β†’ Forts
/
β†’ Vallorbe

βš”οΈ PrΓ©-Giroud Fort

Address
Le Rosay, 1337 Vallorbe
Phone 1
Keyword
2016 July, Excursions
  • Date de Visite
    16.10.2016
  • GPS
    46.70869 6.41067

PrΓ©-Giroud Fort


The fort of PrΓ©-Giroud is a former underground military fort from the Second World War and the Cold War era in Vallorbe near the French border. It is the most well-preserved fort to visit in French-speaking or Western Switzerland.

The entrance to the fort disguised as a chalet as was often done with military structures in Switzerland. At the time when the fort was used by the army, the Swiss cross did not exist.The entrance to the fort disguised as a chalet as was often done with military structures in Switzerland. At the time when the fort was used by the army, the Swiss cross did not exist.

Weather


Access


Parking along the road in the forest very close to the fort.

World War II cannons on display along the path leading to the fort.
World War II cannons on display along the path leading to the fort.

History of the fort


PrΓ©-Giroud Fort, sometimes called “Fort 39-45”, was built between 1937 and 1941. Its purpose was to prevent an invasion of Switzerland via the Jogne pass (Col de Jogne) from France and could house about 200 men.

View on the Jogne pass from the PrΓ©-Giroud fort.
View on the Jogne pass from the PrΓ©-Giroud fort.

Structure of the fort


Pre-Giroud Fort consists of the following structures connected by underground galleries in the rock:

  • 6 concrete bunkers with machine guns or cannons
  • Ammunition stores
  • Machine Rooms
  • Barracks with dormitories, refectories, kitchen, infirmary and command centre.

Three other independent forts equipped with machine guns were in charge of the fort’s external defence and several rows of barbed wire encircled the fort.

The structure of the fort displayed at the entrance. You can see the bunkers connected by galleries, the chalet and various underground rooms.
The structure of the fort displayed at the entrance. You can see the bunkers connected by galleries, the chalet and various underground rooms.

Visit


The visit is carried out with a guide at the time indicated on the website of the association that manages the fort and lasts a little over an hour and a half. All the material has been kept in the same condition as when the troop left the fort in the late 1990s because it no longer corresponded to the types of threats that exist today.

The inside of the fort with models to show the life inside the fort. Photo: pyperpote.tonsite.biz
The inside of the fort with models to show the life inside the fort.

One can observe the dormitories, the infirmary and especially the battle stations made up of artillery guns with their shells or machine guns. The visitor is pleasantly surprised by the knowledge, the sympathy and the passion that animates the guides.

Β The dormitories. Photo: fortlitroz.ch
The dormitories.

The excellent state of conservation and the level of competence of the guides make the fort of PrΓ©-Giroud the most interesting fort to visit in Western Switzerland even if it is less impressive than the forts of the Saint-Maurice area. For more information, la torpille proposes a complete article on the military forts of Western Switzerland.

Wooden rifles arranged along a corridor.
Wooden rifles arranged along a corridor.

Some elements of the fort that can be seen during the visit:

  • Ammunition store
  • Observation post and guns
  • Engine room
  • Several showrooms
  • Dormitories
  • Kitchen
  • Sanitary block
  • Command Rooms

It’ s important to take a good sweater because of the temperature of about 8 degrees in the fort.

A corridor that connects the barracks to the different bunkers.
A corridor that connects the barracks to the different bunkers.

Armament of the fort


The armament of the fort consists of the following parts distributed in the six different bunkers of the fort. In general, one weapon per bunker.

  • 3 105 mm cannons
  • 1 anti-tank gun
  • 3 x 7.5 mm machine guns

A child looking into the sight of a machine gun.
A child looking into the sight of a machine gun.

A very interesting reconstitution of a combat post with soldiers who had to wear gas masks to protect themselves from the release of carbon monoxide (CO) produced by combat weapons.Photo: fortlitroz.ch
A very interesting reconstitution of a combat post with soldiers who had to wear gas masks to protect themselves from the release of carbon monoxide (CO) produced by combat weapons.Photo: fortlitroz.ch

Museums and expositions


Above the entrance, on the upper floor of the building with the Swiss cross, exhibitions present documents on the life of Swiss soldiers during the Second World War.

Rate


The entrance fees are as follows:

  • Adult: CHF 15.
  • Child from 6 to 16 years: CHF 7.
  • AHV, unemployed, students: CHF 12.

Sights in Vallorbe


In addition to the PrΓ©-Giroud fort, three other attractions are available in Vallorbe:

VidΓ©o


A vidΓ©o on the PrΓ©-Giroud fort.

Webcam


Webcam in the city of Vallorbe.

Facebook


Related attractions


Attractions in the canton of Vaud
Attractions in the region of Jura-Nord vaudois

Military forts in Western Switzerland

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