Pralognan-La-Vanoise Ski Resort (Alps)

Pralognan-La-Vanoise (Department of Savoie): 1410 – 2355 m is a traditional ski resort in the French Alps, a classic vacation in the mountains …
Pralognan-la-Vanoise is a commune in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region in the southeastern France. In 1992 it was the venue for the Winter Olympics. The village is an excellent summer tourist and winter sports resort, located in the heart of the Vanoise National Park, offering many mountain sports such as hiking (hiking trails GR 5 and GR 55 pass here) or “via ferrata” (rock climbing). A little history of the region.

The first traces of man in Pralognan date back to the Iron Age (700–550 BC), especially the razor from Villanovien and the burials at Chamberange (Chambéranger). As for the Gallic and Roman periods, no archaeological evidence has yet been found, however, according to Khoudri, the high Tarin valleys were not “land without population”. The first known mention of a toponym is in 1184 in the form of Domus de Pratologinco. However, when reforming the chapter of the cathedral, Archbishop Peter II of Tarentaise imposes the authority of St. Augustine on the canons. Thus, he hopes that they will form a college of regulars, respecting the rules, in contrast to the chapter, which until now consisted of secular people, from the local nobility. According to the papal bull of Innocent II of 1145, recognizing this restructuring, most of the new members of the Order seem to come from the monastery of Pralognan. The monastery, founded in 1144 and under the rule of Saint Augustine, was located “in the middle of the mountains, on the road to the Col de la Vanoise.” It depended on the abbey of Abondance at Chablais, which was founded by the territorial abbey of Saint-Maurice d’Agaune. The confirmation bull of Lucius III of 1183 again mentions the monastery. It appears to have disappeared in the fourteenth century, the last mention being that the last abbot of the monastery, Aimón Montonis, signed an agreement with the community on January 4, 1365.
On August 25, 1525, the spiritual fate of Pralognan takes a new turn. Indeed, it separates from the parish of Bozel and becomes independent. Planay will do the same in the next century. Later there will even be a division at the municipal level. However, in the seventeenth century, Pralognan-Planet found itself on its own land with three parishes: Villard-Goitroux was annexed to Bozel, the parish of Planet and the church of Saint-Grat (and Saint-Guérin). And the parish of Pralognan and the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Following the graves (cited 1528, destroyed 1930, since restored) and the Cross (1633, presumably taken from a collective wish for gratitude and protection in connection with the plague of 1630), the Bariosa chapel (1745 g.)) and Bier (1753). Their sponsors had narrow interests in the commercial movement of the Col de la Vanoise.
The “salt and Beaufort” route was used by hawkers and smugglers. It passed through the Col de la Vanoise, which was a fairly easy crossing between France and Italy. Salt from the salt flats of Salins-les-Thermes, as well as cheese from Beaufort, went to Piémont to be exchanged for textiles and spices. Barioz, which in translation from the language means “barrier”, served as a barrier.
1794-1815, Pralognan is called La Vanoise.
August 8, 1860 an Englishman named William Matthews (William Matthews), accompanied by a guide from Chamonix Michel Croz (Michel Croz, arrived August 6 in Pralognan); climbed with Étienne Favre the summit of the Grand Casse. At least almost within three meters. It wasn’t until 1876 that Henry Cordier really conquered the summit itself, thanks to less dangerous snow conditions… However, the latter could not boast of being the first… From that time on, high mountain competitions arose.
In 1881 the Compagnie des Guides de Pralognan was created.
In 1893, Pralognan sold the land to Plane.
In 1895, the Grand Hotel was opened, which changed its name several times (Hôtel de la Grande Casse, de la Grande Cordée, etc.). The era of luxury hotels begins.
In 1897, the President of the Republic, Félix Faure, visited his Alpine troops and crossed the Vanoise Pass. A few years later, the orphanage in Vanoise was named after him to pay tribute to him.
In 1903, postman Rey came up with the funny idea of ​​skiing across the snow. He brought it back from his many trips and will be imitated very quickly. The first ski race will take place on the Barios track in 1904.
In 1906, Pralognan was recognized as an official resort.
In 1911, Joseph Ray, the postman’s younger brother, asked the city council for permission to build the first hydroelectric power plant in Pralognan. 3 km of wires will power the first electric lamps at a cost of 15 francs/year.
In 1911 Pralognan sold the forest of Petit Mont Blanc to Eaux et Forêts. Proceeds from the sale fund the first post office (which was on the site of the current tourist office).
On November 2, 1912, Pralognan officially became Pralognan-la-Vanoise.
In 1923, a new power plant was built on the Gavin Bridge.
In 1920, a springboard was opened (next to the Soffre corridor), and in 1930, a natural ice rink with a high-speed ring (on the left bank, immediately after the extension to the former Grand Corde).
On September 6, 1930, the village of Grange was slightly destroyed by fire. The school and the chapel are no exception.
In 1937, the first ski lifts were installed in Le Bario and Le Plan. The Barioz ski lift, built by the two Bardasier brothers, was originally equipped with fixed legs. However, there were some problems with fixed racks. Indeed, the carts brushed against the snow and left trenches, often making climbing the track impossible. Their legs also wobbled as they passed through each of the pylons, causing a wobble that posed a significant risk of derailment. The two brothers then equip their spinning apparatus. They would be the first French pioneers to use reels on hoists.
In 1953, the fastest cable car in the world was created here.
In 1963, Pralognan-la-Vanoise included approximately 70% of its territory in the central zone of the first national park – the Vanoise National Park.
July 27, 1964: Glacial Lake Patinoire drains shortly before 3:00 pm. The waters ravage the center of Pralognan. There were no fatalities (camping sites were evacuated on time), but material damage was very significant. The skating rink was redesigned on the site of the future Olympic prelude.
In 1982, Michel Vion becomes world champion in combined skiing.
In 1992, curling competitions were held here at the Albertville Olympics. The municipality is building an Olympic ice rink. The municipality spent 44 million francs on infrastructure construction. The complex was opened on July 8, 1990.
1996-1997-2002 Sébastien Amiez Bastoune wins the world championship in slalom, then becomes vice world champion in this discipline at the world championship held in Sestriere in Italy. Finally, the Olympic vice-champion in Salt Lake City. The title was won by his compatriot, a native of Maurien, Jean-Pierre Vidal (Jean-Pierre Vidal).
1997 Pralognan celebrates 100 years of tourism. This celebration actually marks the centennial anniversary of the visit of President Felix Faure, among other things, with the reconstruction of the ascent of the Grand Cass.
2010 Pralognan celebrates the 150th anniversary of the ascent of the Grand Cass by Étienne Favre, William Matthews and Michel Crozat.

This ski resort has no place for modernism. Pralognan gives preference to nature and comfort. At the foot of the glaciers, La Vanoise Pralognan offers a pleasant atmosphere and ski slopes accessible at any altitude. Prices for everything are very attractive.
For more information on hotels and attractions, visit the Pralognan-La Vanoise website (in French) www.pralognan.com
The resort is not far from Courchevel (when you are heading to Pralognan, you can see Courchevel, several stations and a village by car on the right side at a height), but…
If in the summer Courchevel is empty, then in the Pralognan resort in the summer there are always a lot of people. It can even be said that in this region in the summer the resort of Pralognan becomes the main summer holiday destination in the Alps. The funicular will take you high into the mountains, where walking or cycling tours are well organized.
Great for summer holidays with children.

Practical information.
How to get there.
– Geneva International Airport, transfer, English-speaking taxi
– Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport, transfer, sightseeing tours, taxi