Ski area open until April 29, 2023


Wednesday 08 February updated on 02-08-2023 at 8:06

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Souvent considérées comme un rempart naturel, les Alpes ne sont cependant pas infranchissables. Par la présence des cols du Petit-Saint-Bernard, du Bonhomme et de l’Iseran, la vallée de Haute-Tarentaise regroupe d’importants lieux de passage depuis la Préhistoire. Dès l’Antiquité, le col du Petit Saint-Bernard constitue un trait d’union entre les populations alpines locales. Lors de la conquête romaine, l’Empereur Auguste termine l’aménagement de la voie romaine. Troupes, souverains, pèlerins, marchands, banquiers ou colporteurs se croisent sur les routes tarines. À la fin du Moyen-âge, le Comté de Savoie contrôle cinq cols cruciaux, dont le Petit et le Grand Saint-Bernard.


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

This place was home to the Blue Devils of the 7th Battalion of the Chasseurs Alpins (Alpine Hunters) (7th BCA) until 2012. This memorial site offers an overview of the Haute Tarentaise valley and the defences built to protect and control the routes to Italy. An opportunity to discover the area’s military past, its organisation, how fortifications were built, the battles that were fought and the men who gave their lives for our freedom and peace.

« I am General R. A. Séré de Rivières. I was director of fortifications from 1873 to 1880. After 1871, the date of France’s defeat by Prussia and its German allies, I invented a defence system that bears my name.»
Raymond Adolphe Séré de Rivières (1815-1895)


A defensive system was built above the town from 1890 to 1894 consisting of:

The Vulmix Battery (1065 m).
The Truc Fort (1550 m).
The Platte Infantry Blockhouse (2000 m).
The Redoute Ruinée on the ridge overlooking the Petit Saint-Bernard pass hospice (2400 m).

In 1913, this system was completed by 3 batteries placed on the Malgovert Forest ridge.

Each fortified structure has a specific function with appropriate armaments and garrison:

 The Vulmix Battery with its 8 cannons protects the Petit Saint-Bernard Pass, the Montrigon Bridge and the railway bridge
 Truc Fort  Vulmix with 2 cannons and defends against potential enemy advances on the heights with a further 6 cannons.
 The Platte Blockhouse watches over the valley. It serves as a barracks and houses 4 cannons.
 The Redoute Ruinée Fort guards the strategic Petit St Bernard Pass.


Fort: A fortified structure designed to defend a site. It has a defensive enclosure and barracks for its garrison.

Battery: Unlike a fort, a battery is a fortification that does not have barracks for its soldiers.

Blockhouse: A small fortified structure to defend a particular point.

Work: Fortification, fort or battery.

Casemate: A small fortified gun emplacement or shell shelter.

Outpost: Position forward of the main defence line.

Redoubt: Small, isolated, enclosed fortification.

Special concrete: High-strength concrete (400 kg of cement per m3).

 Did you know? 


The vaguemestres, soldiers of the military postal service, were eagerly awaited by soldiers isolated in the fortifications. On the way to Fort du Truc they were accompanied by Saint-Bernard dogs which were used to pull sledges or during mountain rescues.