The Fort l'EcluseA commanding fortress high above the River Rhone!
The Fort de l'Ecluse is located approximately half way between Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and Geneva, high above the River Rhône and the main road between the 2 towns. In the past this was a very strategic point between the Kingdom of France, the Dukedom of Savoy and the city of Geneva and ownership of the fort changed hands many times over the centuries. There was a military presence on this site from the time of Julius Cesar until 1956 when the Fort de l'Ecluse was vacated definitively by the French army. The fort bears witness to military architecture down through the ages with its watchtowers, arrow slits, turrets, high walls, bunkers and magazine. The Fort de l'Ecluse was completely renovated during the 19th century. During these works the fort's best known feature the underground passageway with its 1,165 steps between the upper and lower fort was built. Today there are guided visits available which describe the harsh conditions of daily life the soldiers who manned the fort endured. There is also a museum within its walls and many events take place there during the summer. Additionally the Fort de l'Ecluse has some spectacular views of the Rhône Valley below.
Places to stay
Champfromier Campsite Hôtel Pierre Blanche
Châtillon-en-Michaille Hotel Hôtel Hermance
Bellegarde-sur-Valserine Hotel Chambres d'Hôtes La Colonie (G109510)
Collonges Bed & breakfast Aux Hauts Echos
Collonges Bed & breakfast Hôtel Le Sorgia
Places to visit nearby
Léaz Historic site and monument CERN
Saint-Genis-Pouilly Company open to the public Voltaire's Château
Ferney-Voltaire Historic site and monument Guided tour of the town " Ferney-Voltaire, a town - a man"
Ferney-Voltaire Guided tour and/or with commentary
Places to eat