School Ski Trips to Magical Serre Chevalier and Briancon
School ski trips have a certain magic to them – dazzling white pistes, swathes of blue-green pines, cosy evenings by the fire… and as a location, Serre Chevalier adds a little enchantment of its own. Situated in a national park with runs through unspoilt pine forests, it is a beautiful place to ski – generally considered one of the best in France for the quality of its snow and the bountiful amount of sun it gets. And as if that wasn’t enough, it is within easy distance of the charming town of Briançon, where a lively crowd of locals and international visitors rub shoulders in the picturesque streets. To find out more about Briançon, and why it is a great for students in school ski trips, read on.
Located in the Hautes-Alps region, Briançon has the distinction of being the highest altitude town in the European Union, at 1,326 metres. It also has a long and rich history. It was founded by the Romans as the village of Brigantium, officially the first place in Gallia (modern France) beyond Mont Genevre and an important junction of the Roman road. It later formed part of the domain of the counts of Albon (in the 1000s), and once again became an important cultural and commercial crossing-point. It was a strategic point on the French border and was partially destroyed by conflict and fire on a few occasions, most notably in 1624 and 1692; the reconstruction of the town centre after the second incident can still be seen as part of the preserved Cité Vauban. In the 1700s Briançon changed hands again when a treaty conceded the valleys of the region to Savoy.
The Cité Vauban
The Cité Vauban, the historical town centre, is a citadel consisting of the old official buildings as well as the fortifications built by the celebrated military engineer Vauban in the 17th century, under King Louis XIV. Students on school ski trips can have fun exploring its narrow winding streets and the fortifications themselves. Points of interest include the forts and walls, the two-towered parish church (built in 1703), and Asfeld Bridge (built in 1734), a magnificent arch 40 metres across, crossing the Durance 56 metres above. Between these magnificent constructions and the shining slopes of Serre Chevalier, your students will spend their trip in a location like no other.
As well as beauty and charm, Serre Chevalier and Briançon offer some useful curriculum links for those on school ski trips. With its Roman roots, the town is of interest to students of any era of Early Modern to Modern European history, while the national park is great for geography students. And, of course, everyone will be able to practise their French!