|English translation||"Great Bottlenecks"|
Les Grands Goulets are gorges in the western part of the Vercors Massif, located in the department of Drôme in Southeastern France. The gorges form the head of the Vernaison Valley.
Between 1844 and 1851, the Grands-Goulets Road ( Route Départementale RD 518) was constructed, a "balcony road" built into the sheer limestone cliffs of the gorge to link the Pont-en-Royans area to the Vercors plateau at Échevis. The single-track road has numerous tunnels and few passing-places and was formerly popular with tourists.
During the Second World War, the plateau became a stronghold of a French Resistance group called the Maquis du Vercors . On 22 January 1944, a column of 300 German troops arrived at the Grands Goulets on a punitive expedition. A small force of Maquisards attempted to block their progress but were either outgunned or outflanked by Gebirgsjäger Alpine troops at each blocking position that they established. When the coloumn reached Échevis, they burned the village in retaliation for the ambush of a German staff car a few days earlier.A plaque at La Chapelle-en-Vercors commemorates the twenty Maquisards who were killed in the fighting. The damaged road was later repaired and reopened in September 1945.
After rockfalls in 2003 and 2005, the road was permanently closed to vehicles and pedestrians. A replacement road tunnel, 1,710 metres long and 7 metres wide was constructed, costing €50 million; it opened in 2008.A scheme to reopen the top 200 metres of the road to pedestrians as a tourist attraction was proposed by local authorities in 2016.
The Grands Goulets are classified as a ZNIEFF or Zone naturelle d'intérêt écologique, faunistique et floristique (Natural zone of ecological interest, fauna and flora).
The Maquis were rural guerrilla bands of French Resistance fighters, called maquisards, during the Nazi occupation of France in World War II. Initially, they were composed of young, mostly working-class, men who had escaped into the mountains and woods to avoid conscription into Vichy France's Service du travail obligatoire to provide forced labor for Germany. To avert capture and deportation to Germany, they became increasingly organized into active resistance groups.
The Chartreuse Mountains are a mountain range in southeastern France, stretching from the city of Grenoble in the south to the Lac du Bourget in the north. They are part of the French Prealps, which continue as the Bauges to the north and the Vercors to the south.
The Vercors Massif is a range in France consisting of rugged plateaux and mountains straddling the départements of Isère and Drôme in the French Prealps. It lies west of the Dauphiné Alps, from which it is separated by the rivers Drac and Isère. The cliffs at the massif's eastern limit face the city of Grenoble.
The Order of Liberation is a French Order which was awarded to heroes of the Liberation of France during World War II. It is a very high honour, second only after the Légion d’Honneur. Very few people, military units and communes were ever awarded it; and only for their deeds during World War II. A different order, the Médaille de la Résistance, was created and awarded for lesser but still distinguished deeds by members of the Resistance.
Villard-de-Lans is a commune in the Isère department of the Auvergne-Rhones-Alpes region in southeastern France. The town is also situated in the Vercors Massif. It was the administrative centre of the eponymous canton until the departmental elections of 2015. After the elections, Villard-de-Lans and the communes of its former canton were all incorporated into the new canton of Fontaine-Vercors. The town remains the seat of the Community of Communes in the Vercors Massif (CCMV).
The Maquis des Glières was a Free French Resistance group, which fought against the 1940–1944 German occupation of France in World War II. The name is also given to the military conflict that opposed Resistance fighters to German, Vichy and Milice forces.
The Battle of Vercors in July and August 1944 was between a rural group of the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) (maquis) and the armed forces of Nazi Germany which had occupied France since 1940 in World War II. The maquis used the prominent scenic plateau known as the Massif du Vercors as a refuge. Initially, the maquis carried out only sabotage and partisan operations against the Germans. However, after the Normandy Invasion of 6 June 1944, the leadership of an army of about 4,000 maquis declared the Free Republic of Vercors and attempted to create a conventional army to oppose the German occupation.
Pont-en-Royans is a commune in the Isère department in southeastern France.
Auberives-en-Royans is a commune in the Isère department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France.
L'Albenc is a commune in the Isère department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France.
Vassieux-en-Vercors is a commune in the department of Drôme in southeastern France.
Sainte-Eulalie-en-Royans is a commune in the Drôme department in the region Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, southeastern France.
Barbaggio is a commune in the French department of Haute-Corse on the island of Corsica. It is known for its wine, its scenery, and the prehistoric site of Strette.
Basse-sur-le-Rupt is a commune in the Vosges department in Grand Est in northeastern France. Its inhabitants are called Bassurois. It is a mountainous commune of seven hamlets, crossed by the river Rupt. Its landmarks include Le Haut du Roc, Le Pierre des Communes, Le Piquante Pierre and the memorial of Le Croix des Moinats. Its historical industries were textiles, sawmills and granite.
The Vercors Regional Natural Park is a protected area of forested mountains in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France.
The Grand Veymont, a mountain in the district of Gresse-en-Vercors, part of the department of Isère, France, is the highest point of the Massif du Vercors, but not the highest of the Vercors Regional Natural Park. It has a prominence of 1165 metres and an isolation of 26.88 kilometres.
The Rocher Rond is a summit in the Dévoluy massif of the French Alps. It is the highest point of the Vercors Regional Natural Park, although it is not part of the Vercors massif, and also the highest point in the department of Drôme. It has an elevation of 2453 metres, and an isolation of 8.77 km. It is the 14th highest French department highpoint.
Le Moucherotte is the easternmost peak of the Vercors Massif, and also the northern culmination of the long ridge that runs along the eastern edge of the Vercors high plateau, and overlooks the city of Grenoble. The mountain is divided between the communes of Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte, Lans-en-Vercors, Seyssins and Claix.
The Bournillon cave is located in the commune of Châtelus in the Isère Department of France, in the Vercors Massif. Its entrance is 105 metres (344 ft) high, and 60 metres (200 ft) wide, and is the largest in Europe. It is one of the main karst springs of Vercors, with a maximum flow rate of 80 cubic metres (2,800 cu ft) per second, which feeds a hydroelectric plant.
During the Second World War, the Oisans maquis was an important center for the French Resistance, in the Oisans region between the Belledonne range and Grenoble to the north, the Grandes Rousses massif of the Alps and the Croix de Fer pass to the east, the Drac valley to the west and the Barre des Écrins and the Provencal Alps to the south.