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Tignes: built on sunken ruins  


Before it became one of the top resorts, Tignes was located on ground now sunk beneath the waters of today's dam.  




At Christmas 1938, 700 skiers came to Tignes, a village of 400 inhabitants with an equipment shop, two ski schools, hotels and a ski lift. 


1946 - 1952  


A government decree announced the construction of a dam that would drown 101 houses, 9 hotels and 237 hectares of woods and moors, forcing 76 families to leave. At the time, the government was pursuing many of these initiatives, to ensure the country's energy independence. The resistance at Tignes was organized, but on March 19, 1952, the sluice gates of the dam were lowered, and the water began rising by a meter per day. Just ten days earlier, the inhabitants had elected a new mayor, following the resignation of the previous municipal council. Michael Barrault, a native of Lyon, succeeded in pushing through a project that had previously been unthinkable: to develop the village at an altitude of 2100 metres, on the edge of the lake - no one had lived there, at such a high altitude that trees no longer grew - and to bank on tourism. It was a suitable choice in view of the current resort, still thriving 71 years later! 

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