In search of the Fort du Truc garrison
>>
Home
>
Mountain bike (electric)
>
In search of the Fort du Truc garrison
BOURG-SAINT-MAURICE

In search of the Fort du Truc garrison

Architecture
History
Pastoralism
Viewpoint
Embed this item to access it offline
Here you will be riding through an area where the Alpine mountain passes and roads were once closely watched over. Various Alpine defence buildings line your route, which also offers up a beautiful view over the valley of Bourg Saint Maurice.

This itinerary takes you on a discovery of Alpine defence bulidings. The myriad structures you'll come across were mainly used to keep watch over the Alpine mountain passes and roads.
Many are now long gone, while others lie in ruins, but it is still possible to see some vestiges of this architecture to this day. On the upper section of this circular route you'll be treated to a gorgeous view over the Haute Tarentaise valley. But first, brace yourself for a fairly steep climb uphill, though thankfully along a wide track, before your scenic reward!


20 points of interest
Pastoralism

The dairy cooperative

The cooperative in Bourg Saint Maurice brings together 52 producers who are wholeheartedly committed to making AOP (protected designation of origin) Beaufort cheese.
One of the Cooperative’s buildings is entirely given over to showcasing this outstanding cheese with an exhibition area, shop and tasting area.
You’ll gain an insight into the long-standing history of this cheese. A few dates at a glance: Back in Roman times, Pliny praised the different cheeses from Tarentaise and extolled the quality of the dairy cows. In the 19th century, agriculture and livestock rearing were still the main sources of livelihood for communities in the Haute-Tarentaise Valley. In 1888, the Herd-book of the Tarine breed was compiled (official description of the characteristics of cow breeds). In 1894, a cheese-dairy school was founded in Bourg Saint Maurice to train students in the cheese-making trade. In each hamlet and in the village, livestock rearers grouped together to establish these cheese dairies, or fruitières, as they are known, to make cheese. The French name refers to the fruit of the common labour of a village or hamlet. From 1960 to 1964, an economic recession set in and agricultural produce struggled to sell. From 1964, part of the village’s cheese dairies closed and the whole of the municipality’s production was centralised at the main village’s cheese dairy, which was named Coopérative laitière de Haute-Tarentaise. It obtained the controlled designation of origin (now the AOP) for its Beaufort in 1968.
Free, unaccompanied tours of the site during the shop’s opening hours.
Tel.: +33 (0)4 79 07 08 28
fromagebeaufort.fr

read more
History

Rue Capitaine Desserteaux

This street is named after a captain from the 70th Alpine Fortress Battalion which, in 1940, became famous for defending, from the Italians, the fort of La Redoute-Ruinée (located above the resort of La Rosière de Montvalezan). He died in Indochina in 1947.
read more
Know-how

E-bike rental shop: Gravity Lab

E-bike rental shop:

GRAVITY LAB

297 Av. Marechal Leclerc
73700 Bourg Saint Maurice

+33 (0)4-79-40-05-54

read more
Viewpoint

Panoramic view over the Haute-Tarentaise Valley

Both forts command breathtaking views over the Haute-Tarentaise Valley and surrounding mountains, taking in the Col du Petit Saint-Bernard (2,188m), the Bellecôte range (3,417m), La Vanoise range and its highest peak, Mont Pourri (3,779m), the Les Arcs slopes and more.
read more
Small heritage

St Vincent's Chapel in Grandville

This chapel has a bell tower dating back to 1644. Inside there is a small Baroque-style altarpiece in colour, showing St Vincent kneeling before the Virgin Mary. The chapel is closed, but feel free to have a look inside through the small windows.
read more
History

Grandville and Mineurville (1,510m)

Grandville and Mineurville get their names from the Latin root "villa", which means farming estate. Both hamlets were situated between the bottom of the valley and the mountain pastures of Lancevard, Céré, Combameinaz, Les Rochettes, Le Fornay and Forclaz lakes.
In the latter half of the 19th century, their large populations were heavily involved in helping to build the Le Truc and La Platte forts (1890-1894). These days, this village no longer has a year-round population. In 1945, Grandville saw a local tragedy unfold: that winter, more than 6 metres of snow fell, building up on the top slopes. On the night of 12th February, an avalanche hurtled down the steep slopes above the village, swallowing up three houses and three members of the same family lost their lives.

read more
History

Fort de La Platte

The blockhouse or surveillance fort of La Platte stands at an altitude of 2,000m. In the same way as the Vulmix and Le Truc forts, it formed part of the fortification system intended by the engineer Séré de Rivière. Up until World War II, a series of developments were added to upgrade it: a watch tower was built for firing and surveillance, as well as railings over 30m around the fort.
Sold by the army in the 1960s, it is now a private property closed to visitors.

read more
Small heritage

St Marie Madeleine's Chapel, Mineurville

This lovely little rural chapel is very old (1653). It is dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, who exemplifies the repented and sanctified sinner. Its walls have been built from bonded (arranged) stones and its roof, graced with a pinnacle, is covered with lauze slate. This chapel is closed, but you are welcome to have a peek inside through the small windows!
read more
Small heritage

St Michel's Chapel

Built on a promontory, this chapel is believed to have been standing since the 5th century. It is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, patron saint of high places and mountain pasture livestock. During the great plague in the 1650s and the village fire in 1795, the population sought refuge here. The chapel is not open to visitors, but from outside you can enjoy a scenic view over Bourg-Saint-Maurice and surrounding areas.
read more
History

Fort du Truc

When the Duchy of Savoy (Savoie) was annexed to France in 1860, the unification of Italy posed a new threat. In 1888 France established the Alpine troops as well as a protective system that ran from the Jura all the way down to Nice: the Séré de Rivière line. For the construction of the forts, emphasis was placed on large passes and natural outlets. Tarentaise Valley was particularly exposed. It could be accessed from the mountain passes of Le Petit Saint-Bernard, Mont-Cenis and L'Iseran, and preventing such free passage was therefore paramount. The plans for the Séré de Rivière system anticipated several structures. La Redoute Ruinée, built just above the mountain pass, provided it with direct protection.
This fort is supported by another three, with very specific purposes:
- Vulmix (1,000m), barring access
- Le Truc (1,573m), protection
- La Platte (2,000m), surveillance
Despite the distance between them, the three forts of Bourg-Saint-Maurice formed an integral protection and surveillance system.
Building work on the Fort du Truc began in 1890 to reinforce the action of the Vulmix Fort.
Sold by the army in the 1960s, it is now a private property closed to visitors.

read more
Small heritage

St Marguerite's & St Mathieu's Chapel, Les Echines Dessus

This chapel dates back to the 1610s, according to the inscription on the façade. The ante-chancel and chancel are separated by a timber rood screen. The colourful altarpiece comprises a central panel depicting several patron saints.
St Margaret was the patron saint of pregnant women or women in labour. During the feast day for this patron saint, a great procession used to be held. After Mass, the village's families would serve a meal prepared in a large cauldron to the poor.

read more
Small heritage

St Jacques' & St Philippe's Chapel, Les Echines Dessous

This chapel was built in the early 17th century. The chancel is decorated with a simple painting, framed in multicoloured Baroque décor, and showing a Virgin and child surrounded by the patron saints: St Maurice, St James the Less, St Andrew, St Philip and St Laurent.
read more
History

Les Echines Dessous (1,207m) and Dessus (1,250m)

The word "échines" is to be compared to the word "mountain" in a way, for both of these villages have been built up the slope beneath the Prainan peak. The venerable old villages Les Echines Dessous and Dessus already featured on the 1732 mappe sarde, only forming a single district prior to the French Revolution. During Napoleon I's reign, they were separated to create a school in each village. These schools stayed open until 1958 in Les Echines Dessus and 1997 in Les Echines Dessous. Village life revolved around livestock rearing and crop farming, with production of milk, hemp, wheat, oats and potatoes for example.
read more
History

Le Châtelard

From the Latin word castellum, a fortified site, rampart, fortified manor house… then castellarium. These buildings were logically located on promontories or high hillocks. The word passed into local dialect as Tsassèlòr. Castellarium does not refer, in the literal sense, to a castle, but to a huddle of houses, a village or a hamlet around a castle.
read more
Small heritage

St Georges' Chapel, Le Châtelard

Built in the village centre at the turn of the 17th century, this chapel is dedicated to St George. The Roman soldier is often shown slaying a dragon, symbolising the victory of good over evil. There is no altarpiece inside, just a humble altar (1871). In 1682, the façade was decorated with a striking wrought-iron gate.
read more
Architecture

Le Châtelard Tower

This square tower (7.60m on each side) and enclosure wall (1.80m) are the vestiges of an old defence system dating from the 12th century, whose foundations probably hark back to Roman times. Built on a steep promontory at the meeting point of several valleys: Beaufortain, Italy via the Col du Petit Saint Bernard and Isère, it protected all of the thoroughfares. Like all mediaeval defence structures, the entrance was up a ladder and via a door situated on the first floor, which facilitated entrenchment in the event of a threat. Arrow slit windows can still be seen and the arrangement of the stones is altogether remarkable.
read more
Know-how

E-bike rental: Intersport

E-bike rental:

Intersport Bourg Saint Maurice

Zone commerciale de Super U
73700 Bourg Saint Maurice
+33 (0)4 79 04 04 30
read more
Know-how

E-bike rental shop: Laboshop

E-bike rental:

Laboshop Bourg Saint Maurice
Les jardins de Rochefort avenue du stade
73700 Bourg-Saint-Maurice
+33 (0)4 79 07 07 61
read more
Architecture

Le Rochefort Tower

Built between the 12th and 13th centuries on a promontory, near the Roman road, this is all that remains of a feudal residence that passed between the hands of several families. It was once surrounded by a moat and towers, but mudslides have since covered this residence. Round pebbles placed in horizontal layers form this cylindrical building which was probably several storeys high. Arrow-slit windows, typical of mediaeval defence systems, can still be made out today. The wall is very thick, up to two metres in some places. It was occupied by the Rochefort-Villaraymon lords.
read more
Know-how

Coffee roasting workshop and museum

This old-fashioned coffee roasting workshop and museum unveil all the secrets of this green grain to you! Old-fashioned roasting on Wednesday and Saturday, starting at 10:30 in the morning.
Free to visit.
Tel.: +33 (0)9 51 23 24 87 | lorvert.net

read more

Description

Setting off from Bourg-Saint-Maurice, this route takes you past old Alpine defence buildings. The first stretch runs along roads as far as the hamlet of Le Villaret along a lovely uphill section. After the hamlet, a steep and slightly more technical track leads up to the highest point of this outing: the hamlet of Grandville, at 1,484m. The descent takes you all the way back down to the centre of Bourg-Saint-Maurice, along a quiet mountain road, with a stunning view over the Beaufortin and La Vanoise mountain ranges to accompany you!

Follow the blue waymarks: Fort du Truc.

E-bike rental shops: 

GRAVITY LAB
297 Av. Marechal Leclerc
73700 Bourg Saint Maurice
+33 (0)4-79-40-05-54

Intersport Bourg Saint Maurice
Zone commerciale de Super U
73700 Bourg Saint Maurice
+33 (0)4 79 04 04 30

Laboshop Bourg Saint Maurice
avenue du stade
73700 Bourg-Saint-Maurice
+33 (0)4 79 07 07 61

PRECISION SKI Mountain Tribu
43 Place de la Gare
73700 Bourg Saint Maurice
+33 (0)4 58 14 04 44

Departure : Place de la gare (in front of the station) - 73700 Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Arrival : Place de la gare (in front of the station) - 73700 Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Towns crossed : BOURG-SAINT-MAURICE

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

Rando Vanoise has been designed to help you pick and choose your outings, but cannot be held liable where they are concerned. The mountain offers up a wide range of routes and trails for cyclists of all levels, but remember, it is a living, unpredictable environment and it is important that you head out suitably equipped. Ask advice from cycle rental operators.
If in doubt, you can take an introductory lesson in how to ride an electric bike with an instructor.

If you see a herd ahead, slow down and go round it. If there is a patou, a guard dog, climb down from your bike and walk, pushing it alongside you. Avoid making any sudden or aggressive gestures towards the dog and move away from the herd slowly and calmly. The dog will only be checking that you do not pose a threat to its herd. Respect the parkland and close gates behind you after you've gone through them.

The mountain is living, please respect it by staying on the paths and tracks.

Information desks

Place de la Gare<br>73700 Bourg-Saint-Maurice,

http://www.lesarcs.com

contact@lesarcs.com

04 79 07 12 57


Find out more

Transport

Train services run as far as Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Find out more at: www.oui.sncf.com
Have you also thought about car sharing?


Access and parking

From Moûtiers, take the RN90 road to Aime or Bourg Saint Maurice.

Parking :

Bourg Saint Maurice: Arc-en-Ciel car park (free) located behind the station (opposite the marshland, start of the greenway)

Report a problem or an error

If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: