Apremont History




1933 meters in height, the rock face of Mount Granier today dominates the transverse valley of Chambéry, the living scar of a major landslide which took place more than 750 years ago: a whole piece of mountain got loose from the eastern extremity of the Chartreuse, covering surrounding villages with a stream of marl and limestone (one of the biggest known blocks: " the Pierre Hachée " measures more than 1,000 cubic meters).

Transcribed by monks of that time, as one of the Middle Ages’ biggest divine cataclysms, the fall of Mount Granier is only just beginning to be the object of historic and scientific studies which fortunately have not yet managed to pierce all its mysteries.

The night of the landslide

The landslide is supposed to have occurred near midnight, on November 24th, 1248. The County of Savoy, which then belonged to the realm of Bourgogne, had become part of the empire with it on the death of Rodolphe III and was thus at this time under the influence of Frédéric 2. No witness has been able to describe the event: the sliding began at the base of the massif. Set on a marly strip approximately 200 metres thick, a whole piece worked loose, spreading itself out in rocks up to the moraines of 2 villages: Les Marche ("Murs" at this time) and of Myans which stop it in its tracks. The rockslide extends over a distance of 7.5 km with a maximal width of 6.5 km or approximately 20 km2.

Five villages were to disappear under masses of fallen rocks: Cognin, Vourey, Saint André, Granier and Saint Péran. Two others were partially touched: Murs which saw its chapel completely destroyed and Myans which was luckier because it was at the very walls of its chapel that the landslide stopped (on this occasion the myth of the Black Virgin was born which we will relate in another story).

Even if it is difficult to calculate the exact number of people who succumbed, we can estimate at between 1,000 and 2,000 the number of victims (as an example, Chambéry numbered only 3,000 to 4,000 inhabitants at this time). The disaster, which took place at the height of the Middle Ages, was immediately interpreted as the result of some divine punishment.

Le Cellier du Palais Village de l'église - 73190 Apremont
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