St Christophe la Grotte and the sardinian way. In Crossbow 'the Shardun pass,'
A visit to this special place combines nature, history and geology
Entrance of The Pass. The Sardinian way in the back. This shot below is from Desert.
Parc Naturel Régional
Sardinian Way, a part of the Parc Naturel Régional de Chartreuse .
The small village Saint Christophe La Grotte, which has less than 500 inhabitants, is a special place. There is an escarpment, a limestone ridge,
which is part of the southern outskirts of the Alps, and a narrow gorge cutting through this escarpment allowing to cross it. The first to use this special location were the Romans,
who built their road, the major route between Chambéry and Lyon, through the gorge. Today the Roman road is only a minor road,
little more than a comfortable footpath, but still some Roman remains are left, like the impressive Saint Martin's Bridge.
Eleanor is exploring the 'Shardunpass,'
The real name of this place is the Sardinian Way / la Voie sarde
1986 2014 1986
This is a beautiful gorge!
Scene: Two riders approaching... A merchant with his donkey 'Hannibal.' He says he is robbed by William Tell (Roland).
He seems to have a mountain pass that turns out to be worthless in these mountains. And he throws it away and continues his journey.
Tell grabs it and that will come in handy later on!
The recognizable rocks in opposite behind them.
1986 The entrance of Voie Sarde 2014
1986 It's a beautiful walk. 2014
1986 1986 2014
Entering the Voie Sarde
The entrance rock
The left circle: the rock the shooters are on. That's the first part of the 'Shardun pass' in Crossbow. Stefan rides first. There is a sniper on the rock.
Stefan is already out of sight and ends up in a trap. The photo is made in by me, in 2014. A wonderful place to hike!
An ancient valuable route
The Voie Sarde is a historic route through a natural canyon in the Chartreuse Mountains just east of Les Échelles, Savoy. The Duke ordered the renovation of the ancient
Roman road and the work, completed in 1670, was commemorated by a stone memorial built into the side of the rock face. Turner’s study shows an oblique view of the
structure from the side, looking west from the Voie Sarde across the open plain beyond towards Les Échelles. In the centre is a vertical rock formation known as
‘Le Pilon’ which stands near the entrance to a limestone cave, the ‘Grotte inférieure’ The cave of Roland.
The route was made obsolete during the early nineteenth century when Napoleon ordered the construction of a tunnel through the mountains, thereby by-passing the steep
terraces of the Voie Sarde. However, it remained of interest to tourists and travellers through the area. The Voie Sarde was now used for centuries. Famous travellers have used it,
like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Pope Pius VII when he came to France in 1804 to consecrate Napoleon I as emperor. And Napoleon was responsible, that the Sardinian Way
was abandoned. In 1820 he found the road too arduous, and ordered a tunnel to be built. Between 1667 and 1670 the Dukes of Savoy converted the already ruined Roman road
into a royal road fit for carriages, called Voie Sarde (Sardinian Way). The monument erected in memory of Duke Charles Emmanuel II of Savoie, who ordered the
renovation of the Voie Sarde in the 17th century ...
Entrance Grotte Inferieure (inside the cliff of La Voie Sarde)
The stairs (second circle, seen from the left) is the place you see below. It's the stairs to Grotte Inferieure
1986 1986 2014
Stefan is caught by Grendel
1986 2015 Below: typical 'blocked' rocks on the left and the stairs right 1986
Scene: They take them to 'Tell' (Roland). The opportunity for Tell to ask Roland about using his name and robbing a merchant.
'Angel' (Eleanor) is invited to join them, Tell's not.
The rebel's cave
Grotte Superieure (the right circle)
In front of the Grotte Superieure 2014
Scene: Just a few yard before the cave. Right above you see the path Eleanor takes. In fact Eleanor is going to Gessler's camp and talks to Tyroll to make a deal (Misalliance)
Location: Along this path there is a small wall and trench beside the path to collect melted water. Here the wall disappears, it looks like just a forest path, but a very beautiful one in this pass.
1986 /1987 Same place as above ep. Imposter (but this is another scene 'Eleanor riding to Tyroll for help' ep. Misalliance) 2015
1986 Grotte superieure has a huge portale 2014
More of Grotte Superieure or ‘Grotte du Grand Goulet (Great Great Gully)
The entrance is a huge portal with a gorge below, which makes it very hard to enter. To access the cave, a path along the right hand cliff face and across a bridge into the cave has been built. This path was completely renovated before the cave was reopened in 2002. There is an old legend, that Mandrin, the famous Dauphiné smuggler, used this cave as a hideout.
The caves were developed in the 19th century, to provide a tourist destination for the people bathing at la Bauche les Bains. The iron laden thermal water was used to cure various illnesses, especially blood related diseases. The caves were owned at this time by the Périnel family, who created a company for the developments of the caves in 1884 and stared to sell stocks. One year later the development started and in 1886 the caves were opened to the public. The Grotte Supérieure (Upper Cave, right below,) is noted for various impressive speleothems. Tell confronts Roland with his stolen name. In front of the cave there is built a fence of wood.
Tell doesn't want his name to be misused by Roland.
Location: One of two caves known as the Grottes des Échelles. Both caves are located along the Voie Sarde and they are guided together. Tourist reception and ticket sales
are located in the Auberge des Grottes (Cave Inn), an old road-mender's house dating back to when the tunnel was built. The caves are called Grottes des Echelles
(The Ladder Caves), as they are located right at the steps of the Voie Sarde. It seems they are known for a long time, but especially the Grand Goulet is hard to enter,
it has a huge portal with a gorge below. To access the cave, a path along the right hand cliff face and across a bridge into the cave has been built. This path was
completely renovated before the cave was reopened in 2002.
In front of the cave
Scene: Roland has a day job to get his men under control: quarrels and rebellion. Quarrels about who gets the most.
The fights goes on and Tell decides just to burn the whole thing. 'two dogs fight for a bone...'
1986 Le Pilon Zoomed 2014 2014 Le Pilon
Scene: Blade doesn't like Gaston is trying to take over the place. Location: Cave
The valley of Entremont
Found by coincidence, during a hike, we saw the valley at the south of Desert of Entremont 2014 My photo
1986 On the way out and back 2016 vallee Entremont
Then the scene suddenly switches to the foot of mont Outeran, a few miles north.
Scene and Location: imperial borderguard
Probably the southern part of Mont l'Outeran, you can see on the photo below. But because of the zooming skills of the cameraman I was not able to locate the rocky ridge.
But It's nearby. Thanks to C. Petit for locating this place.
Made by C. petit
The D45A is the road the place lies near. Below not the exact place. For the exact place see below.
We show this picture to show the view on the mountains in the back.
Location: Unknown. Probably the path on the foot of mount Outeran between the pine trees and broadleaf trees.
Scene: Everybody recognizes 'Roland' as 'William Tell,' even the Imperial border guard. Roland wants to flee. Tell uses the pass of the merchant.
Prison: Unknown location
Extra Photos of Voie Sarde
A drone video of the Voie Sarde. The white water you can hear everywhere. While walking you can hear the water
running through the rocks, small waterfalls running through mosses, a breathtaking scene.
Great place to be! You have to beware of falling rock, see the sign above. You can take the stairs up to the plateau.
But you can also walk further to the two caves. It is really a joy walking on an old trade route and surrounded by
rough and beautiful nature! Small waterfalls on the left and right, sometimes a slow-flowing shower that gently flows
over you. If you are lucky with the sun and the beams could lighten up the high cliffs you can see lots of rainbows in it.
The monument, Voie sarde
Voie Sarde. A monumental, 400m long dressed stone ramp was built. Also the Charles Emmanuel II (Duke of Savoy) Monument (left photo) was erected,
to commemorate the man behind the Sardinian Way project. The 20m high monument is listed in the national register of Historical Monuments. You can see it below on the map.
For a long time and ancient road, below the ramp The high wall and the path above it.
Waterlevels in la Voie Sarde
The paths in the caves are built high up for the water.
The canal next to the ancient path is very important to make it possible for the water to pass.
We visited in May and you could hear the water running through the rocks everywhere. The water needs to get away.