Discover the charm and traditions of an authentic mountain …
At the time, Oisans was a rough country or long cold winters did not leave much choice for men to survive, he must go on the road at the end of the harvest. The hawkers were peddlers, the ancestors of home sellers we face today. Indeed, “the peddler is one who carries on a trade-to-door pass, ie it carries on his back his hood called ball” (The hawkers Oisans – Musée d’Huez and the Oisans).
Although existing since the Middle Ages, it was during the second half of the nineteenth century, when the French rural population peaked that peddling flourished. At that time, farmers had to “go to town” to find businesses or buy manufactured products.
Mercier (son, needles, ribbons, jewels …) rouennier (fabrics, shawls, shirts …), herbalist (medicinal plants, pharmaceutical preparations), ironmonger (kitchenware), optician, florist (edelweiss seeds, gentian , seed onions …), all sold products easily transportable and very helpful. Most hawkers selling their wares in France, but the florists peddlers traveled the world to sell their seeds of exotic and expensive flowers to a wealthy clientele.
The “Swallow Oisans” returned to the country in the spring the hood of goods and empty head full of great new world. The activity gradually disappeared with the rural exodus after the Second World War.
For more information on peddling, you can visit the website of the Association Freneytique
Sources : « Les colporteurs de l’Oisans – Musée d’Huez et de l’Oisans », « Patrimoine en Isère – Musée Dauphinois », 2001
The saga of the dam
Discovered in 1918 by the great industrial potatoes Henri Fredet the site Chambon, narrow and rocky waterproof lock, was the subject of the first geological studies in 1921. Led by Campenon Bernard, the work began in 1929, lasted six years and necessitated the work of hundreds of workers (one 30aine will leave their lives).
Built at an altitude of 1040m between the towns of Mont de Lans and Mizoen, Le Chambon dam was for nearly 20 years one of the highest in Europe. This concrete building (type “weight”), up to 135m high, 295m long, 70m thick at the base and 5m peak, will be swallowed up 60,000 tons of cement. The difficulties of supply of cement will even need to build a cable carrier from Bourg d’Oisans.
The dam was not realized in order to produce electricity, but to regulate the flow of the tumultuous Romanche (subject to wide variations depending on the season). It is May 1935 he will finally feed the many hydroelectric plants downstream along the Romanche.
Its construction has had a strong impact on the landscape, the people and the economy of the territory: the three villages of the plains were swallowed (Chambon, the Dauphin and Parizet) and hundred inhabitants emigrate due to the surrounding villages . Meanwhile, the mass of workers, some of whom will settle permanently arrival, contributed to the development of economic activities, including new businesses.
Today, 74 years after its commissioning, the dam is a victim of “concrete disease” caused by atmospheric carbonation which swells the steel bars and pop the cover concrete. Nothing to worry about, since the dam was built to hold several centuries, but renovations are underway.
Source: Dauphine Libere – Didier Cayol, 2007
Source : Dauphiné Libéré – Didier Cayol, 2007
For more information, visit the l’Association Freneytique.
Pastoralism and Departmental House Pastures
Pastoralism describes the interdependent relationship between pastoralists and their herds of ruminants and their habitat.
In Ferrand valley pastures are not only an economic activity, but also an important environmental, landscape, cultural and architectural heritage strong. Pastoralism is a lifestyle friendly mountain environment that needs to be preserved.
The difficulty of managing these sites lies in the subtle relationship between the regeneration of natural resources (grass, water) necessary for life herds, the remarkable preservation of ecosystems and human activity resulting (tourists, sportsmen, residents, fishermen and hunters, pastoral …).
Hosted in partnership with the Federation of Pastures of Isere, home Pastures is not only a museum of pastoralism but also a testing ground for young and old, curious about the pastures, transhumance, shepherds and work their precious dogs.
In a unique environment in France, this wonderful site interpretation explains the history of the men who shaped the mountain to make it what it is today and for the rest it tomorrow.
Stuffed Oisans crozets of Oisans, ganèfles of Oisans, hotpot kohlrabi, potatoes au gratin, blueberry pie, wormwood are all typical dishes and liqueurs Oisans we can not leave without having tasted.
Besse, town listed as a building of France
It is a village with an authentic character par excellence. Stone houses, narrow cobbled streets (the cobbled streets), the charm of Besse en Oisans is its typical architecture that makes it a unique and indispensable place in Oisans.
But Besse is not the only village in the valley to provide architectural interest. Mizoen and Clavans en Haut-Oisans, with its beautiful old houses, barns doors so typical, testify to the prosperity of farmers and hawkers of the valley.