A bit of history

Lac de Bissorte

The dam is situated above the Maurienne Valley at 2000m of altitude. It has been built between 1930 and 1935, in order to produce a constant amount of electrical energy throughout the year.

During the early stage of construction, the engineers found out that the Bissorte stream was not enough to cover the electricity needs. That’s the reason why they built a 7,5km gallery between Bissorte Valley and Neuvache stream to deviate part of its water. The dam works with two hydraulic plants: Bissorte and Super Bissorte (since 1986). Today they are able to provide 80 megawatts in a few minutes.

During the construction, the inhabitants of the Valley were worried that the dam would collapse. To reassure people, the architect built his own house right below the dam. During the Second World War, german soldiers wanted to blow up the dam in order to flood the Maurienne Valley. Luckily three brave resistants ruined their project. If you want to know more about history, visit the Museum in Modane.

Mine des Sarrasins

Situated at about 2850m of altitude, it has been exploited from the 17th to the 19th century. Mainly lead,copper and silver were extracted. Over time silver and lead were the only minerals mined.

Back then, twenty one people worked all year around. A trench had been dug between the mine entrance and the miners houses. When wondering in the area, you can still see mule paths that were used to bring down the minerals to the Lavoir, where they were washed, and then to Fourneaux, where they were melted.

L'air est plus frais là-haut !