The town's name derives from the name of its patron saint, St. Nicholas. A mountain village in the province of Aosta, whose territory includes several villages and is situated at 1200 meters above sea level, overlooking the Dora Baltea. At Saint Nicolas, it is possible to practice ski mountaineering and cross-country skiing, even at night on the lighted track that winds through the town and the forest of the Bois de la Tour. It also offers a rich cultural heritage and an unsurpassed cuisine, as well as a series of fine local crafts.
The environment and climate, suitable to agriculture and farming, offered the perfect location to live and it was ever since the Neolithic site chosen for human settlements. Through the district of Vens, located behind the town, there is a crucial crossroad, used in the Old Ages to reach Valdigne and Valle del Gran San Bernardo. The area was populated by Celts and Salassi, before the arrival of the Romans who conquered these lands around the I century B.C., Saint Nicolas also submitted the arrival of the Burgundians, the Franks and the Saracens. In 1710 one of the first schools in the village was created, which helped to transform the town into a cultural center. Saint Nicolas is also the birthplace of abbè Cerlogne, father of the dialect poetry in Val d'Aosta, to whom are entitled Centre d'Etudes Francoprovençales and the Concours Cerlogne.
Not to miss:
The Parish Church of St. Nicholas. The present building is an adaptation of the XVII century with a Greek cross plan and three naves. It features five rich altars, which have unfortunately been submitted, over the centuries, two robberies of statues, angels and ornaments. Under the chancel is a crypt, probably part of the ancient church in existence, dating from the XII century, which presents a rectangular plan with a semicircular apse. Beside the church is the bell tower, built in separate periods: the lower part dating from the XV century and the upper part of the XVII century with a bell of 1549.
The Belvedere. Starting from the Cure, it can be reached on foot to a point, from where it is possible to admire the underlying central valley traversed by the Dora Baltea, with the valley of Cogne on the left, the valley of Valsavarenche and the valley of Rhemes at the centre, the valley Valgrisanche at the right and Mont Emilius and the Becca di Nona, the Grivola, the group Ruitor with its glacier at the back . During the visit in the valley, a glimpse to the vineyards that produce the Enfer Arvier, is highly suggested.
The Center d'Etudes Francoprovençales specialized in ethnographic rests on the Alpine region, in particular on the dialects, was founded in 1967 by René Willien, photographer, writer and elementary school teacher.
The Chapel of the Partisans.
The Musée Gerbore.
The Musée Cerlogne.