The first part of the town's name is uncertain but for some historians: Challand derives from the Latin word "kalanco" (channel for avalanches), for others from the Valais "Tsala" (grazing around the cottage), for others "Kala" (secure location); others assume that it could result from "chafland" (land of sheep), or from the Latin word "calere" (being hot), or from the Celtic "cal" (steep wall), or finally , from "chal" (hollow shaft). The second part of the name leaves no doubt, it honors St. Anselm. It is a community of many villages, situated at 1,040 meters above sea level and it is surrounded by the Trois Dames de Challand (Mont Nery, Mont Torchè and Becca di Vlou), and dominated by the Corno della Bussola, high 3000 meters. The town lies along the road that connects Verrès to the whole Val d'Ayas and it is the second centre, moving up the valley. Challand features a primarily agricultural and pastoral economy, that is opening up to tourism, facilitated by the presence of dense forests of chestnut trees and unspoiled nature, and in the Summer by the hiking trails with various degrees of difficulty.
Challand and the surrounding area were, probably since Eneolithic period, mining areas; in district of Chatillonet traces of a settlement belonging to the Bronze Age were found, and artifacts that witness the presence of inhabitants even in the early Iron. In Tilly, a necropolis dating from the second Iron Age was discovered. During the Middle Ages the town belonged to the feudal Family of Challand, whilst the tax office of Chatillonet during the XIII century was part of the fief of the Vallaise, gentlemen of the Valle del Lys, and then it was ceded to the College of Saint Gilles of Verrès until the XVI century. Challand Saint Anselm was separated from the town of Saint Victor in 1754. The towns were merged again in 1928 with the name of Challant, with its seat in Villa and then separated again in 1946.
Not to miss:
The Parish Church, built in the second half of the XVIII century in place of an earlier chapel. It features a wonderful carved and gilded wooden tabernacle of the XVIII century, an altar dedicated to the Black Madonna of Oropa in gilded and carved wood dating from the XIX century. Also worth of note is the altar of the Sacred Heart. The church was sacked by French troops in the XIX century and damaged by fire in 1921.
The Chapel of St. John the Baptist is located in the village of Quinçod. The building is preceded by a porch on two columns and presents round apse and a window with Gothic arch. The date of construction is uncertain, but it is known that the chapel already existed in 1630. It was sacked in 1957 and preserves a fine carved and gilded wooden altar of the XIX century that housed statues dating from the XVII century. It still holds a wooden crucifix and two statues.
The Shrine of St. Anne at Chatillonet, built at 1000 meters above sea level, it overlooks the lower Val d'Ayas and on the centre of Corliod. Built in 1888 on the ruins of a pre-existing religious building dating from the XII century and it is dedicated to Saint Anne. Today this location is a destination for outings and picnics.