Mountain Houses : the village of Evolène preserves its 400-500 year old chalets

Editorial photography by Chris Kirby – titled: Mountain Houses 

© Chris Kirby Environmental & Documentary photography 2015 All rights reserved 

The narrow streets of Evolène are lined with barns, hayricks and ancient houses, many over 400 years old. The village is well situated on a plateau above the river to avoid flooding.

Evolène is located south of the Rhône Valley town of Sion in the Pennine Alps, and it is the last village where the localised Franco-Provincial language is still spoken by all generations living there. Many of the old wooden buildings remain intact, and there is an on-going programme of restoration and preservation.

The photographs are taken in black and white, partly to neutralise the Swiss (admittedly charming) tendency to “pretty up” their villages with basket flowers, but importantly, to draw the viewer to the structure of the buildings themselves.