Barry the Saint Bernard
Barry the Saint Bernard lived at the Hospice du Grand Saint Bernard and is the most famous rescue dog in Valais history. The Hospice, which is found at 2469m on the border between Italy and Switzerland, was built by Saint Bernard of Menthon, Archdeacon of Aosta, in 1050 as a “lighthouse” to help people find their way over the pass in bad weather and to offer refuge from storms and bandits.
The Hospice is run by monks who have been looking after the St Bernard dogs since before 1695. Originally guard dogs, but soon recognised for their strength and stamina, they became mountain rescue dogs and were used for tracking and rescuing people who were lost. They are, of course, famous for carrying a barrel of brandy around their necks which was used to help revive weary travellers. Barry was the most successful rescue dog and saved many people.
The dogs still live in the Hospice and the Barryland museum and the breeding centre in Martigny (Fondation Barry) is named after him.