The Museum and Dogs of St Bernhard (Barryland) is in the Valais town Martigny. It is a popular family-friendly, day-trip destination from the Lac Léman region and combines well with a visit to the Fondation Pierre Gianadda.
The Barryland Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard is a museum in Martigny dedicated to the St Bernhard dogs as well as the St Bernhard pass that has been a principle route from Italy through the Alps to Switzerland and the rest of Europe. On display are not only St Bernard dogs but also items and art related to the history of the race and the role the St Bernard Pass has played in European history. The museum is family friendly and children may enjoy playing under supervision with the dogs.
Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard in Martigny, Valais
The Museum and Dogs of St Bernhard is in an old military warehouse in the outskirts of the Valais town Martigny in the Swiss Rhone Valley. The museum is dedicated to the Saint Bernard dogs as well as the history of the pass that links Martigny in Switzerland with Aoste in Italy.
The building itself is surprisingly interesting too. As a former warehouse, the wooden structures still bear official notices of the maximum weight that may be placed on specific areas. Elevators make the building fully accessible to wheelchair users as well.
See Saint Bernard Dogs in Martigny, Switzerland
A major draw of the center, especially for children, is the presence of several Saint Bernard dogs of various ages. Under supervision, children may play with some of the dogs while others can be seen from elevated walkways in a park.
The main museum floor is dedicated to the history of the St Bernard dog race as well as the history of the Greater St Bernard Hospice and Pass. The pass has long been of commercial and strategic importance as a major link between Italy and the rest of Europe. The pass is an important link on the pilgrims’ route Via Francigena that linked Canterbury with Rome. Napoleon famously passed through as painted by David.
Much of the exhibition is on the hospice at the pass of Great St Bernard and includes many nineteenth century paintings as well as items associated with the hospice. The dogs have also been used on many commercial packaging, souvenirs, and in many films and cartoons.
The roof space and basements are used for temporary exhibitions on various themes – not necessarily directly related to the dogs or the pass.
Opening Hours and Tickets for the Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard
The Museum and Dogs of St Bernhard, (Barry Foudation), Rue du Levant 34, 1920 Martigny, is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm but closed on Mondays from October 15 to April 15. Admission is CHF12 for adults and CHF7 for children over 8 years. A family ticket is CHF25. The Swiss Museum Pass is accepted.
The museum has a very pleasant restaurant-café with picnic areas available nearby.
The museum is next to the Roman Amphitheater (free) and very close to the magnificent Fondation Pierre Gianadda. See Enjoy Art in the Fondation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny for more details on this cultural center and museum complex as well as transportation information.