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Sundials of the Briançonais

This is one of a series of sundial lists designed to help visitors to find good and interesting sundials to see in areas unfamiliar to them. Follow the links for a list of our pages for other places in thecomplete list of Sundial Trails divided by country.

The Briançonnais is the area around Briançon in the Département of the Hautes-Alpes, in southwestern France. Grenoble to the north is the nearest major airport, and the Italian border forms the eastern boundary of the Département. It is a region with a long rich tradition of sundials, and amply repays a visit just for the sundials, though of course the scenery is stunning too!

The Haute Alpes possesses probably the richest heritage of sundials in the Alpes. Many of them are real works of art, created as a means of telling the time and abandoned with the advent of mechanical clocks in more recent times. They come in many different styles and forms, bringing together a subtle mixture of colours, decorations, flowers, and animals. The se sundials are the last remains of a tradition of popular art and imagination of previous eras. The Briançonnais offers a great diversity of classical and contemporary sundials. These sundial trails organised by the departmental authorities give the visitor an opportunity to travel through time, art and poetry.

The Comité Départemental de Tourisme publishes some booklets under the title "La route des cadrans solaires" for the Briançonnais (from which this brief summary is drawn) and also for the Queyras to the south and La Pays du Buech in the western part of the Hautes Alpes

Briançon city area

Briançon has 18 sundials to discover - and you really need to get the leaflet for some of them. This is just a summary.
  1. av. de Savoie no 13
  2. rue du Général Rostolland, behind the Beauregard house
  3. av du 159e RIA, near the post office
  4. route de Gap, no 5
  5. Les Basses Queyrelles, old school
  6. Fontchristiane, HLM l'Izoard
  7. Pont de Cervières; private house behind the church
  8. Chamandrin, on the route nationale
  9. Saint-Blaise, old Ferrus house, place du Hameau (double sundial)
  10. hamlet of Fontenil, Moulin house, by the river Durance (2 sundials)
  11. hamlet of Fontenil, chapel
  12. hamlet of Fontenil, chemin de la Vachette
  13. chemin des Saletters no 13
  14. cité Vauban, collégiale de Briançon
  15. cité Vauban. place d'Armes, south face of the Art centre, contemporary dial
  16. cité Vauban, south face of the Tribunal
  17. cité Vauban, chuch of the Cordeliers, masked by the Town Hall

north and east of Briançon

Saint Chaffey
Maison Monier at Villard-Laté
Sundial on the school, visible from the main RN road

La Salle
Sundial of c.18 on the church towards Villeneuve
3 sundials in one street near the place de l'Église (1 on a chminey)

1 on "La Vielle Ferme" on the La Salle road
1 in the rue Centrale on the left going toward le Lauteret

Le Bez
3 sundials between the télécabine de Fréjus and the church

Le Monètier-les-Bains
3 sundials

north and west of Briançon

Les Alberts
1 at the foot of the street starting at the church
1 in the centre of the hamlet

La Vachette - 2 sundials
Le Rosier - 3 sundials
Val-des-Près - 1, to the left of the church
Cadran Zarbula, 100 m. after the Roman sawmill

1 sundial on the church
1 on a house opposite the church
1 in an interior courtyard of ahouse on the road to Névache
1 at the beginning of the road towards Acles

1 on the south face of the church
Maison Rochas (1st right after the church)
1 each on the schools in the ville haute and the ville basse
1 in the hamlet of Roubion

south of Briançon

1 at Pierre-Feu at the top of the village (well hidden)
1 at Gagnière, route de Pierre-feu no. 4

1 in the hamlet of Sachas
behind the church, on the left going up to the top of the village
going down again, towards the main road on the right, by a small alley.

1 sundial

1 on the church
1 in the Impasse de cadran solaire
1 in the rue Gatchelou