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Briançon is a Fortress Town of Timeless Beauty

Briancon TownThe quaint old town of Briançon is not just another little French town set in the background of the magnificent Alps. It can be described as a fortress that has by virtue of its location and placement withstood the onslaught of many enemies through the ages. Even before military architect, Vauban decided to make this little town impregnable, Briançon already enjoyed the protection offered by Nature’s own sentinels - the imposing but scenic mountains.

The town’s highly strategic location made it an important outpost for military maneuvers almost throughout the history. In fact, Briançon citadel was built as a sort of a watchtower over the Col de Montgenèvre, the pass to Italy that was frequently used in the days of yore.

The Middles Ages saw Briançon lead other neighboring mountain towns and communities in their shared objective of protecting themselves from attacks mounted by common enemies. The bronze statue that graces the very summit of Briançon fortress still keeps watch over the panorama that unfolds below the little town perched atop the tall mountain.

Even today, tourists can see the heavy fortifications in the town that were raised to keep the enemy at bay in the 17th century when attacks by Austrians were feared. The many forts that dot the town stand testimony to the fact that Briançon was once a military stronghold. In 2008, the UNESCO named several buildings in this little town and the city’s perimeter walls as world heritage sites.

Briancon Street

Although most tourists visit Briançon to see the fortifications and the fortress, the spectacular view of mountains and valleys from Briançon town needs to be seen to be believed. The lush green valleys of Durance and Guisane sprawl endlessly below when viewed from the imposing 1,326 meters height that the town is located at. Briançon is, in fact, the highest city in the European Union.

The main street of the old town is worth a look for its unique ‘waterway’ of sorts. A little stream runs midway through this street all along its length. The buildings on either side are prime examples of the architectural style followed in the olden days. The Collegiate church gives yet another glimpse of Vauban’s military design.

Modern amenities are abundant in this town that sees a good number of tourists from across the world. Mountain climbing, biking, skiing and trekking are all activities that draw visitors to this location and the town leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to facilities and conveniences. Starting from the town’s enormous moat with drawbridge entrance to the summit of the citadel, every sight in Briançon will surely take your breath away with its sheer magnificence and beauty.

Contact Info

  • Marc Breuil, Riant Val
  • Av. du Professeur Forgues,
  • 05100, Briançon, France.
  • Tel: +33 6 07 49 43 11
  • Email

Key information

  • If you are planning your next holiday in the French Alps, you've come to the right place!
  • We have two fantastic apartments available to rent in the heart of Briançon in the Alps and within 10km of Serre Chevalier ski station.