Chamouni, or Chamonix (Shah-moo-nee'; Lat. Campus munitus, as sheltered by the mountains), a celebrated valley among the French Alps, in the dep. of Upper Savoy, 53 miles ESE. of Geneva, at an elevation of about 3400 feet above sea-level. It is about 13 miles long and 2 broad, and is traversed by the Arve. On the south side lies the giant group of Mont Blanc, from which enormous glaciers glide down, even in summer, almost to the bottom of the valley: one of them, the Glacier des Bois, expands in its upper course into a great mountain-lake of ice, the Mer de Glace. The village of Chamouni, which is the usual starting-point for the ascent of Mont Blanc, owes its origin and its alternative name, Le Prieure, to the Benedictine convent founded here before 1099. In 1741 Chamouni was visited by two Englishmen, Pococke and "Wyndham, but it was only in 1787 that the attention of travellers was effectually called to it by the Genevese naturalist, De Saussure, and others. Since then the number of visitors has increased to over 15,000 tourists, and the railway was opened in 1901. Pop. of village, 600; of commune, 2500.