Saint-Nicolas de Véroce

Saint Nicholas de Véroce through centuries

Who and what was it named after?

The parish would date back to the 10th century. It was partly named after  a  4th century saint  from The East  who was to become the very popular St  Nicolas, former bishop of Myre in Asia Minor (today’s Turkey.) In those days green alder bushes were to be found everywhere along the mountain slopes.  Those ‘varros”- (after the Latin)- account for the present ‘De Véroce’, the second half of the name.

In those days the parish of St Nicolas de Véroce spread to the whole of the  upper part of Val Montjoie - the valley up from St Gervais to Col du Bonhomme. Its territory was to be down-sized in the XIVth century with the creation of the parish of Notre-Dame de la Gorge and again In the XXIIIthc with the creation of the parish of ‘les Contamines’. The parish has now been attached to that of St Gervais since December 29th, 1973

Life in the village through centuries:

As it was the case for most villages in Savoie , Saint Nicholas de Véroce lived on its own resources : namely crops and livestock breeding

As early as the 16th century an increase of population lead to a shortage of food. Some Saint Nicolatains –as people are called- started emigrating. They left  the country on a permanent basis for Austria, Poland or the then called German States (The Holy Roman Empire until 1806). There they tried to make a fortune through commerce Those who succeeded  in their enterprise were never oblivious of  their roots and kept sending money and all sorts of gifts to their people back home. 

In the 19th century emigrants would rather go to France and for a limited period of time .They stopped emigrating in the 1880’s

At that time new means of making a living opened up with the development of iron ore and anthracite mining together with slate quarrying.

In the 20th century as skiing was becoming more and more popular, St Nicolas de Véroce soon became a ski resort. The first ski lifts appeared for the 1970 winter season. ‘L’Epaule du Joly’ was  equipped for skiing in 1984. From that time on St Nicolas is both a popular summer and winter mountain resort. 

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