The gateway to Oisans, Livet et Gavet used to be the economic driving force of the Romanche Valley and the surrounding area. Providing the hydropower that launched the development of industry and jobs, lighting and heating the homes of millions of people with renewable energy for over a century, the valley attracted up to 5,000 workers from all over the world.
- Midway between Grenoble and the Oisans international resorts
Surrounded by steep mountains, Livet et Gavet is the starting point for energetic hikes and popular trail routes (the celebrated UT4M passes through the village). There are also two climbing sites, namely the Bâton site, with its wide variety of boulders and the Livet site, which offers traditional rock climbing. The village is also home to one of the few covered swimming pools open virtually year-round.
History and Heritage
The commune of Livet-et-Gavet has existed since ancient times, with it being an almost obligatory passage for Romans travelling to Italy. Life, mainly centred around agriculture, was calm up until the twentieth century, when a numerous hydroelectric power stations were built along the length of the Romanche River, creating not only thousands of jobs but also an industrial centre with housing, railways, a cinema, schools, health clinics and parks.
At the end of the industrial era, the factories shut down one by one, leaving the industrial remains we see today on the banks of the Romanche. The railway was replaced by a trunk road and the population slowly dwindled.
Since the 1980s, the village has striving to recreate this driving force and a museum was opened to keep the memory of the Romanche Valley alive. Hydroelectricity is once again being developed, thanks to European financial backing for the “New Romanche” project, at a time that marks the centenary of the electro-metallurgy industry.
Henri Keller, brother of the celebrated industrialist Charles Albert Keller, saved the life of a child named Jeannot in the 1920s. Suffering from appendicitis, the nine-year-old was rushed to the cafe in Livet, as it was the only place with a telephone. Henri Keller called the hospital in Grenoble, from where a surgeon explained how to proceed and with a knife and much use of alcohol as an anaesthetic, Henri Keller “operated” on the child on a cafe table and saved his life!
Taking the child to hospital by tram at that time would have taken two hours.
Story as told by Colette Keller, the daughter of Henri.
For more information, contact Office de Tourisme de Bourg-d’Oisans
Oppening periodsFrom 01/01 to 31/12.
Closed exceptionally on January 1st, May 1st, May 8th, November 1st, November 11th and December 25th.
September to June
Monday to Saturday : 9am - 12am and 2pm - 6pm
July and August
Everyday : 9am to 6pm.