11th Feb 2020
Looking back in time – the history of Megève
Megève has a firm place in the ski history books, having first come to prominence in the 1910s when the Rothschild family developed it to rival Saint-Moritz! Baroness Noémie de Rothschild played an influential role in the town’s development, working with a young ski champion called Francois Parodi and her Norwegien ski instructor, to create the new resort. The Baroness bought the Hotel du Mont d’Arbois and teamed up with architect Henri-Jacques Le Meme to develop a new style of ‘chalet du skier’ – traditional in appearance and style but very modern. He went on to build 200 chalets in the area, setting the style for Megève today.
Two well-know local men went on to help ‘shape’ Megève’s future. In the 1930s, three times World Champion skier, Emile Allais, pioneered a new parallel ski technique. And Armand Allard designed new style, highly innovative, ski wear which became de rigeur, and opened Allard’s on Megève’s Main Square where it is today.
By the 1950s Megève was one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe and attracted many wealthy individuals, stage and film stars. The resort became the ‘place to be’, so much so that Jean Cocteau nicknamed it ‘the 21st arrondissement of Paris’! It remains a firm favourite with the rich and famous to this day.