Les Rousses fort
Laid-out site
Les Rousses fort
Les Rousses

Les Rousses fort

History & heritage
Type : Cultural & historical site
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From the village of Les Rousses, there is no sign of a construction of this size. Both around the ramparts and from the centre of the Place d’Arme, the Les Rousses fort inspires curiosity and admiration. 
Demilitarised and converted, the fort is now open to the public and can be discovered through various leisure activities.

A historic location:

The village of Les Rousses, whose geographical location was of particularly strategic interest to the military, was held by Napoleon Bonaparte from 1800 to secure France’s national borders. The invasion of Austrian troops in 1814 led to the village’s fortification and, in 1841, construction of the fort was voted and financed by the government. Les Rousses fort was built from 1843 to 1862, and armed in 1868. It became one of the largest French fortified complexes, capable of housing 3,500 men and 2,000 horses, with 50,000 sq.m. of vaulted rooms, many kilometres of underground galleries, 2.2 km of ramparts, etc. It served as a training camp for many regiments and as a military warehouse until 1973, when it was turned into a Commando Training Camp (C.E.C.). The soldiers left Les Rousses fort in 1997 due to reorganisation of the armed forces. It was then converted into an activity place and opened to the public.

From the Porte de Suisse parking lot, you have several options:
- A short waymarked hike heads around the fort, following along the ramparts, where around ten interpretive signs offer information on its architecture, history and nature. 
- You can also enter and freely roam the fort. We recommend visiting the west ramparts, which provide a beautiful view over Mont Fier in particular. 
- Other activities are also available: an adventure course on the ramparts, in the forest and in the underground tunnels, a commando circuit, a discovery circuit with a questionnaire for children, tours of the Comté cheese cellars, etc. For opening times, bookings and prices, contact the Les Rousses Tourist Office.

Practical informations

Recommendations: Access to the fort is free, however the insides of the buildings cannot be visited freely. For more information, contact the Les Rousses Tourist Office

Road access: 700 metres from the Les Rousse Tourist Office, the Les Rousses fort entrance is accessible via “rue du sergent chef Benoît Lizon”, which runs perpendicular to “Route Blanche”, the village’s main road. 

Suggested parking: Parking lot in front of Porte de Suisse


Office de Tourisme Station Les Rousses Haut-Jura
495 rue Pasteur Maison du Tourisme,
39220 Les Rousses