Here Come the Animals – Alpine Cattle Descent or Desalpage

GENEVA, Switzerland – This past weekend the beautiful city of Annecy in neighboring France, held its annual désalpe/désalpage or return of the animals to the Rhone valley from Alpine pastures, where they spent their summer.

The moment was captured by the official city photographer, and, since “A picture is worth a thousand words,” I leave thee with thousands of words!

PS: For those new to Geneva, each region celebrates this custom a bit differently, but generally speaking, “farmers show off their traditional costumes and parade their livestock past the onlookers,” for a day of community fun.

The cows and other animals are “adorned with bells, flowers and ribbons” and are welcomed to their stables where they’ll spend their winter. When the warmer months return, the animals go back to the mountains for a few months of fresh air.

The Lake Geneva region hosts a desalpe in St Cergue, the last week of September. Find other celebrations here, in MySwitzerland.

Click on the photo to activate the slideshow and remember to open the photo viewer option for full picture resolution.

Retour des Alpages 2014.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Absolutely amazing, my wife and I were on our honeymoon in France and decided to visit Annecy, a beautiful town very close to my heart. By chance we happened to experience the weekend where the annual desalpage was taking place. This had to be one of the most amazing events that I have ever experienced. Thank you kindly for this beautiful post.


    1. Congratulations on your wedding and on your beautiful photographs! I am glad you visited Annecy and that you captured its beauty in your incredible photos!


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