La Forêt du Massacre
Natural Site

La Forêt du Massacre


At an altitude varying between 1160 and 1495m, the Forêt du Massacre is located between Les Jouvencelles in Prémanon, Lamoura and Lajoux. It is very rich in exceptional fauna and flora, with varied landscapes alternating thick forests and open coombs. You will also see some curiosities and pretty summer cottages. Whether you are skiing or hiking, you will enjoy discovering this beautiful forest. Be careful, do not stray from the marked trails and tracks and preserve the peace and quiet of the area!

A bit of history
This forest was once called "forêt de la Frasse" (forest of ash trees in old French), but nearly five centuries ago it was the scene of a horrible spectacle. In 1535, the French king François 1er sent a thousand Italian mercenaries to help Geneva, which was besieged by the Savoyards. At the Faucille Pass, the mercenaries were met by the army of the Duke of Savoy, and pursued into the forest of La Frasse, where they were hunted down and massacred with axes to the last man. This tragic event left a lasting impression on the minds of the people of the Jura who witnessed it, and gave its terrible name to the Forest of the Massacre.

Geography & environment
Chalet d'estive / alpage: These dwellings were used to house the shepherds and their flocks during the summer months and to process the milk on site. The chalets were rustic and basic, built of stone and wood and looked very much like the first houses of the Jura clearers. The construction of an alpine chalet required the construction of a lime kiln to make the mortar that would seal the stones and cover the walls. The chalet was generally placed on a rocky ridge. Next, spruce trees were cut down and pit sawyers set to work to cut beams and planks. The "tavaillonneurs" were in charge of the "tavaillons" which covered the roof and sometimes the walls. The roof was generally four-sided. The interior of the chalet was divided into five rooms: the kitchen where the cheese was made; the milk room, always in the northern corner - the coldest - where the milk from the evening milking was kept overnight; the cheese cellar; the cow shed and the calf shed. In the middle of the kitchen there was a big copper cauldron in which the cheese was cooked. As for the shepherds, they slept mostly in the stable, on a mattress of spruce branches covered with straw. The hearth was a simple hole in the dirt floor. A hole in the roof was used to evacuate the smoke and a trap door was closed when it rained or when the fire was out.

Local fauna: the Massacre forest, as well as 3 other forest areas in the Jura, has benefited since 1992 from a Prefectural Order for the Protection of Biotopes for the protection of capercaillie:

Hiking and mountain biking:
Many marked routes for hiking or mountain biking criss-cross the Massacre forest. Don't hesitate to come and buy a topo-guide of the walks and mountain bike rides in the Les Rousses resort at the Tourist Office, or the circuit cards. More info here : and here :

In winter
The Massacre forest is covered by numerous cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. Don't hesitate to ask for information at the Tourist Office, and to ask for the maps of the cross-country and snowshoe trails. All information is available here:

The Massacre forest is accessible from the villages of Lamoura and Prémanon. In winter, the trailheads are the access gates to La Frasse, La Serra, La Darbella or the village of Lamoura, where there are car parks and which are also reached by the Skibus during the tourist season ( The rest of the year, you can cross the forest by taking the numerous forest roads, be careful, they are narrow.

La Forêt du Massacre

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