain below the gorges of the Gorner, today almost completely covered by the village of Zermatt ("zur Matt"). Locals call the mountain "ds'Hore" (= das Horn (the horn), Zermatt dialect) or "ds'Horu" (Valais dialect). "
Many attractions around the Matterhorn are just waiting to be discovered. Romance, action or relaxation? A cry of joy, a personal success or a breathtaking moment? Summer party or winter magic? You are spoiled for choice. Some of the many activities you can do are: hiking and rock climbing, mountain biking, family vacations, year round skiing, helicopter rides, mountaincarts and others.
Gornergrad is, for example, an unforgettable excursion destination: at the top of the rocky cliff, an observation platform has been created with an unforgettable view of the Matterhorn and the mountainous world that surrounds it at an altitude of three thousand meters. The Matterhorn can also be admired from Rothorn. Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is the highest summer ski area in Europe and is open all year round. But boredom is unlikely when the weather is gloomy: the Matterhorn Museum presents the evolution of Zermatt from a mountain village to a tourist resort, as well as a lot of information and photographs of the first ascent of the mountain.
Among the favorite adventures, you will surely find your tailor-made moments of happiness. For us it was just eating a waffle and enjoying the view. Is it the same with you? Alright, than going through WhooFy Gaufres, grab your favorite waffle and have a safe trip.
For more information on activities in the region, visit https://www.zermatt.ch/en/matterhorn