Alpe d’Huez Museum of History and Archaeology

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The Alpe d'Huez Museum of History and Archaeology is the only structure in a high-altitude resort to have been awarded the Musée de France label. It traces the long history of the village of Huez and its mountain pastures, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

About : Alpe d’Huez Museum of History and Archaeology

The museum is presenting visitors with two new scenographic displays in the permanent exhibitions, "The Mountain Show" and "Brandes and the Silver Rush of the 12th and 13th Centuries". There is also a space dedicated to the Second World War, with the exhibition "Eté 1944. The Oisans Maquis".

3 EXHIBITIONS: "LE SPECTACLE DE LA MONTAGNE", "BRANDES ET LA RUEE VERS L'ARGENT DES XIIE ET XIIIE SIECLES", "ETE 1944. THE OISANS MAQUIS".

These exhibitions punctuate the Museum's visitor itinerary:

"The mountain show

On show from December 2022, this permanent exhibition tells the story of the transformation of the "Vieil Alpe" mountain chalets into hotels, creating an internationally renowned alpine resort by the 1980s and 1990s. Featuring 4 historical kiosks, richly illustrated with photographs covering the periods 1923-1939, 1945-1973, 1974-1989 and 1990-2022, this exhibition with its immersive, explanatory cubes reveals this rich history to the curious, with the role of the ski pioneers, the heyday of the family and traditional hotel business in the 1930s to 60s, sporting events such as the Tour de France, new snow-related activities such as snowboarding in the 1980s, summer skiing and ever-increasing events such as Tomorrowland Winter. The architectural and urban development of the resort is also showcased in the exhibition, with a touch table (historical and 3D models of the resort's districts) and an interactive terminal highlighting several examples of this urban development. The built heritage (hotels, ski lifts, public buildings, Rif Nel, individual chalets, etc.) of l'Alpe is also presented. Last but not least, adults and children alike will be able to enjoy a screening of INA films and a children's area.

"Brandes and the silver rush of the 12th and 13th centuries

Looking around Alpe d'Huez today, who would believe that in the Middle Ages, a community of men, women and children settled on the Brandes plateau, at the foot of the Saint-Nicolas rock, in order to extract silver ore from the mountain at an altitude of over 1800m? And yet, from the 12th to the 14th century, the inhabitants of the mining village of Brandes (the highest in Europe at that time) lived there all year round, despite the difficult weather conditions from October to April. This technical and human history was revealed by the archaeological digs begun in 1977 by MC Bailly-Maître and her teams of scientists and volunteers. The discoveries made during these excavations (mining techniques, the manufacture of silver dust, the finished product of Brandes, religious practices and daily life, military construction) led to the creation of the Maison du Patrimoine in 1982, which became the Musée d'Huez et de l'Oisans and today the Musée d'histoire et d'archéologie de l'Alpe d'Huez. The museum was awarded the "Musée de France" label in 2002 and moved to the Palais des Sports et des Congrès on the 1st floor in 2012. A new scenography presenting the archaeological collection can now be seen, putting into context the artefacts found underground.

"Summer 1944. The Oisans Maquis".

Finally, let's not forget the extraordinary saga of the Oisans Maquis during the Second World War. Although the mountains seem to be an unspoilt area, events that were sometimes tragic, but often heroic, took place in the Grandes Rousses massif, and in Oisans more generally. Alpe d'Huez was home to a military hospital run by the FFI (Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur), notably in the Signal chalet, an annex of the Grand Hôtel. "Faced with the advance of the German army and its desire to control the Oisans (following the capture of the Vercors in July), Doctor Tissot ordered the evacuation of the wounded patients in August 1944. The patients, some of whom were in a critical condition, and the hospital staff then began a slow and difficult ascent to the heights of the Alpette and the slopes of the Grandes Rousses. They received help from the crew of a Boeing B-24 Liberator, "11 Americans who fell from the sky": the crash of their bomber in the commune of Prunières, near Gap, prompted them to cross the Oisans. They provided invaluable assistance to the FFI withdrawal. Protecting the wounded as they climbed to higher ground, the Maquisards fought a fierce battle on the heights of the Alpette against a division of German Alpine fighters. They emerged victorious on 14 August 1944, with no loss of life. Relive this historic event through educational panels and objects from the museum's collection.


EVENTS

Events are organised at the museum during the winter season. For more information, call 04 76 11 21 74 or email accueil.musee@mairie-alpedhuez.fr

Special Alpe d'Huez game of goose: "Catch me if you can! "at the museum, Wednesdays during school holidays, from 10.30am to 11.30am: free for children aged 8 and over (places limited)

GUIDED TOURS

* Guided tour of the Pic Blanc (3330m)
This tour covers a wide range of subjects: the 3-star Green Guide panorama, the history of the resort and skiing, geology, landscape, wildlife, glaciers, etc.
No walking (access by cable car). Every Tuesday and Thursday during the winter season, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
How to get there: meet outside the DMC ticket office (top of the resort, 1850m).
Prices: ask for information from SATA (+ 33 4 76 80 30 30)

* Other visits are offered by the Huez Cultural Service, with registration at the Museum (places are limited; €5 or €3):
Notre-Dame des Neiges church (Wednesdays from 2.30pm to 4pm), Museum exhibitions (Tuesdays from 5pm to 6pm).
Registration required at the Museum, by telephone (04 76 11 21 74) or e-mail accueil.musee@mairie-alpedhuez.fr; €5 or €3; maximum 25 people.

FINE ARTS EXHIBITIONS IN THE ANNE AUVERGNE ROOM

In the Salle Anne Auvergne (1st floor of the Palais des Sports et des Congrès), take advantage of the volume and luminosity of this exhibition room and its works to discover watercolours, acrylic paintings, sculptures and engravings over the course of a winter.
Free admission

Minimum age: 5 years

En bref

English - Spanish - French

From 5 years old

Accessible in autonomy

Facilities

  • Exhibition space
  • Media library

Services

  • Educational visits
  • Guided tours

Services

Tours

  • Language of the tour: English, French
  • Unguided individual tours available permanently
  • Guided individual tours on request
  • Unguided group tours on request
  • Guided group tours on request
  • Average duration of the group tour: 60 minutes
  • Average duration of the individual tour: 60 minutes

Capacity

  • 20 personne(s) maximum

Opening

From 02/12/2023 to 20/04/2024
Opening hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 10 am and 12 pm and between 2 pm and 7 pm.
Closed on Sunday.
Open on the 1st Sunday of the month
Exceptionally closed from January 16 to 21 inclusive.

Prices

Free entry. Free admission to the Museum and the Anne Auvergne Fine Arts Room
For guided tours and games: €5 full price or €3 Premium price and/or family of at least 3 people.

Means of payment

  • Check
  • Cash

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