Let's get together from 15 June


Sunday 23 June updated on 06-23-2024 at 8:06

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  The rates and dates of the guided tours are presented on My week in Les Arcs, the weekly entertainments programme and in Tourist offices.

The Quartier des Alpins in Bourg Saint Maurice hosted the Blue Devils of the 7th Battalion of Alpine Hunters (BCA) until 2012. This place of memory allows you to discover the Haute Tarentaise valley and the defence works built to protect and control the communication routes to Italy. An opportunity to discover the local military past with its organization, the construction of fortifications, the battles and the men who gave their lives for our freedom and peace.

«My name is Francesco Séconi. I was born in Vicenza, and crossed the Alps in 1889 to find work in France. Near Bourg Saint Maurice the forts were under construction and I was quickly hired. As I took up my job I was delighted to meet many of my compatriots from different regions of Italy. The work was tiring, endless days in all weathers, and thousands of tons of metal and concrete were used. When the work was finished I stayed in France, settled here and started a family.»

The construction and architecture of the forts will adapt to the constant evolution of artillery.

Some key dates of these technological upheavals:

1858: The invention of the rifled cannon allows for an increase in power, precision and a doubling of the weight of projectiles.
1873: The adoption of breech loading allows the modernization of old bronze pieces such as Reffye's 138. It is present in most forts.
1877: Adoption of the new steel barrel 155 from Bange. Range: 9 km.
1878: Adoption of the new steel barrel 120 from Bange. Range: 8 km.
1885: Adoption of a new explosive, “melinite”, in torpedo shells. Ten times more powerful than powder, it requires the reinforcement of certain fortifications with special concrete.
1897: Adoption of the rapid-firing 75 cannon. Its revolutionary hydro-pneumatic brake fully absorbs the recoil of the part.

In 1913, the Courbaton and Têtes batteries were built.

In 1937, faced with the rise of fascism and Nazism, two strategic routes were created for the supply of men, food and ammunition: one from Peisey-Nancroix and the other coming from Hauteville-Gondon. They are made by ex-combatants of the Spanish Civil War. The name “Route des Espagnes” still exists today for that of Peisey-Nancroix.

 Did you know? 


It was the main means of communication from 1874 to 1914 and was still being used after the arrival of the telephone during the Second World War. Messages were transmitted using Morse code (invented in 1832). Light pulses were produced using a lamp with a shutter. A telescope was used at the receiving end.