Though the ski resort at La Rosiere only dates back to the 1950s, it was developed on the site of a much older settlement. It is far smaller than many other ski resorts, with 150km of pistes. But beyond its all-abilities slopes lie charming alpine villages, clusters of homely dwellings and a remarkable number of ancient chapels. Read on for some of the best reasons to leave your La Rosiere catered chalet and explore. |
The Growth of a Resort
Located in the Montvalezan commune, the busiest town in this area used to be a village of the same name. The region’s transformation into a ski area in the 1950s saw that change, however, and La Rosiere grew into a lively hub. A lot has changed since then, too, with a link established to Italy’s nearby La Thuile in 1984. Today the area only has 692 permanent inhabitants – but 11,000 tourist beds!
Homes and Hamlets
The word ‘hamlet’ may bring up memories of high school English literature classes, but this is nothing to do with Shakespeare. Instead, it refers to the small communities that, for a long time, were the only settlements in these mountains. The word has a rather cute origin, coming from an old French diminutive word for ‘home’, translated to something like ‘home-let’ – a little home.
And the hamlets themselves are just as pretty as they sound. Many of La Rosiere’s catered chalets boast the traditional Savoyard architecture, all wooden buttresses and stone to support the weight of snow on the lauze slate roofs. These buildings were originally constructed as homes, and they’re still bunched around the centres of old communal life. Which brings us to…
Chock-Full of Chapels
…the chapels. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that small-town alpine France was, and in many cases still is, deeply religious. There are 14 in the whole commune of Montvalezan, dating to the seventeenth century and earlier. Each is dedicated to a saint, and many show off unique historic architecture. The Saint Jean-Baptiste Church, for instance, was finished in the height of the area’s baroque period.
Each is worth the trip from your La Rosiere catered chalet to see, but perhaps the most remarkable is the Saint-Michel Chapel, in the village of Le Chatelard. Originally constructed before the seventeenth century, this house of worship was rebuilt in 1869 and redecorated in 1914.
Bombed during World War II because of its commanding height and strategic importance, the chapel has been at the centre of an ongoing restoration project since 1993. Despite all this, it still holds the commune’s oldest bell, which was cast in 1559 and moved up to Le Chatelard to avoid the anti-religious campaigns of the French Revolution.
That’s a lot of history for just one church – and many of the others in the area have similar stories to tell. Make sure to explore as much as you can.
Where to Stay
The resort has ski-in ski-out apartment complexes for guests to enjoy, with some luxury accommodation even boasting swimming pools and spas. But the best place to stay is in La Rosiere’s catered chalets. As noted above, many of these buildings are converted homes, meaning that your accommodation will perfectly complement the overall alpine village ambience. Additionally, the Chapel Association’s ongoing restoration project ensures that local craft and building techniques are kept alive, allowing for some of the best blending of up-to-date comfort and rustic aesthetic you’ll ever see.
La Rosiere is known for its skiing, now it’s time to discover the surrounding villages and churches and immerse yourself in the history of this fascinating resort.
Tim Heal is the founder of Chaletline, a travel agency offering catered chalet accommodation in worldwide ski resorts. With an extensive knowledge of resorts and excellent post booking care, they pride themselves on the personal touch they offer to each and every client. If you're looking for the perfect La Rosiere catered chalet they can quickly and efficiently match you with the ideal accommodation. Catering for individuals, couples and groups up to 50, the knowledgeable Chaletline team will help you choose the right chalet in the right resort.
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