Mont Blanc Castle OvErViEw
by Antonio, om, livioz, marco979 & Maria Grazia Schiapparelli
An area that abounds indeed better buildings "sacred" than in medieval castles or buildings and ruins even older with some exceptions for the, above La Salle, Château Chatelard and the remains of the Castle Montmayeur or of Grand Haury, the latter, however, already on South side and at the entrance to Valgrisenche. In fact all the major castles between the City of Aosta and Courmayeur (Sarre, Sarriod de la Tour, Aymavilles, St. Pierre, Châtel Argent) are located immediately to the West of that area and to Villeneuve. However, with respect churches, steeples or votive chapels have to record a widespread distribution throughout the "Valdigne", where we like to mention the wonderful Church of La Salle in 1847 but already built over a previous thirteenth Century and ancient frescoes of 1620, while just above there is the oldest chapel Ecours flanked by an ancient, torn on the South side but still well standing and intact, square Tower fortified or House of the Lords De Cours, both from around 1200. Even the Churches of Morgex (Parish of 1512 with splendid Campanile with Sundial of 1823; Archet Castle of XIII° Century in stone tufa and frescoes of the XVII° Century), the Pré Saint Didier (Parish late 1700 built on older building and magnificent Steeple of 1100; medieval bridge of 1585, reconstructed by Prince Charles Emmanuel I° of Savoy over an ancient Roman bridge) and Courmayeur in front of the building Museums "Duca degli Abruzzi" Office by the Mountain Guides of Courmayeur (three-aisle Church of 1722 with 1392 Belfry and Missal of 1540 built on the remains of a much older); while beyond the Dora Baltea, in the small hamlet of Derby and under the famous Waterfall Lenterney, we find a Church probably even older than that of the Chief-town La Salle with slender Bell Tower with small rooster on the Cross (of 1200?).
by Emilio Bertona
Un'area che anzi abbonda maggiormente in edifici "sacri" che non in castelli medioevali o costruzioni e rovine ancor più antiche con qualche eccezione per il Château Chatelard sopra La Salle a 1171 metri ed i resti del tenebroso Castello di Montmayeur o del Petit e Grand Haury (1081m, 1177 m) arroccato su d'un selvaggio promontorio roccioso; quest'ultimo però già sul lato Meridionale ed all'ingresso della Valgrisenche. In effetti tutti i maggiori castelli tra la Città di Aosta e Courmayeur (Sarre, Sarriod de la Tour, Aymavilles, St. Pierre, Châtel Argent) si trovano nell'area subito ad Occidente della medesima e insino al Comune Villeneuve. Per quanto concerne invece Chiese, Campanili o Cappelle votive abbiamo da registrare una distribuzione capillare su tutto il territorio della "Valdigne", dove ci piace segnalare la splendida Chiesa di La Salle del 1847, ma già costruita sopra una precedente del XIII° Secolo e con antichi affreschi del 1620, mentre appena al di sopra troviamo la ben più antica, squarciata sul lato Meridionale ma ancora ben in piedi ed intatta, Cappella di Ecours con affianco un'antica Torre squadrata o Casaforte dei Signori De Cours, entrambe del 1200 circa. Anche le Chiese di Morgex (Parrocchiale del 1512 con splendido e notevole Campanile con Meridiana del 1823 in pietra tufica ed affreschi del XVII° Secolo; Castello dell'Archet del XIII° Secolo), di Pré St. Didier (Parrocchiale di fine 1700 costruita su più antico edificio e magnifico Campanile del 1100; ponte medievale del 1585, ricostruito dal Principe di Savoia Carlo Emanuele I° sopra un antico ponte romano) e di Courmayeur giusto affronte all'edificio-Museo "Duca degli Abruzzi" Sede delle Guide di Courmayeur (Chiesa a tre navate del 1722 con Campanile del 1392 e Messale del 1540 costruita sui resti d'un edificio molto più antico); mentre al di là della Dora, nella Frazioncina di Derby e sotto la famosa Cascata di Lenteney, troviamo una Chiesetta probabilmente ancor più antica di quella di La Salle con slanciato Campanile con galletto sulla Croce (del 1200?).
by Osw 2015
Steeples & Castles up to the Mont Blanc with online travel round trip
by Jake & Osw
Along indifferently the "Adret" (Sarre, St. Pierre) with the State Road or the "Envers" (Charvensod-Pont Suaz/Gressan/Jovençan/Aymavilles) through the Regional arrive at Villeneuve (670m, 10 Km. from Aosta). All this stretch we visited in the first two days of our week (see page B), so, leaving high on the rocky headland the Tower of Châtel Argent of XI° Century, continue Westward. We can go through the village past the Church of Santa Maria Assunta and Campanile in 1400, rebuilt in 1782, and the bronze plaque in front of the native home of Abbé Petigat, leaving just left the deviations for Savara and Rhêmes Valleys, through the new bridge to reach the main road. Or, to avoid the crossing of the same, go just before Chavonne at the same through the old bridge on the Baltea, semi destroyed by the flood of 1907 and partly rebuilt with the stones of the road to Petit Saint Bernard as the country destroyed by a terrible hurricane. Soon, passing nearby the squared Tour Colin reach Arvier (776m, 14.5 Km. from Aosta) located under the Becca del Merlo (2961m) at the end of the long watershed that originates even with the Punta Galisia, this last bordering with Piedmont and France. But, if you listen to my advice, do not operate any of these two choices, but you reach Arvier with a third and most impressive road itinerary. Villeneuve to take the Regional Road to Introd but not reach the same why you visited already since the second day. Instead reached the junction 806 metres for Villes Dessous at the Chapel of St. James of 1867 cross the country reaching Ville Dessus with small Church of St. Hilary always 1800. Here (863m) can also be reached by continuing briefly on Regional Road and with short descent that leads to the tiny square in front of the same, where as part of a much shorter nice walk on an ancient paved and signaled path and adressed to the above little Chapel of Santa Anna (0h'15) on the road that goes down to Arvier. From this, with mini "Picnic area" and small car park as well as magnificent views over the Central Valley of Baltea and the Group of Mount Emilius (3559m), continue straight on the right, leaving the detour to Les Combes (1341m), the place of spiritual summer retreats of the Popes "John Paul II° Benedict XVI°" in recent years; passing high above the "Comba Neye de la Mort" and through a wild valley, down towards Northwest Arvier with beautiful view over the remains of the Château de la Mothe or of Arvier XIII° Century and the nearby Parish Church with Romanesque Bell tower, immediately below to a small "Naturalistic Area" with a pond. Leaving Arvier toward State Road meet one after the other a Monumental Cross, wrought iron of a Mission of 1933 and an artistic roundabout dedicated to the local cyclist "Maurice Garin", winner in 1903 of the first "Tour de France" and even two Paris-Roubaix. Just beyond you meet the Hamlet of Leve or Liverogne (water mange or growling), where he arrived in a gorge the Doire de Valgrisenche (Chapel of Rochefort, built on the ruins of an ancient castle). Continuing West you reach the deviation with daunting bridge to the underlying Avise (762/82m; Parish Church with Romanesque Bell tower; Oratory of Clapier in Comba Vertosan three castles and the most important of which is that of Avise by Lords of Avise, 1492, built by Boniface squire by Henry IV°. On the opposite side of the road we find the fraction of Runaz or Ruinaz (that remains of the ruins) (787/803m; white Church with Bell tower, followed by the location known as "Pierre Taillé" that before the "Pont de l'Equilivaz" in front of the "Waterfall of Vertosan" of more than 300 metres and with a view, for the first time, to the Mont Blanc (4810m). Leaving South subsequent detours to the Village of Derby and the Village of Chabodey another, starting with a big roundabout, brings us to the Capital of La Salle with the "Bourg" in the center of the village and the tiny and splendid Hamlet of Ecours or De Cors just above (1090m), but of these, as for the following Municipalities of Morgex, Pré St. Didier, Courmayeur, we said with plenty in "Overview". On the way back we will start with a visit to the Hamlet of Dolonne (1208/12m; tombstone to the Mountain Guides Edoardo Glarey and Albino Pennard; Chapel and Bell Tower "hidden" to the interior of the country, "Park of the Reindeer" at the foot of Mont Chétif (2343m) first sentinel of Mont Blanc that hides here, while they are in great front view "Dente del Gigante and Grandes Jorasses". All that remains is to return, through the same route or State Road n° 26, towards the Common of Villeneuve, where we will continue with the streets "Adret" or the "Envers" and, finally, until Aosta.
by Osw 2015
by Osw 2015