Le Bourget-du-Lac is a French commune located in the Savoie department, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It lies near the Lac du Bourget and 12 km (7.5 mi) from Chambéry. The city, historically, owes a lot to the presence of the House of Savoy. This princely family left a deep mark on the town and regularly liked to stay there in the castle of the Counts of Savoy located on the shores of Lake Bourget.
The establishment of one of the poles of the University of Savoie-Mont-Blanc in the town has made it possible to make it a student city, in a way. Apart from the students, the economy of the city is mainly based on tourism, the Savoie Technolac business area and the Chambéry-Savoie airport which allows the influx of many tourists in winter as in summer.
Le Bourget-du-Lac, known as “The town of monks and princes”, In the heart of Savoy, on the edge of the largest natural lake in France, a small town, a long and great history. Originally a commercial port, Bourget-du-Lac has always been a place of passage and reception. From the Gallo-Roman era, a village was built at the mouth of the Leysse on the edge of the lake near the Roman road which led from Lemencum (Chambéry) to the capital of the Gauls, Lugdunum (Lyon). The creation of the port will lead to the development of river trade thanks to the link with the Rhône.
In the 11th century, Odilo, abbot of Cluny built a Priory which we still admire the splendid architecture. Later, in the 13 th century, Thomas II ordered the construction of the castle whose imposing ruins still dominate the reed beds of southern Lake. It was there that Amédée V dit le Grand was born, and Savoy was ruled there by remarkable princes, Amédée VI the Green Count, Amédée VII the Red Count… but the departure of the court and the withdrawal of the Cluniac monks to late 16 th century sounded the decline Bourget-du-Lac who fell in the calm of a quiet agricultural village and that until the early 20 th century.
Village of fishermen and loggers, some grouped near the mouth of the Leysse, not far from the village, others living in hamlets with evocative names: Caton, Rafour, Ciseaux, Matassine, Garachons, Timonières, Serraz, Fourneau, Roche Saint Alban, Cachouds, shelled on the edge of the wood, which many centuries ago descended to the lake near the lakeside town of Charpignat, which has now disappeared.
It is only in the early 20 thcentury that the first tourists began to frequent the shores of the lake. At the same time, the creation of an aviation camp decided in 1934 by the Minister of Air, Savoyard Pierre Cot, then the establishment of a military air base, gave Le Bourget a new economic boost. The soldiers left in 1985, the site was converted into a technological center, and hosted the scientific disciplines of the University of Savoy. Both are currently in constant development.
Prehistory and Antiquity
During the Neolithic period, between -5000 and -2500, sedentary communities settled in these regions, in particular lakeside villages on the shores of Lake Bourget.
The toponym of Trou des Fées, formerly Goletta de Fayes, indicates the location of the ruins of a Roman aqueduct.
A Cluniac priory (Monasterium beati Mauricii del Borget) is located at the Paris, towards the beginning of xi th century, under the auspices of the first of Humbertiens, the Count Humbert.
The Savoy through the Count of Flanders and Lord of Piedmont, Thomas, brother of the Count Amedeo IV of Savoy, settled at Paris by building a castle from the middle of xiii th century as a result of purchase of land from the priory in the marshy plain adjoining the lake, where the Leysse flows into the lake. The act of, passed between the priory and Prince Thomas, indicates the installation of “a house and a fishpond, the whole surrounded by seventy feet of earth”. The castle quickly becomes a count’s residence, replacing Châtillon, for more than two centuries, until the choice of the castle of Ripaille, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Around 1456, the castle was partly destroyed by fire. Towards the end of the xvi th century, the estate was sold and he goes to different owners. The castle was sold in 1841 for a sum of 4,000 pounds to inhabitants of Bourget, to become a quarry. Eight years later, Louis de Buttet, Baron du Bourget bought the castle.
In 1838, the Savoyard Company established the first railway in Savoy which linked Chambéry to Bourget-du-Lac. Jacques Morion will also come to paint the town.
From 1953, following an official name change, the former commune called Le Bourget became the commune of Le Bourget-du-Lac.
The town includes several localities including Roche Saint-Alban, known for its old stationery factory, now converted into apartments.
The plant dates from the end of the xix th century. Initially intended for the manufacture of paper, it was installed above the natural watercourse called “the Varon”.
The factory went bankrupt in 1931 and was reopened in 1936.
The factory has been converted into a frog leg factory. After a fire around 1980, the buildings were then used to store toys, then meat until 1990.
An association called “Pôle d’aire” was created in 2002 with the aim of using these buildings to present shows, events, and to host and host artists, but this project was abandoned for lack of funding.
The buildings, left abandoned, are then bought by the municipality and then by a developer to transform them into homes. Work began in 2007 and ended inAug 2011. Apartments were thus fitted out in the south, north and west buildings as well as in the boiler room building.
The renovation works in apartments only concerned part of the buildings. In 2012, the following remain:
Chapel, frequented at the time by workers, families and boss. At the start of World War II, the owners of the paper mill promised to build a chapel if all the mobilized workers returned alive. The chapel was built in the 1950s. Inside, one can see the altar realized with an old mess in walnut and carved wooden statue of Christ on the cross;
“The footbridge” connects the south building to a period structure, an old building attached to the boiler room, where the Varon also flows. At the foot of this building, a stone element could be a millstone (left the south building in the early 1980s), while on the side of the renovated building facing the sorting containers, we can see old electrical equipment. The Varon source supplied the factory with electricity. The “Hydroelectric de Varon” Sarl was created inJanuary 1989, but was never really viable.
the conduit connecting the source to the plant was partially cracked in the winter of 1985 and then repaired;
a very small abandoned building is still upstream, it was used to filter water. One of the two roofs collapsed around 2000;
a sort of concrete shelter, downstream from the factory, located at the start of the waterfall. We see meters, electrical panels, electrical wires and lines, fuses, and turbine. Access is relatively dangerous due to the omnipresence of fairly abundant vegetal moss. The turbines underwent a renovation in 1985 and their transport required a helicopter;
the dams used to manage the flow of water;
the channel that connected the two streams with the help of dams.
Under the foundations of the factory, the Varon still sank in 2012.
The Savoie Technolac business area includes, among others, one of the three university campuses of the University of Savoie-Mont-Blanc. So over the years with the development of this area, the city is gradually home to an ever-growing student community. Although modest in size, Le Bourget-du-Lac nevertheless offers students a most pleasant living environment. When it comes to sport, they can hike towards the Dent du Chat. They can also devote themselves to all water sports whether kayaking, sailing, diving.and many other disciplines. The town has several catering points popular with students such as the Panière, the Incontournable or the Bouchon d’Hélène, not to mention the university restaurant. Students can also do their laundry on the campus itself but also at the laundromats of a nearby supermarket, but also of a dry cleaning in the city center.
Le Bourget-du-Lac being halfway between the city of Chambéry and the city of Aix-les-Bains, students can thus benefit from all the advantages of these large agglomerations without suffering the inconvenience, knowing that communications and transport have been strongly organized in recent years to allow the mobility of student populations. Of bike paths line the main roads, lines of buses deliver sustained permanently. There is also a nightclubclose to the campus, but the choice widens even further by turning to the large surrounding municipalities mentioned above. Finally, we can also mention the student parties organized by them. Regarding Internet access, students can now benefit from numerous free and permanent connections on the campus thanks to the Wi-Fi terminals but also by going to the campus information room equipped with freely usable computers. Student life has therefore become a reality for this town for which nothing intended the arrival of university institutions and which has now profoundly changed the face of this town once purely turned towards tourism..
The city, located at the extreme south of Lake Bourget, is labeled tourist commune. Le Bourget-du-Lac is a town with an essentially tourist vocation, located at the southern end of the largest natural lake in France to which it gave its name. The old castle of the Savoy family, several strongholds, the Church of Saint Laurent and its former rood screen, the former Clunisian Priory of Saint Maurice and its fabulous formal gardens form a true home of art and history.
The castle of Thomas II
The Château du Bourget, also named “Château de Thomas II” is a former fortified castle built by Count Thomas II of Savoy around 1250. It was the main residence of the Counts of Savoy from 1285 to 1434. There were sumptuous festivals and memorable feasts. Today in ruins, there remains in particular a square tower 18 meters high.
Built on land acquired in 1248 by Thomas II of Savoy, brother of Count Amédée IV, the castle is a unique building in the entire region. An essential milestone for the knowledge of medieval civil and military architecture, since 2012 it has had a museographic layout, carried out within the towers of the castle, presenting the flora and fauna of the lake as well as the preservation of natural spaces.
It is in the Priory that Thomas II of Savoy got into the habit of coming to stay. Loving these places and wishing to build there a residence worthy of his rank, he asked the monks, in 1248, of himcede land to build “a house and a fishpond surrounded by seventy feet of land.” So discreetly hidden in its green setting, by the lake, in the marshes near the mouth of the Leysse, the castle of Thomas II remained hidden from view for a long time. It was not until the early 1970s that the abandoned remains of the castle began to arouse the curiosity of historians and archaeologists. Thus, several excavation campaigns followed one another and demonstrated all the archaeological and historical interests attached to the building. After its purchase by the municipality, the castle was classified as a historical monument on March 21, 1983, and some emergency work was carried out for maintenance: this first rescue made it possible to preserve the most threatened elements.
Thanks to the proximity of the stone and molasse quarries, the rank and the wealth of the prince, the work was “well carried out”. His son, Amédée V (1285-1523) known as the Great, whose childhood was spent in the castle where he was born, continued the work of his father, as the counts and dukes of the House of Savoy would do later.. Thus, XIII th to the XV th century, the castle ceased to be embellished and enlarged by various artists of the time.
Throughout the XIV th century, the castle remained one of the main homes of this illustrious family, a place to go pleasant, suitable for hunting and fishing, near Chambery and Hautecombe where we could, by road or boat, reach Bresse, Viennese as well as Genevois. A place of pleasure and relaxation, as evidenced by the many tournaments organized on the occasion of the festivals, the castle was also a place of diplomacy and justice. The material details of everyday life are very precisely known from the Châtelain’s rolls of accounts ensuring the administration of the estate.
From 1438, the princes of Savoy somewhat abandoned the shores of Lake Bourget for those of Lake Geneva. In 1456, Anne of Cyprus, Duchess of Savoy and Lady of Bourget, entrusted the charge of rebuilding the castle, almost entirely destroyed by fire, to M e François Payn. But, the installation of the House of Savoy on the other side of the Alps, wars and invasions contributed to the oblivion of this former princely residence. By the end of the XV th century, the estate many owners neglecting maintenance accelerated its decline. From 1841 to 1849, a group of local speculators sold everything that could be sold: bricks, paintings, fireplaces, mullioned windows, doors with moldings…
The municipality of Bourget-du-Lac has always wanted to make this place a living, lively site open to the public, so that this unique historical and natural heritage does not disappear. The restoration of the castle was relaunched with the help of the State, the region and the department in the 1990s: rehabilitation of the towers and the keep, curtain walls, museographic space, etc.
From this castle steeped in history, a museum area will give you the keys to understanding the protected marshes on the southern coast of Lac du Bourget. A fun and interactive discovery of the marsh, its fauna and flora, for young and old! Panels, spotting scopes, videos, interactive games, you will discover the birds, but also the flora of the lake, the Cistude turtle, as well as all the actions carried out for their protection.
A contemplative walk accessible to all to discover the wetlands, the fauna and flora of the swamps and the castle of Thomas II: from the parking lot of the municipal beach, you will access the protected site after taking the footbridge that spans the Leysse. This site is one of the natural and historical areas of the largest natural lake in France: Lac du Bourget. This walk will end with contemplation: thanks to the observatory, a magnificent point of view over the Aigrettes pond and its residents awaits you. In order not to disturb this exceptional ecosystem, you will agree that two wheels and dogs are not welcome.
Priory of Bourget
The Paris Cluny priory priory founded in the xi th century. It consists of the St. Lawrence Gothic church, a crypt Romanesque monastery buildings of which the gallery of the xv th century late Gothic. In the church we can admire a set of beautiful high relief polychrome remains of the old rood screen of the xiii th century. The French-style gardens of the priory are laid out around a long axial perspective which serves terraces in stages. They were built on the orders of the Duchess of Choiseul the xix th century.
A crypt is placed under the choir of the current church. It is found in the first tracks under the Carolingian dynasty, around the ix th century. Gallo-Roman remains which were discovered there would suggest a sanctuary or a temple there. It may also be the remains of the temple of Mercury clearly identified at the Col du Chat.
La Serraz Castle
The castle of La Serraz, located on the homonymous plateau, center of a lordship belonging to Seyssel, the middle of the xiii th century until its sale in late xviii th century Baptiste Salteur.
The fortified house Entremont Bourget
The fortified house Entremont was built in several periods from the xv th century, from the act of the past albergementFebruary 8, 1366, between Count Amédée VI of Savoy, known as Count Vert, and his secretary, Jean Jayet d’Entremont, concerning the stronghold located near the Château du Bourget of Thomas II.
This strong-house is the former residence of the family Buttet since the end of the xv th century.
It shows its square tower, with square bays, which has four floors, of a very simple architecture. This tower, which houses a rotating staircase, opens at the bottom onto a courtyard, through a door decorated with a hug, next to a coulevrinière; two angled main buildings whose tower marks the angle and which keep old stones, form two sides of the courtyard which a wall encloses on route.
The commune of Bourget-du-Lac acquired the Maison-Forte d’Entremont on August 10, 2012.
With its municipal beach and its five small ports (Charpignat, les Grèbes, les Mirandelles, les Mouettes, la Leysse), the town, member of the “France nautical station” label, can accommodate 540 boats.
In the center of the village, adjoining the Priory and a little below the road to Chambéry, the parish church of Saint-Laurent has in store for you astonishing treasures and testimonies of medieval art which in 1900 earned it its classification under the Historical monuments. Centerpiece of the church, the polychrome rood screen, carved in stone, is attributed to the Burgundian school. This is a remarkable monument of 13th century Christian art representing the main scenes from the life of Christ
The Saint Laurent church is adjacent to the priory. It was built in several phases. The crypt is the oldest part, it would date from the 10th century. It was built on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to Mercury. Inscriptions from this temple are found in the crypt. It is in Romanesque style with alternating colors on the arches that support the vaults. The monks kept their relics in the crypt. It is also in this place that the inhabitants were baptized, before the baptismal fonts were not moved in the nave of the church.
The crypt is the oldest part, it would date from the 10th century. It was built on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to Mercury. Inscriptions from this temple are found in the crypt. It is Romanesque in style with alternating colors on the arches…
The church was then rebuilt in the XV th century under the priory of Aynard of Luyrieux. It is at this time that it will be raised with a pointed vault, type of Gothic art. The latest changes will take place in the XIX th century. The Romanesque entrance will be destroyed in favor of the current facade and the construction of the tribune, the choir will be raised and the stained glass windows changed, the Rood screen dismantled and replaced in the choir.
To the right on entering, a carved wooden door is topped by a pointed arch painted, the center of which stood a beautiful statue of a teacher Virgin statue polychrome stone of the XV th century. (Statue not visible today.) On the left, a magnificent rectangular stoup is decorated with a series of sculpted angels. It dates from the XIII th century. In the nave, on the right, a tombstone dated 1482, represents the transi of Oddon de Luyrieux. A transi is a funerary slab where the deceased is represented in the form of a skeleton. On the left, there are several side chapels: the first is the chapel of the baptismal font, the second is dedicated to Saint Laurent, patron of the church, the fourth is dedicated to the Virgin. In this chapel is the only ancient stained glass of the church, of the XV th century. The background pattern is said to be damask, typical of this period. Finally, the choir. On the right wall, an opening allowed the Savoy family to attend mass. Until the middle of the XIX th century, the church was divided in two by a rood screen.
Chapel Of The Roche Saint Alban
The history of the Chapelle de la Roche-Saint-Alban remains inseparable from that of the former neighboring paper mill. In the 1950s, the owners of the stationery had a votive chapel built near the site because all the mobilized workers had returned from the war. It is located in the Bourgetain hamlet of Roche Saint Alban. The former paper Roche-Saint-Alban was founded at the end of the XVI th century. It is built on the Varon and Petit Varon streams, of which it uses the force.
In the XVIII th century, paper is damaged by a tornado. It remains inactive for some time and then restarts after the Revolution. It then experienced great prosperity because it had a monopoly on the supply of administrative paper for the entire Duchy of Savoy. In 1806, the paper mill employed 33 workers (15 men and 18 women). Its annual production amounts to 20 tons of paper of different species. The paper samples sent to the Paris Industrial Exhibition in 1806 met with great success. After the annexation of Savoy, the paper mill had to renew its outlets. It then produces straw paper and semi-white paper for wrapping, sugar loaves, etc.
In the 1950s, the owners of the stationery had a votive chapel built near the site because all the mobilized workers had returned from the war. In 1960, the paper mill employed 90 workers. She ceased her activity a few years later. Subsequently, it housed other activities before being bought by the municipality which undertook reconversion work from 2007. Since 2011, part of the buildings of the old paper mill have been occupied by housing.
Built around 1030 for the monks of Cluny, the Priory has a cloister with magnificent Gothic vaults. Inside, the refectory, the kitchen and its monumental fireplace, the library, house works of great quality testifying to medieval art in our region. The history of the Priory is linked to the House of Savoy and in particular to the close presence of the castle of Thomas II and to the Counts of Savoy who contributed to its wealth. Restored after 1910, it is listed as a Historic Monument and is part of the network of Cluniac sites and the great cultural itinerary of the Council of Europe.
The Priory was built around the 1030s following a premonitory dream of Odilon, abbot of the Great Abbey of Cluny. According to legend Odilon would have stopped at Bourget-du-Lac because of a high fever. During one night, he would have seen, during his delirium, the Count of Savoy and Saint Maurice plant a cross. The saint would then have touched him, the next day Odilon was cured. Having interpreted this as a divine sign, he decided to build a priory dedicated to Saint Maurice to thank him.
The rooms revolve around the cloister, an essential living space. On the one hand, the rooms for domestic use (kitchen, refectory, cellar) and on the other, the rooms for spiritual use (chapter room, chapel). Seven monks lived permanently at the Priory.
The city has many bread ovens. Some have a so-called “gloriette” bread-making room, a storage room and a stake…
Rural and countryside
The town has many ovens, washhouses, calvaries located in the various Bourgetan hamlets. They are all testimonies of the past and of the life of the inhabitants. The establishment of villages aligned for the most part along the Roman road, some traces of which remain above the Petit Caton, is explained by the presence of a water point, each group of houses being organized around a source whose outlet drains so many tiny watersheds witnesses of a fragmented and sloping land, hard to work, and low return.
Most of these sources are now dried up or even lessened such as the Frédoire, L’Aiguette, Le Truchin, or the Essarts also called Merdasson, victims of climatic softening and especially the piles of mines used for the boring of tunnels. Only the nant Varon, which is said to come via siphons, chasms or other galleries from the distant Chartreuse massif, continues to quench the thirst of many bourgetains, offering themselves the passage in spectacle in the picturesque waterfall of Serraz before joining the Leysse descended from the Bauges massif after a long detour through Chambéry.
Not far from the last houses of the hamlets, the nearby wood invites you to walk; First crossing a wide strip of deciduous trees, then an area of very dense fir trees, many trails lead us to the summit of Chat mountain. The Signal, Ladonchamp or Côtes trails will allow hikers to discover, in addition to an abundant flora and fauna, the curious “golet de Lepere” which sinks up to 300m into the limestone massif, the “Côtes” fountains and the “Rouge” placed on purpose very close to the summit to refresh dry lips before the final assault which leads to the GR9 trail, Jura-Chartreuse at some 1500 m altitude.
There, whether it’s from the television relay, the Mollard Noir or the Dent du CHat, an unforgettable spectacle awaits you: on one side, the Savoyard foreland where the Rhône winds its way before rushing into the Cluse de Pierre-Châtel; on the other, Mont Blanc, which far beyond Revard and the Bauges massif appears in its imposing mass of snow and ice; finally the lake, whose depth reaches 147 m, is spread over 18 km long and 3 km wide.
La Traverse space. It is based in Savoie Technolac.
Culture and sport are purely optional skills for the local authority that is the municipality. With equipment dedicated to sporting and cultural practices, La Traverse bears witness to a strong and assumed political approach demonstrated by the various municipal teams that have followed one another at Bourget-du-Lac. Beyond the financial investment represented by the construction of the equipment, its operation requires substantial and lasting human resources, in this case a cultural service and a sports service.
The gymnasium: since its opening, it has been operating with great amplitude, around 65 hours per week, some days from 8:30 am to 11 pm. Sports such as gymnastics, maintenance gym, handball, badminton, basketball, volleyball, archery, table tennis as well as multisport activities for children and adults are practiced there every day. week. Each year, there are no less than 36,000 visits to the gymnasium for sports. Departmental and regional Handball and Badminton sporting events are organized there each year, welcoming around 4,500 people, athletes and spectators alike.
This “multifunction” space is the ideal place for the organization of major sporting events such as the Grand Trail du Lac… where nearly 745 runners from all over France and even from abroad as well as 90 volunteers are welcomed in excellent conditions.
Cultural events and festivities
Throughout the year, Le Bourget-du-Lac offers more than 50 days of entertainment. Sporting events (water sports, cycling, automobile), cultural events (festivals, music shows, theater or dance, open-air cinema), family meetings (traditional or themed markets, markets nocturnal by the lake, fireworks shows)…
Water Sports Festival
At the beginning of June, the summer season of Bourget-du-Lac traditionally begins with the Fête du Nautisme. For a weekend, the municipal beach is transformed into a discovery village around which are offered free baptisms and initiations of rowing, sailing, canoeing or even surface diving. The objective of “Do water sports” is to involve as many people as possible in the discovery of the whole range of nautical activities. Offer superior quality services on coastal, lake or river areas. Bringing together tourism, water sports and local authorities around a common project is the heart of France Station Nautique’s action.
On this occasion two nautical sites open their doors to you for these two exceptional days to experience in the natural territory of well-being “ Aix-les-Bains Riviera des Alpes ” (Aix-les-Bains: Pont du Sierroz Esplanade Nord and Le Bourget -du-Lac: Municipal beach). Our town, ideally located on the south shore of Lake Bourget has a wide range of water activities to discover during this weekend. The municipal beach (Boulevard Ernest Coudurier) then turns into a discovery village animated by the many Bourget nautical associations and the sports and entertainment services of the town.
Music Station – Summer Parties
The great bourgetain meeting of the summer placed under the sign of music with the program: free concerts, a musical springboard, a record fair, games for young and old, many surprises… not to mention the fireworks show pulled from the municipal beach.
For a weekend, lovers of Christmas celebrations, their colors and their smells, meet up every year for this festive and family event that has become essential. In the Priory rooms and in the main courtyard of this unique historic site, visitors each year discover an authentic local Christmas market bringing together more than 35 exhibitors, artists and craftsmen from the Pays de Savoie. The thirty or so stalls offer food, creations, confections, delicacies… all accompanied by the various Christmas fanfares and other activities to fully experience all the magic of Christmas (mulled wine offered by the Lamartine restaurant). The free concert offered by the municipality is given on Saturday at the end of the day in the Saint Laurent Church.
Children can take advantage of the many activities offered with the creative Christmas workshops (decoration, make-up, “Christmas DIY”, the fabulous family Christmas show at La Traverse, the free horse-drawn carriage rides in the village offered by the Bourgetaine Equine Traction association, many games for children… and older ones, not to mention meetings and photos with Santa Claus.
Les Classiques du Prieuré, a festival to discover new talents in classical music! This chamber music festival was created to showcase new talents in classical music, winners of International Competitions. Most of these young musicians already attend prestigious stages: La Roque-d’Anthéron, the Folles Journées de Nantes, the Menton Festival… They make a summer stopover at Bourget-du-Lac to the delight of lovers, adults. and small, classical music…
The Priory of Bourget-du-Lac has hosted the Classics of the Priory for more than 15 years. Each August, the medieval cloister lends its fabulous stone decor with impeccable acoustics, to the most beautiful pages of the repertoire of classical and romantic music. Paul Rivoire, the artistic advisor of the festival, introduces new classical talents, young musicians first prizes in international competitions or soloists in the greatest European musical groups.
There are many restaurants and hotels on the lake side where you can taste traditional Savoyard specialties but also local products such as lake fish…
In 1988, a prefectural biotope protection decree was put in place, with the creation in 1991 of an ornithological reserve entitled ” the domain of Buttet “, managed by the Conservatory of natural spaces of Savoy (CEN Savoie, formerly CPNS).
The Buttet estate nature reserve is a protected but fragile natural area. There are 230 species of birds, 30 kinds of fish, many amphibians, as well as remarkable vegetation, in a set of humid places where reed beds, marshes and ponds rub shoulders. The observatory is managed by FRAPNA Savoie, which regularly organizes “nature outings” there with the aim of making the general public aware of respect for the environment through better knowledge of flora and fauna. Of note, the successful reintroduction of the pond turtle, the European turtle. An observation post has been set up for birds.
Les Jardins du Prieuré: These appear on the list of French gardens benefiting from the “ remarkable gardens ” label awarded by the Ministry of Culture, classified by administrative region.
The Protected Natural Area South of Lac Du Bourget
The south shore of Lac du Bourget is a rich natural space, made up of diverse wetland vegetation. Thanks to the action of the Departmental Council of Savoy, the Conservatory of Coastal Space and Lacustrine Shores (owner of the marshes) and the Conservatory of Natural Heritage of Savoy (manager of the marsh) headquartered in Le Bourget- du-Lac, this area is preserved for the well-being of flora and fauna but also for residents and visitors.
Located between land and water, the marshes on the southern coast of Lac du Bourget owe their richness to the fact that they are located on the edge of a large natural lake, having developed on its banks numerous seagrass and aquatic reed beds. This vegetation is extended on the ground by afforestation and wet meadows, ponds, a pond, which form as many attractive environments for many species. The geographical location of the site on a major axis of migration between the north and the south of Europe explains the presence of many species of birds: Lake Bourget is both a wintering site of global interest and a stopping place migratory and breeding grounds for over 200 bird species. This natural space is the support of a reintroduction program of the European Pond Turtle, a protected freshwater turtle.
The vegetation of the lake forms, in particular on the southern shore, a vast belt in which various species are spread out according to the water level: Pondweed, Phragmites, Bulrush, Carex, Willows, Phalaris… This “reed bed” plays an essential role. for reproduction and feeding of birds and fish but also for the microorganisms which constitute their food. This environment, threatened by swells or human activities, is the subject of major restoration and management efforts.
Located between land and water, the marshes on the southern coast of Lac du Bourget owe their richness to the fact that they are located on the edge of a large natural lake, having developed on its banks numerous seagrass and aquatic reed beds. This vegetation is extended on the ground by afforestation and wet meadows, ponds, a pond, which form as many attractive environments for many species.
The geographical location of the site on a major axis of migration between the north and the south of Europe explains the presence of many species of birds: Lake Bourget is both a wintering site of global interest and a stopping place migratory and breeding grounds for over 200 bird species. This natural space is the support of a reintroduction program of the European Pond Turtle, a protected freshwater turtle. The vegetation of the lake forms, in particular on the southern shore, a vast belt in which various species are spread out according to the water level: Pondweed, Phragmites, Bulrush, Carex, Willows, Phalaris… This “reed bed” plays an essential role. for reproduction and feeding of birds and fish but also for the microorganisms which constitute their food. This environment, threatened by swells or human activities, is the subject of major restoration and management efforts.
The stabilization of the level of the lake, for hydraulic and navigation reasons, completed the disappearance of nearly 75% of the reed bed, also weakened by a strong swell south of the lake. Human activity (ports, campsites, national roads) as well as brushwood threaten the environment and its occupants. Several species have completely disappeared from Lac du Bourget because of these nuisances; the Pond Turtle has been reintroduced for several years on the site of the Etang des Aigrettes, at Bourget-du-Lac and several birds have returned spontaneously following management (marsh harrier, purple heron); other species are new (red net, chipeau duck, common scaup, etc.)
Located in the cluse separating the Bauges and the Chambotte chain to the east, from the Epine chain to the west, it is a lake of glacial origin. It is, after the French part of Lake Geneva, the largest natural lake in France (18 km long – 3 km average width – 4700 ha). The largest natural lake of glacial origin in France (with the exception of Lake Geneva, located partly in Switzerland), Lac du Bourget is one of the post-glacial lakes of the Alps. It was formed after the last Würm Glaciation, around 19,000 years ago, by the retreat of the great Quaternary glaciers. Of great natural wealth, of major ecological interest, it has also been an important tourist destination since the 19th century. The volume of water in the lake is equivalent to the annual consumption of drinking water in France.
Lac du Bourget is of major ecological interest and constitutes an important element of the French natural heritage. Between the Prealps and the high mountains, it is home to a large number of species of fish and birds, and for some of them, it is a major resting haven in their migration corridor. Thanks to its colossal body of water on the one hand, the cliffs and limestone slabs of its immediate surroundings on the other hand, the climatic conditions are softened. As a result, in some places there is an almost Provençal climate, allowing some Mediterranean plant and animal species to thrive. One can thus admire the maple of Montpellier, the fig tree, the boxwood, the maple with obier leaves, the pubescent oak and the hair of Venus (small ferns).
Still almost in the wild in some places, Lac du Bourget is an important migration corridor and a haven for many birds. In addition to the mallard duck and the moorhen, you can meet on the lake, the mute swan, the Eurasian coot, the tufted duck, the little bittern, the elegant avocet, the goose merganser. The cliffs around the lake are also the territory of large raptors such as the black kite, the peregrine falcon and the eagle owl.
The natural shore to the south of Lac du Bourget concentrates several jewels of Savoyard cultural and natural heritage. Successively owned by the Counts of Savoy, the Buttet d’Entremont family, then the Coastal Conservatory, it bears witness to the history of human occupation of one of the largest marshes in the department. Transformed by man and constantly evolving (natural dynamics, climate change, etc.), it has nevertheless remained preserved from urbanization.
The Priory Gardens
The French gardens were originally a vegetable garden and an orchard to meet the needs of the monastery. The Duchess of Choiseul at the beginning of the XXth century will make a pleasure garden with pruned yews and remarkable essences such as, cryptomeria japonica, magnolia, gingko biloba…. Two sculptures by Jacques Coquillay are offered to your eyes along the perspective, “Vagabondage”, bronze statue and “Corinne” in the love room. The Remarkable Garden label was awarded to the gardens in September 2006, considering a major historical and botanical interest. The Priory Gardens are an exquisite place of relaxation and free stroll and open all year round.
For centuries, the gardens on which a mill was built were no more than an immense vegetable garden suitable for providing for the needs of the monks, especially since they also had to help the needy of the town and the pilgrims. It was only around 1910 that the wealthy owner of the Priory, Duchess of Choiseul ordered the creation of the park that we currently know in broad outline, essential and pleasant complement to the Church and the Priory. For a moment neglected, these gardens have since regained their beautiful arrangement adorned with arbours where rosebushes climb… an invitation to meditation.
Evening falls on the Priory gardens. A minimal garden but which seems vast, all in length, planted with rare species of which greens, blondes, blues, whites play wonderfully and are composed. Very tall, very old hewn woods stand guard around an exquisite fountain. Over the darkening trees, the sunset still blazes on the limestone escarpments of Revard and Bauges. And slowly from the swamp rises a light fog, discreet like the presence of souls, like a distant memory of the past.
Children’s laughter resonates all summer long on the beach at Bourget-du-Lac! It offers shallow water in which to relive simple and childish joys. Here, the time for a water fight, an improvised nap on the shaded lawns or the construction of a sand castle… nothing matters, except the happiness of sharing a moment with everyone. together.
The town’s lake front constitutes an exceptional space. The municipal beach offers a remarkable viewpoint over the southern part of Lac du Bourget. Recent developments have made it possible to rehabilitate this site to make it fully functional and suitable for the movement of people with reduced mobility. An aquatic playground fed by water from the lake is accessible there, especially for the youngest. A large pontoon with a diving board provides access to the swimming area. For older children, a beach volleyball court is available.
Routes And Trails
With its wide variety of marked trails, Mont du Chat is a playground very popular with hiking enthusiasts. From a family walk in the town center or on the recently renovated botanical path, to a hike for experienced walkers, everyone can discover unspoiled nature and breathtaking panoramas of Lake Bourget and the Alps. Departure from the city center (also possible from the Thomas II car park). This fun trail, accessible to everyone, takes you to discover the historical and cultural riches of Bourget-du-Lac. From the Gallo-Roman period to the contemporary era, discover the major stages that have shaped the city by strolling between town, gardens and river banks / treasure hunt allowing you to discover 6 personalities. Accessible to all – flat ground – 1.5 km (duration approximately 1 hour) – Passage through the Priory gardens, along the Leysse to in front of the castle of Thomas II.
There are 7 main hiking trails departing from Bourget-du-Lac:
the Pierre Nioule loop (3h)
the Filéas botanical trail (recently restored – 1 hour)
the new “Aymon, passenger of time” trail (downtown – 1 hour)
the Cachouds loop (2h)
the Dent du Chat circuit (+ 5h)
the Signal Cross (+ 5h).
the Serraz trail (2h)
Their descriptions and walking guides are available at the Tourist Information Office (place du Général Sevez). For the most part, the signage has been renewed and is intended to be functional and attractive while being homogeneous with the signage produced in other nearby sectors.
By taking these circuits, walkers can, according to their choices and their abilities, take longer or shorter walks, go to specific places and join other trails. The users of these paths are the bourgetains of course, but also the summer visitors and all the amateurs of walks, of discoveries, of pleasant landscapes near and far, thanks to the various points of view arranged: the belvedere of the Cross of the Signal, the table orientation of the Molard Noir and the Relais du Mont du Chat.
Water Sports And Activities
Le Bourget-du-Lac has its feet in the water as evidenced by the certified nautical destination label: France Station Nautique! From the point of view of activities, from swimming to water sports such as sailing, rowing or wake surfing, including boat trips, pedal boats or fishing… Lake Bourget promises busy days. During Roman antiquity, Lac du Bourget was an important waterway. Nowadays, it has become the ideal place for the practice of water sports. Since 2001, the Aix les Bains Riviera des Alpes destination (Le Bourget-du-Lac for the southern part of the territory) has had the “France Station Nautique” label awarded by the eponymous association. A network of 34 classified stations in France. The pavilion rewards the quality and diversity of nautical services, which must be supervised by professionals, and efficient organization in terms of reception, accommodation and infrastructure. All in a process of respect for the environment.
The Swan Island Campsite
The Ile aux Cygnes campsite is the only campsite around Lac du Bourget to offer a private beach and port. The gently sloping campsite beach with supervised swimming is particularly suitable for children. You will be able to enjoy its environment and its water with an exceptional temperature that can reach 26. From April to October, the Ile aux Cygnes campsite is a real space of freedom and conviviality with more than 270 spaced, equipped and shaded pitches. Rental of lodges and mobile homes, snack restaurant, explosive entertainment program and leisure areas (TV, playground, pétanque, volleyball, ping-pong).
With 10 comfortable mobile homes + 2 new lodges, but also pitches for tents, caravans and camper vans, it allows everyone, with family or friends, to choose their ideal accommodation option. Camper van reception area, Dishwasher, Water connections, Electrical connections, Camper van pitch, Playground, Bar, Private equipped beach, Games room, Phone point, Car park, Children’s games, Internet access terminals, Mail point, Food / Food point, Restaurant, Animals with supplement, Bar / Refreshment area, Washing machine, Collective dryer, Baby equipment – Changing table, Wifi Internet access, Free Internet access, accessibility / Tourism and handicap, Motor impairment, Accessible entrance, Adapted toilets.