Tourist attractions

Briançon / Izoard

Briançon

Briançon

The history the Tour de France has with Briançon started in 1922 with a stage victory of Philippe Thys who was already the first three-time winner of the event. Later, the list of winners in the city fortified by Vauban and registered on the UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity sites saw the names of the most illustrious champions added: Gino Bartali, Louison Bobet, Fausto Coppi, Charly Gaul, Gastone Nencini, Federico Bahamontes and Eddy Merckx, all winners of the Tour. On the occasion of the last visit in 2007, Colombian Mauricio Soler captured the most prestigious victory of his career before eventually finishing best climber of the Tour.

Cité Vauban and fortifications, Briançon © Thinkstock

Stage town for the 34th time
Sub-prefecture of the Hautes-Alpes (05)
12,760 inhabitants (Briançonnais), 139,900 inhabitants in the Hautes-Alpes

Economy: Winter and summer tourism, southern gateway to the Serre Chevalier Vallée domain (250km of slopes with a cable car in the city centre), European Medical Centre for Bioclimatic Research and University Teaching, Regional and European Tourism Centre

Culture: Vauban's fortifications (18th century, fortified town, Fort des Têtes, Fort du Randouillet, Fort des Salettes, Pont d'Asfeld), classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fort Dauphin, Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Nicolas Collegiate Church (18th century), Cordeliers Church (14th century). Events: Altitude Jazz Festival in the communes of Serre Chevalier Vallée, Grand Escarton Medieval Festival, Forts en Fête (theatre, music and other cultural events)

Sport: Les Diables Rouges (ice hockey, Division 1), Briançon Winter Sports Club (Alpine skiing), Inter Club d'Escalade du Briançonnais (climbing). Events: World climbing (leg of the World Cup), Gravity Gates MTB (urban downhill)

Specialities: Sausage and cabbage tart, tourtons de Champsaur (fritter), genépi. Manufacture of Alpine horns and sundials

Sustainable development: 600km of signposted mountain bike routes, bus routes and winter ski shuttles

Distinctions: Town of art and history, city of good health, tourist town and resort, three-star floral town

Slogan: “Briançon, the town on the rise”

Web sites

Bobet's trilogy in Briancon

The history of the Tour de France in Briancon started in 1922 with stage win by Philippe Thys, who was already the first triple winner of the race. Afterwards, the roll of honour in the World Heritage fortified town boasted prestigious names such as Gino Bartali, Louison Bobet, Fausto Coppi, Charly Gaul, Gastone Nencini, Federico Bahamontes and Eddy Merckx, all of them Tour champions. Of all, Louison Bobet was arguably the one who left the most enduring mark on the prefecture of Hautes-Alpes with his three stage victories in 1950, 1953 and 1954. For the last visit of the Tour in 2007, Colombian Mauricio Soler, the best climber that season, clinched his career's major success.

Presse Sports © Victoire d’étape en 1922 de Philippe Thys avec Félix SellierPresse Sports © Louison Bobet, Tour de France 1954Presse Sports / Bernard Papon © Mauricio Soler, Tour de France 2007

Stage town for the 34th time
Sub-prefecture of the Hautes-Alpes (05)
12,760 inhabitants (Briançonnais), 139,900 inhabitants in the Hautes-Alpes

Economy: Winter and summer tourism, southern gateway to the Serre Chevalier Vallée domain (250km of slopes with a cable car in the city centre), European Medical Centre for Bioclimatic Research and University Teaching, Regional and European Tourism Centre

Culture: Vauban's fortifications (18th century, fortified town, Fort des Têtes, Fort du Randouillet, Fort des Salettes, Pont d'Asfeld), classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fort Dauphin, Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Nicolas Collegiate Church (18th century), Cordeliers Church (14th century). Events: Altitude Jazz Festival in the communes of Serre Chevalier Vallée, Grand Escarton Medieval Festival, Forts en Fête (theatre, music and other cultural events)

Sport: Les Diables Rouges (ice hockey, Division 1), Briançon Winter Sports Club (Alpine skiing), Inter Club d'Escalade du Briançonnais (climbing). Events: World climbing (leg of the World Cup), Gravity Gates MTB (urban downhill)

Specialities: Sausage and cabbage tart, tourtons de Champsaur (fritter), genépi. Manufacture of Alpine horns and sundials

Sustainable development: 600km of signposted mountain bike routes, bus routes and winter ski shuttles

Distinctions: Town of art and history, city of good health, tourist town and resort, three-star floral town

Slogan: “Briançon, the town on the rise”

Web sites

Sights

Vauban fortifications
The fortifications in Briancon are listed since 2008 as a World Heritage site by UNESCO along with eleven other cities fortified by Vauban. Ideally located at an altitude of 1,236 metres on a rocky hill close to the Italian border, Briancon is a unique example of mountain fortification. Locked inside the ramparts designed by Vauban it is moreover protected by a network of forts in the higher mountains making it virtually impossible to seize. The majesty and intelligence of the site are perfect examples of the genius of King Louis XIV's leading military architect. While several adjustments were completed after his death, they followed his plans until 1734. Seven of the forts and strongholds on the Briancon site have been distinguished by UNESCO because of their authenticity, state of preservation and historical importance.
www.ville-briancon.fr/les_fortifications_de_vauban.html

Dauphin Fort
Conceived as the forefront of the 18th century chain of fortifications, the Dauphin fort was built to cross fires with the fort of Salettes to protect the access to Briancon bt the road from Piedmont. It also protected Fort des Têtes. Built between 1724 and 1734 on the Biffeul plateau, the fort is of great historical importance as it was hardly modified since. After the 1870 war against Prussia, it became obsolete and was replaced by new military buildings like the Infernet in 1876.

Collegiate church
The Collegiate Church was built at the beginning of the 18th century to replace the old medieval church destroyed during the construction of the ramparts. The twelfth-century building was situated on the road to Grenoble. In the sixteenth century, the church still had its porch supported by lions (preserved and placed at the entrance of the Collegiate, under the tribune). In 1692, deemed too exposed, it was demolished. The consuls of Briançon asked Louis XIV for help to build a church inside the walls, which was granted in 1700. The plans of the church, drawn by engineer Isaac Robelin, were reviewed and corrected by Vauban and work begian In 1703 to end in 1718.

Ancient church of the Cordeliers
This church, discreetly huddled against the present town hall, is one of the rare witnesses of the medieval history of Briançon and contains, far from view, a prestigious decoration of mural paintings. Built at the end of the 14th century, the building survived the two great fires of the city. Deconsecrated during the revolutionary period, it was transformed into a military building (hospital and storage).

Park of La Schappe
The Park of La Schappe is the work of Laurent Delphin, commander of the Briançon garrison, who launched an extravagant project in 1815 – to convert old arid quarries into a luxuriant park in oriental style, with a Japanese bridge, an islet and a pagoda.
www.ville-briancon.fr/le_parc_de_la_schappe.html

House of Geology and Geoparc
Dedicated to scientific tourism, this geological interpretation center with interactive screens (2D and 3D), models and outdoor geodrome (outdoor museum) presents in a playful and educational way the different stages of the creation of the Alps as well as the riches of the Franco-Italian Geopark of the Cottian Alps.
www.maisondelageologie.fr

Mimi Faure Brac © La cité VaubanMossot © Fort Dauphin vu de la route de MontgenèvreMimi Faure Brac / photos Pulsions © Vue sur la collégialeÉdouard Hue © Façade de l'église des Cordeliers de BriançonÉdouard Hue © L’enceinte de la cité Vauban depuis le parc de la Schappe

Stage town for the 34th time
Sub-prefecture of the Hautes-Alpes (05)
12,760 inhabitants (Briançonnais), 139,900 inhabitants in the Hautes-Alpes

Economy: Winter and summer tourism, southern gateway to the Serre Chevalier Vallée domain (250km of slopes with a cable car in the city centre), European Medical Centre for Bioclimatic Research and University Teaching, Regional and European Tourism Centre

Culture: Vauban's fortifications (18th century, fortified town, Fort des Têtes, Fort du Randouillet, Fort des Salettes, Pont d'Asfeld), classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fort Dauphin, Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Nicolas Collegiate Church (18th century), Cordeliers Church (14th century). Events: Altitude Jazz Festival in the communes of Serre Chevalier Vallée, Grand Escarton Medieval Festival, Forts en Fête (theatre, music and other cultural events)

Sport: Les Diables Rouges (ice hockey, Division 1), Briançon Winter Sports Club (Alpine skiing), Inter Club d'Escalade du Briançonnais (climbing). Events: World climbing (leg of the World Cup), Gravity Gates MTB (urban downhill)

Specialities: Sausage and cabbage tart, tourtons de Champsaur (fritter), genépi. Manufacture of Alpine horns and sundials

Sustainable development: 600km of signposted mountain bike routes, bus routes and winter ski shuttles

Distinctions: Town of art and history, city of good health, tourist town and resort, three-star floral town

Slogan: “Briançon, the town on the rise”

Web sites

Parc naturel régional du Queyras

© Parc naturel régional du QueyrasArtisanat du bois en Queyras © Parc naturel régional du QueyrasTête des Toilies © Christophe Gerrer - Parc naturel régional du QueyrasEboulis et rochers de la Casse Déserte - Massif de l'Izoard © A.S.O

This mountain stage crosses or runs along two Natura 2000 sites that are important for their natural resources and landscapes: Durancien and Queyrassien Steppe, and Rochebrune - Izoard - Valley of the Cerveyrette. Located partly in the Queyras Regional Natural Park, these two sites have a wide diversity of natural environments and are home to remarkable and rare animal and plant species.

Read more: www.afbiodiversite.fr/fr/stage-18-briancon-col-dizoard

Official Timekeeper

jersey wearers 2017

classifications after the stage 21

Subscribe

Receive exclusive news about the Tour de France

Around Sustainable Development

In 2017, after signing under the aegis of the French Ministry for Sport and the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) the environmental charter with 21 major sports events, the Tour de France has decided to structure its CSR policy and organise its action around three themes: “Cycling for Earth”, “Cycl’in your Life”, “In the Tour’s slipstream…”... More

Partners of Le Tour