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Martigny coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of ValaisCanton of Valais Valais (VS)
District : Martigny
BFS no. : 6136i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 1920
Coordinates : 571233  /  105457 coordinates: 46 ° 6 '0'  N , 7 ° 4 '0 "  O ; CH1903:  571233  /  105457
Height : 471  m above sea level M.
Height range : 450–1698 m above sea level M.
Area : 25.00  km²
Residents: i18,309 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 732 inhabitants per km²
City President : Anne-Laure Couchepin Vouilloz ( PLR )
Martigny la Ville

Martigny la Ville

Location of the municipality
Lac de Salanfe Lac d’Emosson Lac du Vieux Emosson Lac de Champex Lac de Fully Lac Inférieur Lac des Vaux Lac de Cleuson Lac du Grand Désert Lac de Louvie Frankreich Frankreich Kanton Waadt Bezirk Conthey Bezirk Entremont Bezirk Monthey Bezirk Saint-Maurice Bezirk Siders Bezirk Sitten Bovernier Charrat Fully Isérables Leytron Martigny Martigny-Combe Riddes Saillon Saillon Saxon VS Trient VSMap of Martigny
About this picture

Martigny ( French [ maʀtiɲi ], in the Franco-Provencal local dialect [martiɲˈəː] , [a martəɲˈi] , German  Martinach ) is a municipal municipality , a civic community with a civic council and capital of the district of the same name in the Swiss canton of Valais . The German name Martinach is still in use in Upper Valais .


The town of Martigny is located in the French-speaking Lower Valais , on the alluvial land of the Dranse on the Rhone knee.

The community consists of the districts :

  • Martigny-Ville ( 475  m above sea level ), in the valley floor
  • Martigny-Bourg ( 486  m above sea level ), at the entrance to the Val de Bagnes
  • La Bâtiaz, on the left of the Dranse opposite Martigny-Ville

Martigny-Combe on the left bank of the Dranse forms its own political municipality.

Aerial photo (1949)


The vicus Octodurus is first mentioned in Julius Caesar's Bellum Gallicum in connection with the Battle of Octodurum in 57 BC. Called ("in vico Veragrorum, qui appellatur Octodurus"). In AD 47, in Roman times, the place was officially called Forum Claudii Augusti or Forum Claudii Vallensium, but the original name is again documented from the sources from 280 onwards. The first mention of the current name Martigny dates from 1058 ("usque Martiniacum").

Octodurus is an uncertain Celtic name; possibly it means "eight gates". Forum Claudius Augusti / Vallensium pays tribute to the Roman emperor Claudius , who elevated the area of ​​today's Valais to the province of Vallis Poenina . The name change from Octodurus to Martiniacum is explained with the abandonment of the ancient city at the end of the 4th century and the move of the population to a younger settlement in the neighborhood. The new name goes back to the Latin personal name Martinius , combined with the Celtic suffix -akos, -acum, and means "among the people of Martinus", thus referring to a landowner in late antiquity.

From 381 to 585 the first bishops of Valais, the predecessors of the bishops of Sion , resided in Octodurus. In the Middle Ages the place belonged to the episcopal Kastlanei Martigny, which in 1351 placed itself under the protection of the House of Savoy . After the seven Upper Valais Zehnden had conquered the Lower Valais in 1475, they incorporated Martigny into the Landvogtei Saint-Maurice . Thanks to the privileges of the Bishop of Sitten and the Count of Savoy, the citizens were able to choose their local authorities themselves.

In 1800 Napoleon Bonaparte crossed the city with the French Italian army. 1840–1847 the place was the center of clashes between the Liberals and the Conservatives ; the former, the "Young Switzerland", was defeated in 1844 in the battle of Trento, which was fought near Martigny. Martigny is still a bastion of the Free Democratic Party or the FDP, the liberals in the largely conservative canton of Valais.

Today's municipality of Martigny was created in the course of several splits and new mergers . Martigny-Ville became independent in 1835 , Charrat in 1836 , and Martigny-Bourg and Martigny-Combe followed in 1841 ; La Bâtiaz separated from the latter in 1845 and Trento in 1899/1900 . In 1956 Martigny-Ville and La Bâtiaz merged to form the new municipality of Martigny-Ville, and this in turn merged with Martigny-Bourg to form the current municipality of Martigny in 1964.

See also History of Valais # Antiquity .


The population of Martigny has developed as follows since 1850 (for the period before 1956 and 1964, the figures for the former municipalities of Martigny-Ville, La Bâtiaz and Martigny-Bourg are added together):

Population development
year 1850 1900 1950 1970 2000 2010 2012 2014 2016
Residents 2545 3550 5915 10478 14361 16143 16897 17342 17998

According to information from Meyer's Konversationslexikon, Martigny la Ville had 1,525 inhabitants around 1888, Martigny le Bourg 1,303 and Martigny-Combe 1,714 inhabitants.


City Parliament

19th 32 
A total of 60 seats
  • AdG : 9
  • CVP : 19
  • FDP : 32

In the canton of Valais - as in other cantons of western Switzerland - the larger municipalities have a municipal parliament called the Conseil général , while the smaller municipalities have a municipal assembly.

The Martigny General Council ( conseil géneral ) has 60 members. The authority is traditionally dominated by representatives of the Free Party. For the 2017 to 2020 term of office, it is composed as follows:

In the previous term of office, a group of the SVP was represented in the Conseil général ; the party won five seats in the 2012 elections, while the CVP lost three and the FdP and the Social Democrats lost one seat each.

In 2020, Jean-Pierre Terretaz is President of the Conseil général of Martigny.

City Council

  • 1834-1837: Eugène Gay
  • 1837-1841: Joseph-Samuel Cropt
  • 1841-1843: Eugène Gay
  • 1843-1848: Valentin Morand
  • 1848-1850: Joseph Morand
  • 1850-1853: Joseph-Antoine Vouilloz
  • 1853-1858: Valentin Morand
  • 1859-1860: Alexis Gay
  • 1861-1864: Valentin Morand
  • 1865-1868: Louis Closuit
  • 1869-1874: Charles Morand
  • 1875-1884: Alexis Gay
  • 1885-1888: Joseph Pillet
  • 1889-1900: Alphonse Orsat
  • 1901-1905: Louis Cropt
  • 1906-1918: Georges Morand
  • 1918-1920: Denis Orsat
  • 1921-1960: Marc Morand
  • 1961-1976: Edouard Morand
  • 1965-1976: Edouard Morand
  • 1977-1984: Jean Bollin
  • 1985-1998: Pascal Couchepin
  • 1999-2003: Pierre Crittin
  • 2004-2008: Olivier Dumas
  • 2009-2016: Marc-Henri Favre
  • since 2017: Anne-Laure Couchepin Vouilloz

National Council elections

In the Swiss parliamentary elections in 2019, the share of the vote in Martigny was: FDP 32.4%, CVP 19.8%, SP 18.6%, Greens 12.6%, SVP 12.4%, CSP 2.1%.


The city of Martigny is a regional center for the Lower Valais with numerous service companies.

There are several agricultural zones in the wide municipal area. Fruit growing is dominant in the Rhone plain. To the west of the city is a vineyard.

Martigny has large areas of forest on the mountain slopes in the south and west of the plain.

Established businesses

Martigny is the headquarters of the Groupe Mutuel insurance group .

The family-run distillery Morand has been producing spirits in Martigny since 1889.

In the alluvial plain there are areas of gravel pits with quarry ponds, which are of ecological importance for the birds. They are the only larger bodies of water in the Rhone Valley between the nature reserves Poutafontana near Sierre and Les Grangettes on Lake Geneva .


The international oil pipeline Oléoduc du Rhône and several high-voltage lines run through the urban area .


Martigny is an important traffic junction for road and rail.

From the national road A9 , the bypass road A21 branches off to Aosta (Italy, through the Grosser St. Bernhard tunnel ) and to Chamonix (France).

The city is located on the Lausanne - Brig ( Simplonbahn ) railway line . The Transports de Martigny et Régions (TMR) operate railway lines after Orsières , Le Châble and Le Châtelard (direction Chamonix, France).


Château de la Bâtiaz


There is an association of traffic enthusiasts on site, some of which receive and operate original vehicles from 1906 (nostalgic trips on the 1-meter railway line, tram).

Sursee, in the canton of Lucerne, is Martigny's friendship city.



To the modern town

To the ancient city

Web links

Commons : Martigny  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .
  2. a b c d Lexicon of Swiss municipality names . Edited by the Center de Dialectologie at the University of Neuchâtel under the direction of Andres Kristol. Frauenfeld / Lausanne 2005, p. 573 f.
  3. François Wible: Forum Claudii Vallensium. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  4. ^ Albano Hugon: Martigny (community). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  5. Archived copy ( Memento from August 9, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  6. ^ Federal Statistical Office : NR - Results parties (municipalities) (INT1). In: Federal Elections 2019 | August 8, 2019, accessed August 1, 2020 .
  7. ^ Christian Keim: Les gravières du Verney (Martigny). Importance pour l'avifaune locale et migratrice. In: Bulletin de la Murithienne , 106, 1988, pp. 25-36.
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