The mountain village of Zermatt, with a population of about 5,800, is one of the great ski and climbing centers of the world. The town lies at the upper end of Mattertal at an elevation of 5,310 feet, at the foot of Switzerland’s highest peaks. It lies about 6.2 miles from the Theodul Pass, standing at over 10,800 feet high, which borders Italy.The name Zermatt is from a German word “matten” or valley. The name first appeared as Zur Matte or at the meadow and later became Zermatt. It didn’t appear on maps until 1495 and then 1546 in texts. The older name of Zermatt was actually Praborno or Prato Borno, (prato also meaning meadow), and appeared in older maps as early as thirteenth century under this name.