Matheysine at its finest
Located at an altitude of 900 metres, Plateau Matheysin offers magnifi cent natural scenery and
several beautiful lakes, including those of Laffrey and Monteynard. History has also left its mark
on the area, from a notable visit by Napoleon to the coalmines of La Mure.
The Laffrey, Petichet and Pierre Chatel lakes
The Laffrey, Petichet and Pierre Chatel lakes welcome swimmers, windsurfers, and paddle boaters, providing a calm place to take a dip when you’re not pedalling. Nearby, the turquoise waters of Lac du Monteynard are perfectly suited for windsurfing and kite surfing. At the far end of the lake, two dizzying suspension bridges connect the mountain biking and hiking trails of Trièves and Matheysine. Scenic cruises are also possible aboard the restaurant boat La Mira, which is docked in Savel.
In La Mure, the Musée Matheysin recounts the region’s rich past, illustrating its history with archaeological findings, documents, and personal accounts. Some significant events in the history of La Matheysine include a tragic episode during France’s Wars of Religion, a notable visit by Napoleon in 1815, and coal mining that continued until 1997.
The Mine Image museum in La Motted’Aveillans also delves into the area’s mining past. This authentic underground mine has
been converted into a museum that plunges you into the daily life of the gueules noires, as the soot-faced miners were known.
The Pierre Percée natural arch is located not far from La Motte-d’Aveillans. Formed by erosion, the limestone arch is one of the most amazing geological curiosities in Isère. The formation is one of the seven wonders of the Dauphiné.
Prairie de la Rencontre
The community of Laffrey is home to a historic site known as the Prairie de la Rencontre. Upon return from the island of Elba, Napoleon headed towards Paris to reclaim power. On 7 March 1815, he arrived in Laffrey and found himself face to face with troops sent by Louis XVIII to arrest him. Napoleon advanced towards the troops on his own, crying out, “If there is a soldier amongst you who wants to fire upon his Emperor, fire now!” Moved with emotion, the king’s soldiers lowered their arms and rallied behind Napoleon. An equestrian statue commemorates this event.
The murçon of la Mure