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Fort L'Ecluse, Leaz

Categories: Historic Sites, Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web
The Fort l'Écluse is close to the village of Collonges, Ain in Eastern France. It commands the Rhone valley and is a natural entrance into France from Switzerland between the Vuache hills and the Jura Mountains.The fort was founded by a Duke of Savoy, and completed by Vauban in the reign of Louis XIV. It was destroyed by the Austrians in 1815, but was rebuilt by the French, and at the same time considerably strengthened and heightened. The high-road intersects a portion of this fortification.Description and constructionThe lower fort, near the level of the Rhône, was rebuilt between 1816 and 1828. The route national 84 passed through the fort until 1939 when it was relocated to a tunnel through the rock behind the fort, defended by a casemate in the tunnel built as part of the Maginot Line fortification program. The casemate was intended to receive 47mm anti-tank guns, but was never equipped. It is linked to the lower fort by a tunnel. The Fort l'Écluse was the largest component of the otherwise weakly fortified Defensive Sector of the Rhône.The upper fort is 200m above the lower fort. Its location allows the upper fort to control the valley, including the railroad viaduct, and to protect the lower fort. It was built between 1834 and 1848. Today, the lower fort and the subterranean steps and casemates cut into the rock above it, up to and including terraces just below the upper fort, are open during the summer months for visiting, however the upper fort is not currently safe for visitors. Furthermore, a moderately difficult via ferrata exists which takes climbers from the lower fort to the upper fort by traversing the rocky hillside. In addition, there are many hiking trails in the area which allow hikers access to the upper fort.
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  • Always has intrigued the great River Rhone which, after forming the huge Lake Geneva, continues its run and meet the chain of the Jura that act as insurmountable obstacle (you can clearly see from the top of Mont Saleve); instead close to Collonges have formed narrow gorges that allow the passage of water; several points of view including that of Fort de l'ecluse that takes time and strength for a full discovery, which we refer.
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  • We did via ferratta, which is pretty short but very nice along the fort, with a great view of the Rhone and the Genevois. The via is not very difficult, only one or two a little steeper passages require to pull slightly on the arm. Once on top, we have toured fort, beautiful views of the surroundings, but the door to enter the fort is closed. The way back borrows the road that all straight out of the through and then after a few hundred meters there is a small path that goes off to the left, quite steep and a bit slippery, but not big difficulty. Down we talked with people who had made the tour of the fort and the climb up the stairs... little frustration because failed to come out on top (grid closed for construction). Rate-> 5 euros per person
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  • We enjoyed our visit here. It was a very hot day and there was lots of climbing to do, but thankfully it was nice and cool inside the fort. It's a former fort and checkpoint near on the French/Swiss b...  read more »
  • The Via Ferrata is just a short and easy drive from Geneva. When you go through the tunnel turn left immediately. There is a parking. From there you have a five minute walk to the base of the Via Ferrata. The via ferrata is a pleasant and easy via for those with experience. There are two or three moments when novices may be afraid. At these points be patient and courteous with them. Offer them a drink and snack to recover some energy before moving on. Go with an experienced individual. People have been trapped on this via ferrata so do not underestimate it.
  • Great museum and a via ferrata !
  • A fort with a garrison of Napoleonic soldiers, awesome. and the view from the fort supérieur deserves after 800 markets climb in galleries excavated in the rock. What work... Too bad it lacks a few guns to accentuate the impression of power, but it's worth to visit.
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  • Cute small castle. Inside are a variety of shows.
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  • A beautiful view. No opportunity to visit the Fort within people with limitation in motion.
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