Chemins de la Liberté – The Path to Freedom: Maquisard walk
Beaufort-sur-Gervanne

Chemins de la Liberté – The Path to Freedom: Maquisard walk

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Follow in the footsteps of members of the Resistance as you explore the sites where a number of important events took place in 1944 with consequences for the Gervanne valley, its villages and surroundings.
A ramble designed by Les Amis de la Maison de la Résistance Mathias Mathieu

7 points of interest

  • The Resistance in Gervanne

    In 1943, the first Maquis in France took up residence in the village of Omblèze.

    The Gervanne valley was at the heart of the south-western defensive system in the Vercors during the events of 1944.
  • The Resistance command posts

    In January 1943, Marcel Barbu, founder of the Boimondau factory and community in Valence, bought the Mourras farm on the Combovin plateau, where he set up a camp for recusants (réfractaires in French) – men and women who refused to work for the Germans.

    A training school for Resistance officers was also organised there.

    A group of 40 or so Resistance members relocated to the village in late October 1943.

    Michel Prunet took command in late January of the following year. Alongside his men, he forged close ties with the people living in the valley, with some of the farms serving as command posts for the FFI (French Forces of the Interior).
  • Provisions and supplies

    Members of the Maquis made their bread in total secrecy at the Frédières farm. The flour was transported to the oven at night from the Moulin du Roy mill to the south of the village of Beaufort. It was also made covertly at the two village bakers in Beaufort.

    Please respect private property: keep to the path.
  • The destruction of local villages

    After two bombing raids on June 22 and 28, 1944, the enemy forces approached from the Drôme valley to the south and attacked the village on July 27.
  • Beaufort: in the eye of the storm

    After barricading the south of the village, the Germans overran it from the west and the left bank of the Gervanne to the east. At five in the afternoon, after eight hours of fighting, the enemy withdrew – but before retreating some of the soldiers in the Ost Battalion burned and pillaged the village.
  • Rebuilding

    On walking down the Vercors road, you will have seen a large number of so-called “reconstruction” houses (with grey rendering on the facades).

    In 1944, the "reconstruction" often reshaped the architectural appearance of the village.
  • Beaufort-sur-Gervanne

    With its vaulted passages, its old lanes full of history, its houses imbricated one in the other, Beaufort emits a little air of Provence. On the village square, the keep of an old castle, converted into a public garden will welcome you for a short stop. But it is especially in the Temple that the history of the village is read. Beaufort was indeed an important place of Protestantism.

Description

  1. Start from the Champ de Foire car park and head to Les Chaux.
  2. After information point 1, turn left towards Frédières farm.
    Carry on to information points 2 and 3 until you reach the edge of the woods. Where the tracks meet, head for Beaufort-sur-Gervanne.
  3. Please note: after the loop to the left going towards Beaufort (after about 500 meters), make sure you take the track that goes up to the left into the meadow all the way to the summit (information point 4), then stay on the ridge. Make your way to information point 5 and head to the D732.
  4. On the D732, turn right then drop down near the first house on the Chemin du Colombier. Head to la Poste and walk down to the right past the Hôtel du Midi to get to the roundabout. Go back up to the left to reach the village square. On the square, take the first street immediately to the right in the direction of the Mairie (Town Hall) to get to the Old Village, where you can enjoy a stroll. Back on the square, you can walk through the public gardens before making your way to the esplanade. At the end of the esplanade, take the Grand' Rue to head back to your starting point.


  • Departure : Beaufort-sur-Gervanne
  • Arrival : Beaufort-sur-Gervanne
  • Towns crossed : Beaufort-sur-Gervanne and Gigors-et-Lozeron

Forecast


Recommandations

Use the purpose-built throughways to cross fences; shut gates and barriers behind you.

Keeping to the signposted paths means you'll respect private property.

Information desks

Route de Plan-de-Baix, 26400 Beaufort-sur-Gervanne

http://www.gervanne-sye.com/04 75 25 11 38

Access and parking

Parking :

Champ de Foire car park

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