Le Fort des Rousses
Castles and Defense Sites

Le Fort des Rousses


Geography & environment :
Located at an altitude of 1150 m, in the heart of the village of Les Rousses and the Haut-Jura Regional Natural Park, the fort of Les Rousses is the 2nd largest fortress in France. Access to the exterior of the buildings, the parade ground and the moat tour is free. Activities and visits are not free
A little history :
In 1815, Napoleon returned to power and the allied European powers prepared to invade France. One of the privileged entrances is the pass of Saint-Cergue, then Les Rousses. Faced with this threat, orders were given to fortify the village. Several redoubts were built. A redoubt can still be seen in the village of Les Rousses. It was at the centre of the battle of Les Rousses in July 1815. But it was not until 25 years later that work began on the Fort des Rousses. A natural hillock near the village was chosen for the site: the Cernois. The work continued for about 20 years, and the fort came into service in 1862, housing a brigade. In 1868, 81 artillery pieces were installed. The fort was used by the military until 1919, when it was abandoned. In 1925, and from 1930 to 1938, the fort hosted holiday camps. From 1939 onwards, it was used again by the military, but it was the Germans who occupied it. The maquisards took possession of it again in 1944 following the battle of Turu. The fort became a commando training centre until June 1997, when the State sold it to the commune of Les Rousses. It was then restructured to house the Juraflore maturing cellars, the offices of the Community of Communes of the Les Rousses resort and the Les Rousses resort management company.

A variety of activities are offered on the Fort des Rousses site, depending on the season:
Guided tour of the Juraflore Comté cheese maturing cellars: http://www.lesrousses.com/a-voir-a-faire/culture-et-patrimoine/caves-daffinage-comte.html
Commando Games activities: course, orientation, precision and crossing missions .... relive the military past of the Fort des Rousses : https://www.lesrousses.com/a-voir-a-faire/activites-et-loisirs/commando-games-au-fort-des-rousses.html
Permanent Orienteering course Gold marked : http://www.lesrousses.com/a-voir-a-faire/activites-et-loisirs/parcours-dorientation-baliseor.html
Supervised electric scooter sessions: http://www.lesrousses.com/a-voir-a-faire/activites-et-loisirs/velo-et-trottinette.html
Hiking: marked out walking route to discover the Fort des Rousses and one of the old redoubts from the Les Rousses Tourist Office. Route sheet to be purchased at the Tourist Office (sheet n°16) or to be downloaded: http://www.openrunner.com/index.php?id=1835515.
Mountain biking: a signposted circuit to discover the Fort des Rousses from the Les Rousses Tourist Office. Circuit sheet to be bought at the Tourist Office (sheet n°2) or to download : http://www.openrunner.com/index.php?id=2054050
The tour of the Fort by the moat: easy 3 km walk (white stony path). In winter, the Espace Liberté "Le tour du fort" is a 3km groomed trail of easy level and free access for all practices: https://www.lesrousses.com/a-voir-a-faire/glisse-et-activites-neige/espaces-recreatifs/espaces-liberte.html
The Soldier's Trail: discover the history of the Fort des Rousses, how it works and its environment by walking the discovery trail around the ramparts. This short circuit, easily accessible to all, in trainers or snowshoes, is an ideal and fun walk for the whole family, punctuated by explanatory panels. Stop by the Tourist Office in Les Rousses before setting off: children will receive a "mission order", a fun document to accompany them on their discovery.
To find out more about the site, ask for the document on the history of the fort.
A book on the history of the Fort was produced by the Les Rousses Town Hall in October 2019. It is on sale in the Tourist Offices of the resort.

Le Fort des Rousses
Le Fort des Rousses
Le Fort des Rousses

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