Military heritage at La Norma

When you arrive in La Norma, your gaze will inevitably be drawn to the Barrière de l'Esseillon, an imposing fortress lining the road. Well, no, it's not a Thibetan lamasery or a medieval fortified castle, but a set of military fortifications built between 1819 and 1834.

The Marie Thérèse redoubt, La Norma's military heritage

La Barrière de l'Esseillon

Savoie only became French in 1860. Before that, the territory was part of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.

The location of the glacial lock that "closes" the upper Arc valley offered the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia an ideal place to build a barrier of fortifications to defend against French invasions and protect access to the strategic Mont-Cenis pass.

The forts have been restored and now host a wide range of activities: a gite and restaurant at Fort Marie-Thérèse, an exhibition space dedicated to rock engravings and a games trail at Grand Fort Victor-Emmanuel, a fortified heritage interpretation center and escapes games at Redoute Marie-Thérèse, via-ferratas and accrobranches... A military heritage that is now open to all.

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