The Vercors massif, a veritable natural fortress, sheltered many guerrillas during the Second World War and constituted a high place of the Resistance in France. Surrounded and attacked from all sides by the enemy in July 1944, it was a death trap for many combatants and civilians.
Geographical location and historical context
The Vercors Park is a magnificent territory located in the heart of the Dauphiné, vertigo of cliffs, breathing of lofty plains, dark forests and glades of light. Six natural regions make up this beautiful and unique country. To the north the Quatre Montagnes, to the northwest the Coulmes, to the west the Royans, to the east the Trièves, to the south the Diois, in the center the Historic Vercors.
It is this aspect of a natural citadel that gave rise to the idea of making it a bastion of the French Resistance and an advanced base for the reconquest of the occupied country in the minds of the initiators of the "Montagnards" plan. Access to this fortress is rare, the roads were not carved into the cliffs or at the bottom of the gorges until the end of the 19th century, and the "steps" which allow you to cross the rocky barriers from a valley to the sea. the other are narrow and easy to keep.
However, they were not enough to contain the final assault of July 1944 ...
The paths of freedom - National Historic Site of the Resistance in Vercors
This course presents:
- The Resistance Memorial of Vercors
- The Necropolis of Vassieux en Vercors and St Nizier du Moucherotte (where Jean Prevost is buried with his fighters)
- The Garden of Memory in Vassieux
- The Porch of the Cave of the Luire in Saint Agnan en Vercors
- The villages of Malleval and of Valchevrière
- The Pas de l'Aiguille and the Resistance Museum in Vassieux
Created in 1994, it brings together 10 historical sites and 60 places of memory present on the Vercors Plateau.
The Resistance Memorial in vassieux en Vercors
Central element of the National Historic Site of Resistance in Vercors, the Resistance Memorial, located at the Col de la Chau is an achievement intended to memory tragic events in the Vercors. Away from any construction, and located on the edge of a cliff in the town of Vassieux en Vercors, the chosen site offers a breathtaking view of the entire massif and the battlefield. The Memorial is not a museum of objects. Museography uses staging, image and sound.
- Open every day. Hours: inquire.
- Closed from November 12 to the start of the Christmas holidays (closed on December 25 and January 1).
Resistance Memorial - Tel. 04 75 48 26 00
The hamlet of Valchevrière
8 km from Villard de Lans, on the road to Bois Barbu, emerges Valchevrière. During the last war, this little hamlet was a important resistance lock blocking the passage to the Vercors Central. On July 23, 1944, the Nazis captured it. From the village, only a few ruins overgrown with trees. Only the Chapel remains erected, the last station of a pilgrimage bringing together parishioners each year on the first Sunday in September.
Access: Departure from Villard, Essarton bridge. Take the Bois Barbu road towards Herbouilly. In winter, this road turns into a cross-country ski trail from Bois Barbu.
The Grotte de la Luire - St Agnan-en-Vercors
The memory of men ...
Curiosity for a long time, it is under a large entrance porch that the maquis hospital took refuge on July 22, 1944. Under this inhospitable and humid shelter, around 130 wounded people came to be dressed. Thanks to the benevolence of nurses and doctors, a large number of patients will leave the cave porch before the Nazi troops took over. A guide will introduce you to the history of these places, of these women and men who resisted in this place.
Grotte de la Luire - Tel. 04 75 48 25 83
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