Barryland Theme Park

Martigny, 30 January 2024 - The laying of the foundation stone today, 30 January 2024, marks the start of the construction work on the future Barryland Theme Park in Martigny, in the canton of Valais. The Barry Foundation is planning to inaugurate its 20,000 m2 project in summer 2025. The budget for this park, the only one of its kind in the world and dedicated to the St. Bernard dog, is CHF 24 million.

I am delighted that, after an intensive phase of development and planning, we are able to implement this new phase of the construction project with the laying of the foundation stone,” says Jean-Maurice Tornay, President of the Barry Foundation.  To mark the occasion, as a symbol for future generations, a time capsule is placed in concrete in the presence of some 50 guests, Anne-Laure Couchepin Vouilloz, President of the City of Martigny, and Christophe Darbellay, President of the Government of the Canton of Valais. Both are delighted with the economic and tourist industry benefits of this park for both the region and the canton.

Work began in August 2023 in order to complete a few preliminary steps before the final building permit was granted in September. Today, the foundation work is coming to an end and the concrete walls of the museum’s central building will soon be erected. The building was designed by the MEP-winning architecture firm GAME, in Martigny, in the original shape of a dog’s paw print. Spanning an area of 20,000 m2, the park will offer visitors the chance to learn all about their four-legged friend, from the myths and legends surrounding its 300-year history to the particularities of its character. The Foundation is eager to introduce in this new setting, the isitors to the St. Bernard dog, a Swiss cultural symbol.

Why this park

The Barryland Theme Park is a project of the Barry Foundation, which took over the legendary St. Bernard dog breeding programme from the Congregation of Canons of the Hospice on the Great St. Bernard Pass in 2005. Its mission is to perpetuate the breeding of this over 300-year-old breed in the dogs’ place of origin. It is clear that the building housing the Foundation and the current museum, a former arsenal on the outskirts of Martigny, is now ageing and can barely cope with the ever-increasing flow of visitors from all over Switzerland and around the world. In 2023, the current museum broke its record with 83.000 visitors; the new park should be able to double that number.

More than 75% of the funding for the new park has been secured to date. In addition to the equity committed by the Barry Foundation, financing comes from the public authorities, Loterie Romande, charitable foundations, patrons and donors, and a number of sponsors. Today we would like to introduce our main sponsor, Cornèrcard, who will accompany us throughout this journey. The Cornèr Group is an independent Swiss private bank group operating as a full-service bank. As of tomorrow, we are also launching a public and corporate fundraising campaign across Switzerland to complete our budget. This fundraising campaign will enable everyone to be involved in the project and thus to contribute to the well-being and safeguarding of the Swiss national dog’s heritage. Details as to how one can help can be found online: .

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