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Saint Bernard - Barraux

Distance 21.9km
Time 6h30
+ 1076m
- 1635m


With the fatigue felt in France after the Religious Wars, the Duke Charles-Emmanuel the 1st of Savoie believed it was the right moment to spread his influence towards Grenoble. However, he did not take into account King Henry IV and particularly the Duke of Lesidguières.

The construction

In the autumn of 1597, on the right bank of the Isère, the Savoie duke decided to construct a fortress in Barraux, on French territory. He entrusted this project to the era's best Piedmont engineer, Ercole Negro, Marquis of Saint-Front. To cause further provocation, the duke decided to name the fort, Fort Saint-Barthélemy, which was a reference to the massacre of Saint-Barthélemey in Paris where thousands of Protestants were killed by a crazed populace. This additional taunt was aimed at Lesdiguières, who was still Protestant.

The fort was constructed by thousands of workers from Bugey. Oak trees from the Dauphin Forest in Servette (between Barraux and Chapareillan) were cut down. The battlements were constructed from rocks which came from the "Le Replat" quarry, located just above Barraux. Some stones were also reused and came from the Dauphin's large castles in Buissière and Bellecombe.

The storming of the castle

At first, the mountain fox Lesdiguières, made no move. Henry IV even wrote him to voice his surprise that the Savoie duke was freely building his fort on French territory.

"Sir,” answered Lesdiguières, “the construction of a fort at this location is ideal. However, due to the Kingdom's finances, it would be most preferable for your cousin in Savoie to pay for it's construction. Once said construction is almost finished, and before it houses an important garrison, I shall capture it."

And so he did during the night of March 15th, 1598. The fort was taken by trickery using a shepherd who had the habit of grazing his sheep in the fort's trenches. On the night of the attack, the herd mysteriously doubled in size. Soldiers, hidden under sheepskins, burst out of the trenches to size the fort and they suffered no losses.

Immediately after conquering the fort, King Henry IV moved in a large garrison. As the Dauphiné and Savoie populations were close and spoke the same patois, the King brought in a Swiss regiment. This was beneficial for three reasons : first they were Catholic, which was important right after the end of the Religious Wars; second they spoke French; and most importantly they hated the Savoie population.

For almost two centuries they garrisons of Haydn and Reynold protected Fort Barraux and kept it under French control.

Vauban at the Fort Barraux

In September of 1692, Grenoble is once again threatened by the Duke of Savoie. At the same time, the Marquis of Vauban (famous architect and engineer) was inspecting Fort Barraux and other constructions in the Alps. This was his first contact with the Grésivaudan region. Although he was not impressed, he decided to consecrate his energy and talent to the Fort.  

Sidenotes : It is important to add that Vauban is one of the only figures during that time period that dared contradict the King's vision and plead that the Huguenots be welcomed back. In 1687, two years after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and again in 1689, he published a memoir defending his position in favor of unity with the Huguenots.   

Fort Barraux (1597) is one of the oldest and most prestigious defensive constructions in the alps. It is the only example of Vauban's architecture in the Rhône-Alpes region, and was classified as a historical monument in 1990. The site is also a place of remembrance for both world wars.  

Source : Fort-Barraux, Quatre siècles d'histoires... by François Lesbros and published by the Syndicat Intercommunal Bréda Isère Bresson.

Visits : Haut-Grésivaudan Tourism Office tel. : 04 76 97 68 08  

Fort-Barraux - AMIDUMIR Fort-Barraux - AMIDUMIR Forteresse de Vauban - AMIDUMIR Fort-Barraux - AMIDUMIR Fort-Barraux - AMIDUMIR Fort-Barraux - Chapelle et arsenal - AMIDUMIR Fort-Barraux - AMIDUMIR

Tourist information

Fort Barraux    Barraux


Barraux is one the oldest and most prestigious strongholds in the Alps. Built in the 16th century as a bastioned fortification, The fort was renovated during the 18th century by Vauban.

Téléphone : 06 37 63 02 95

  Le Touvet

Dépliant couv 2019

  Le Touvet

Chateau du touvet©F Pattou


Course_de_la_resistance-AfficheA3_2019 (2)



Le furet waterfall    Barraux


Le Furet is a small waterfall nestling deep in the valley opposite Fort Barrraux. Hidden in the forest, the waterfall is beautifully frozen in winter

Téléphone : 04 76 97 68 08

The gorge waterfall    La Terrasse


Nestling among the Austrian black pine trees, which were planted to reduce erosion, the gorge is always green. The water fall is several dozen metres high and has an impressive flow when the snow melts.

Téléphone : 04 76 97 68 08

The Carré waterfall    La Terrasse


Le Carré waterfall. In the village of La Terrasse, take the road in the direction of Château du Carré. From Le Carré hamlet, follow the D30a towards StHilaire du Touvet, just after the junction with D29 which goes up to the village…..

Téléphone : 04 76 97 68 08

Château du Touvet    Le Touvet

Chateau du Touvet 3

Located in the gorgeous mountains of Rhône-Alpes, this castle has been home to our family for 500 years. Now we open its doors and its gardens and will be delighted to welcome you.

Téléphone : 04 76 08 42 27

Jardins et Château du Touvet    Le Touvet

Jardins du château du Touvet  (2)

The garden was originally drawn by Count Pierre de Marcieu in 1750. The natural waters of springs and moutain waters have been running for 250 years on the steps of the great stone staircase, decorated with bassins, fountains and vasques.

Téléphone : 04 76 08 42 27

Maison des Maquis du Grésivaudan    Le Touvet


Posté par Christiane sur le chemin des Huguenots le 14/06/2019 :

 Dormi chez Bernadette,  beaucoup d'espace,  sdb et toilettes dans la partie de la maison mise à disposition. Charmante personne,  très bel échange superbe souvenir,  à refaire 

Posté par Françoise Dècle le 11/05/2019 :

 Possibilité de dormir chez Rachel à Barraux,accessible par airbnb .Chambre avec salle de bains sur le pallier. 

Posté par anne Cadic Liotard le 06/09/2018 :

nous pouvons accueillir 1 hôte ou 1 couple à Barraux village dans une petite chambre avec wc et douche privatifs et le petit déjeuner!

tel: 06 63 07 22 37

Posté par Philippe Charonnet le 02/03/2018 le 02/03/2018 :

Mr Dimitri Brun ne fait plus chambre d'hôte. *Relation téléphonique avec lui en date du 1er mars 2018.

Posté par Johannes le 12/06/2017 :

Une nouvelle chambre d'hôtes accueille les randonneurs dans le village de Barraux. Elle intègrera rapidement la liste des hébergements proposés sous l'onglet "Hébergements et services" de l'étape.
Contact : Monsieur Dimitri Brun "Le jardin de Merlin"

Posté par Isabelle Charest le 23/05/2017 :

--Nous avons dormie au Chateau le Clement a Pontchara. tel 04-76-97-84-81 ou le 06-84-56-04-44 Les proprios sont venus nous chercher a Barreaux.( en voiture)sans supplement et nous ont raccompagner a notre point de depart le lendemain. La chambre était magnifique, propre. Se sont des amoureux des chateaux et le tout est rénové avec gout et respect

Posté par Johannes Melsen le 31/10/2013 :

Posté par Johannes Melsen le 21/10/2013 :

Grâce aux recherches lancées par la journaliste Sylvie Neidinger, autour de l’histoire de Fort Barraux en Isère, nous sommes en mesure de vous transmettre trois liens pertinents vers son blog "duboutduborddulac" :


Posté par Johannes Melsen le 15/10/2013 :

Histoire de Fort Barraux et l'Itinéraire Culturel Eurpéen "Sur les pas des Huguenots". Deux billets ( 24 août et 15 octobre 2013) en lien avec cette thématique, à découvrir dans le blog de Sylvie Neidinger.


Tourist Offices

Bureau d'information Touristique Pontcharra    Tourism institutionsPontcharra

photo OT

It is ideally placed as a base in the heart of a region with a rich historical and cultural heritage and outstanding natural and architectural features.

Téléphone : 04 76 97 68 08

Accommodation Partners Accommodation Partners

Other Accommodations

Campsite of the « La Terrasse »’s lake    CampsiteLa Terrasse

image_6483441 (002)

Familial campsite located close to the « La Terrasse »’s lake. Shady and calm's Locations at the bottom of "Chartreuse" and "Belledonne". Snack bar and secured beach on the spot

Téléphone : 04 76 08 28 68

  Bed & breakfastLe Touvet

  Bed & breakfastLe Touvet

  Bed & breakfastLe Touvet






IMG_1516-15 Terrasse

  RestaurantLe Touvet


Other Services

Pharmacie Lymer Rosemonde    ServicesLe Touvet

Pharmacie Romatier-Vella    ServicesLe Touvet

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