Maurienne (Arpitan : Môrièna) is one of the provinces of Savoy, corresponding to the arrondissement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in France. It is also the original name of the capital of the province, now Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.
The Maurienne valley is one of the great transverse valleys of the Alps. The river which has shaped the valley since the last glaciation is the Arc. The valley begins at the village of Écot (in the commune of Bonneval-sur-Arc), at the foot of the Col de l'Iseran, and ends at the confluence of the Arc and the Isère in the commune of Aiton. The mountains on the southern side are the Dauphiné Alps and the Cottian Alps. On the northern side are the part of the Graian Alps known as the Vanoise. The capital, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, lies at the confluence of the Arc and the Arvan.
Part of the main road and rail route between Lyon and Turin runs through the valley. The A43 autoroute and a railway line enter at the western end from the Isère valley, and leave at Modane using the Fréjus Road and Rail Tunnels respectively which both emerge at Bardonecchia in Italy. The Turin–Lyon high-speed railway will also be built through the lower valley.
The other roads out of the valley use the following mountain cols:
Other cols such as the Col d'Etache, Col du Carro and the Col de Vallée Etroite are only passable on foot.
The province contains the following cantons:
The abundance of hydro-electric power (there are twenty-four hydroelectric stations in the valley) created heavy industry such as electrochemical plants and aluminum refining, but now the emphasis in the area is on tourism, especially winter sports. Numerous ski resorts line the valley, from the small villages like Albiez-Montrond to the purpose-built resorts, dating from the 1970s like Le Corbier and Les Karellis.
The Vanoise National Park and its protected surroundings are a major tourist attraction. Alpine ibex, grey wolves, lynx, royal eagles or vultures are among the many rare species that live in the numerous valleys of Maurienne.
The region has numerous traces of human habitation since the Paleolithic. In 1032, Humbert the White-Handed received the Maurienne, his native land, from Conrad II the Salian whom he had helped in his Italian campaigns against Aribert, Archbishop of Milan. The House of Savoy maintained their independence as counts and then dukes until Savoy was linked with the Kingdom of Sardinia, which included Piedmont in north-western Italy. In the Maurienne are a series of five forts, La Barrière de l'Esseillon, that were created by the Sardinians in the early 19th century to protect Piedmont from a French invasion. The Maurienne was not incorporated into France until 1860, as part of the political agreement with Napoleon III that brought about the unification of Italy. Despite this, the Maurienne and the Tarantaise valleys are classified as French towns and lands of Art and History.
The lower part of the valley is industrial, and its three significant towns are:
The upper valley of the Arc is known as the Haute-Maurienne. It lies along the Italian border around 45 km near Mont Cenis. The principal town is Modane, an old frontier town, at the mouth of the Fréjus Road Tunnel and dominated by the resort of Val Fréjus. The other villages, rising up from the valley, are:
About 5,000 inhabitants live there permanently, but the population reaches about 15,000 in the winter.
Much of the Haute-Maurienne is included in the Vanoise National Park, which became the first national park in France in 1973. This borders the Gran Paradiso National Park of Italy. The two parks are important areas for ibexes, chamois, and golden eagles; the lammergeier was recently reintroduced into the area. It appears that wolves have reached the region within the past five years.
The Maurienne valley is home to around 20 ski resorts. There is also access to The Three Valleys via the Orelle gondola.
In rough order heading up the valley:
The Graian Alps are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps.
Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. Located in the French Alps, its prefecture is Chambéry. In 2017, Savoie had a population of 431,174.
The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.
The Arc is a 127-kilometre-long (79 mi) river in the Savoie département of south-eastern France. It is a left tributary of the Isère, which it joins at Chamousset, approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) downstream from Albertville. Its source is near the border with Italy, in the Graian Alps, northeast of Bonneval-sur-Arc. The valley of the Arc, the Maurienne, is an important transport artery between France and Italy.
The Fréjus Rail Tunnel is a rail tunnel of 13.7 km (8.5 mi) length in the European Alps, carrying the Turin–Modane railway through Mont Cenis to an end-on connection with the Culoz–Modane railway and linking Bardonecchia in Italy to Modane in France. Its mean altitude is 1,123 m and it passes beneath the Pointe du Fréjus and the Col du Fréjus.
Mont Cenis is a massif and a pass in Savoie (France), which forms the limit between the Cottian and Graian Alps.
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is a subprefecture of the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in Southeastern France. In 2018, it had a population of 7,683.
The arrondissement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is an arrondissement of France in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It has 53 communes. Its population is 43,091 (2016), and its area is 1,976.0 km2 (762.9 sq mi). The area corresponds to the former province of Maurienne.
The Tarentaise Valley is a valley of the Isère River in the heart of the French Alps, located in the Savoy region of France. The valley is named for the ancient town of Darantasia, the capital of the pre-Roman Centrones tribe.
Vanoise National Park is a French national park between the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys in the French Alps, containing the Vanoise massif. It was created in 1963 as the first national park in France.
Col de l'Iseran is a mountain pass in France, the highest paved pass in the Alps. A part of the Graian Alps, it is in the department of Savoie, near the border with Italy, and is crossed by the D902 roadway.
Modane is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France.
The Route nationale 6 is a trunk road (nationale) in France between Paris and the frontier with Italy in the Alps.
Aussois is a commune in the Vanoise massif, in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. The village is on the border of France's first National Park, the Vanoise National Park.
Although not as well known as other resorts right on the other side of the mountain like Val Thorens, it is popular with the French as ski resort in winter and as mountain destination in summer.
At 8 km (5.0 mi) from Modane, it is ideally located in the Maurienne region with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva, Grenoble and Chambéry. Aussois can also be reached from Turin via the Fréjus Road Tunnel, linking Bardonecchia in Italy and Modane.
Nearby Gare de Modane is a large railway station with a high-speed service (TGV) Paris - Chambéry - Turin - Milan.
The resort offers 55 km (34 mi) of slopes, 21 slopes.
Val Cenis is a ski and mountain resort situated in the Haute-Maurienne region of the French Alps, close to the Italian border. It is composed of five villages; Lanslebourg, Lanslevillard, Termignon, Sollières-Sardières and Bramans. The villages sit between 1200m and 1500m, respectively, and lifts climb to a maximum altitude of 2740m. The resort is not very well known due to its location at the end of a valley and difficulty of access and attracts a mainly French, Italian, Belgian and Dutch contingent each winter. It is a lot quieter than larger ski resorts in the French Alps and does not normally suffer from long lift queues. It is ideally located in the Maurienne region with good transport links in and out of Modane, Lyon, Geneva and Chambery.
The Vanoise massif is a mountain range of the Graian Alps, located in the Western Alps. After the Mont Blanc Massif and the Massif des Écrins it is the third highest massif in France, reaching a height of 3,885 m at the summit of Grande Casse. It lies between Tarentaise Valley to the north and the Maurienne valley in the south. The range is the site of France's first National Park in 1963, the Vanoise National Park. The ski resorts of Tignes and Val-d'Isère and the 2,770-meter-high Col de l'Iseran are located in the eastern part of the range.
Lanslevillard is a former commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. Part of its territory is home to the Val Cenis Vanoise ski resort. On 1 January 2017, it was merged with the former communes Bramans, Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis, Sollières-Sardières and Termignon into the new commune Val-Cenis.
The Culoz–Modane railway is a 135 kilometres long railway running from Culoz, near Chambéry, through Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Modane in France. Together with the Italian Turin–Modane railway it is often called "Fréjus Railway" or "Mont Cenis Railway".
The canton of Modane is an administrative division of the Savoie department, southeastern France. Its borders were modified at the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015. Its seat is in Modane.
The Fortified Section of Savoy(Secteur fortifié de la Savoie) was the French military organization that in 1940 controlled the section of the Alpine Line portion of the Maginot Line facing Italy in the Savoy region. The sector constituted part of the Alpine Line portion of the Maginot Line, between the Defensive Sector of the Rhône to the north, and the Fortified Sector of the Dauphiné to the south. The works combined a number of pre-1914 fortifications with Maginot-style ouvrages, with many forward-positioned cavern-style frontier stations or avant-postes that proved effective in holding invading forces near the order.