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dp final Anglais web.pdf


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3

Montgenevre : birthplace of
competitive skiing
1907: First international
ski competition

Back in 1895, two Norwegian Officers
gave a ski demonstration in Montgenèvre.
They even started to initiate French soldiers to this technique.
In 1904 the Ministry of War created the
1st ski school in Brinaçon. From 1904 to 1914 more than 5000
recruits were trained to ski there. The regiments greatly contributed
to the growing popularity of skiing, offering free skis to villagers from
the high valleys. Numerous soldiers became voluntary instructors. A
wooden pole was used to maintain balance and one simply fell to the
floor in order to stop.
In mid February 1907, under the impulse of the French Alpine Club,
Touring Club and the Army, Montgenèvre hosted its first international
ski competition. Crowds of more than 3000 spectators and officials
came from Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and Norway to encourage competitors

An army of elephants…
Towards the end of year 219, General Hannibal Barca left Spain
with his army of 50 000 infantry (9000 horses and 37 elephants).
He crossed the Pyranees mountains and then the Alps to reach the
north of Italy where he won a series of victories over the Roman legions,
failing however to conquer Rome.
Although it is believed that Hannibal travelled through Montgenèvre,
his exact itinerary is a source of discussion. However, it remains fact
that Julius Cesar passed through Montgenèvre to join the Gaule several
centuries beforehand.

Mount Janus

Janus, the Roman God of doors and openings, gave his name to Montgenèvre. Mount Janus keeps watch of the mountain
pass, a natural passageway between France and Italy. The military heritage here is absolutely exceptional. Vauban, only a few
kilometres away, has recently been classified as world heritage by UNESCO.

The Italian inf luence…
1343 saw the creation of the Republic of Essartons, an independent state composed of 51 towns and villages on
both sides of Mount Viso. Montgenèvre was amongst the villages concerned.
Four centuries of independence were to follow: a unique language, tax collection system, culture and political
environment. The official state documents were preciously kept and are still visible today.

Ideas for media coverage

• Mount Chaberton and its 3130m summit lends its name to the mountain range that surrounds Mont-

genèvre. Skiers will soon be able to reach the Italian border from the summit. More than 70 years ago, Mussolini and his troops
bombarded Briançon from the very same summit.
Today, Mount Chaberton symbolizes a peaceful entente between France and Italy, beautifully incarnated by the resort of Montgenèvre.
Learn more about this period, the history of customs and trans-border relationships. Take the opportunity to meet some of the locals that
experienced war and military operations in the area.

• Franco-Italian Co-operation. Pioneer in the European field Montgenèvre has, for many years,
anticipated the richness of relations with neighbouring Italy. A trans-border Liaison & Co-operation Committee was created in 2001 between Montgenèvre and the neighbouring Italian village of Clavières. Today
Montgenèvre boasts numerous examples of successful co-operation between the two villages:

• A nursery opens to children from Montgenèvre and the neighbouring resort of Clavière in Italy.
• The co-management of the cross-country ski area and the 18 hole golf course.
• A joint programme of events, protection of the environment, footpaths, prevention, road access and
the management of international traffic.