The Stations of the Cross at La Duche

  • La pose des croix au printemps
  • Les statues protègent les lieux
  • Une statue à l’emplacement de la source
  • Une messe en plein air
  • Les alpagistes retirent ces croix en automne
La pose des croix au printempsLes statues protègent les lieuxUne statue à l’emplacement de la sourceUne messe en plein airLes alpagistes retirent ces croix en automne
La Duche
Vallée du Bouchet
Le Grand-Bornand
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The Stations of the Cross pilgrimage at La Duche originated in 1888, linking the chapel of La Duche with St Bruno's oratory, the site of a miraculous spring.
It restored an ancient pigrimage route which celebrated the legendary visit of the Blessed John of Spain, founder of the Chartreuse du Reposoir (the Charterhouse in Le Reposoir).

The Stations of the Cross begin with a metal statue of St Anne with the Virgin learning to read. This statue, dating from 1868, has the following inscription written on it : « Mgr Magnin grants 40 days of indulgence to anyone who, when seeing this statue, will say an Ave Maria and a Saint Anne, pray for us ». Close to the statue, a little further down, there is a metal crucifix which was inaugurated in 1932 at the same time as the Stations of the Cross. Both the statue of Saint Anne and the cross were repainted in 1954.

The first Stations of the Cross was authorised by the diocese of Annecy in August 1888, enabling pilgrims to go from the chapel to the oratory. The second Stations of the Cross, which replaced the previous one, was inaugurated in July 1932, following a donation by Claude Perrillat, also known as Pollet. The Stations of the Cross has since been renovated 3 times, in 1954, in 1974 and more recently in 2010. Since 1974 the crosses are removable. They are put up by farmers for the mass that marks the beginning of the summer pasture season (alpage) and they are taken down again in the autumn to mark the end of the summer season. The Stations of the Cross have 14 stations, with a halt at each one to say prayers.

This Stations of the Cross finally leads to the Blessed Fountain. The legend tells of a pilgrimage during the time of John of Spain, who is said to have rested and drank here shortly before founding the Carthusian Monastery of Le Reposoir in 1151. There are actually 2 springs, one of which is ferruginous and well known to everyone, and the other is sulphurous and is situated just below the first one.Even today, pilgrims drink the water to treat skin and eye diseases.

The oratory was inaugurated in 1933 to protect the spring and to replace the small wooden hut which had stood there previously. It is made up of 2 ledges or alcoves, one on top of the other. The one above the spring is always covered in flowers and the lower one contains a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. Mary is represented in prayer with a white dress and coat and with a blue belt.

Above the oratory is a statue of Saint Bruno (and not of John of Spain, as was long believed). Saint Bruno of Cologne was the founder of the Chartusian Order. We know nothing at all about the commission and construction of the stone oratory, although it could be connected to the reopening of the Le Reposoir monastery (that became the Carmel in 1932). In 1954, both the oratory and the statue were restored and a railing built to protect it from the herds of cows. Just before the year 2000, blocks of limestone tuff were erected all around it and in 2009, the base of the oratory was renovated with carved stone and the dome and the statue of Saint Bruno were repainted with an ochre color.
From 25/06 to 15/10 : open daily.
  • Religious heritage :
    • Religious heritage
    • Wayside cross
  • Period :
    • 19th C
    • 20th C
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  • Parking :
    • Parking
  • SITRA services :
    • Services
    • Services
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To note
  • Type of SITRA offer :
    • Not recommended in bad weather
    • Open air


Chemin de Croix de la Duche
La Duche
Vallée du Bouchet
Le Grand-Bornand
GPS coordinates
Latitude : 45.962692
Longitude : 6.506906
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After 60 years of building work, undertaken and financed by the local community,it was consecrated in 1877. Built in the neo-gothic style of the XIX century, the architecture is typical of the golden age of the Catholic church.
The chapel of Le Bouchet, in the heart of the Bouchet valley, was founded in 1704 after a flood. It boasts a beautiful altarpiece, dating back to the XVIII century.
The original cemetery was situated for a long time immediately around the church. In the mid-XX century, it had to be relocated so that a new village square could be built in front of the Tourist Office, the Town Hall and the church.
The cross at Le Clos du Pin is unusual for two reasons : firstly, this stone cross is the oldest of all the Le Grand Bornand crosses (dating from 1500) and secondly, and for the same reason, it has been classified since 1944 as a heritage monument.
The Town Hall is a stone building, typical of early XX century architecture. It houses all the municipal services and the meeting room for the village council.
The weekly market at the Grenette, the old grain market of Le Grand Bornand, characterizes the heart of the old town square. All sorts of concerts and events also take place here, such as concerts given by the local brass band and many local celebrations.
The inscribed border stone, at the foot of the dale of Tardevant, marks the limit between the villages of Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz. This stone is about 1m. long and is dated 1755.
The chapel of la Duche is the oldest of Grand Bornand. Based in the end of the XVIIth century,it is reconstructed at the end of the XIXth century. Itis dedicated in particular to several agrarian saints: saint Anne, saint Grat and saint Guérin.
Founded in 1677, the chapel is nestled in the heart of the old village of Le Chinaillon. Despite major renovation work to the building in 1977, it has retained its traditional appearance.
Located in the heart of the hamlet of Les Plans, the chapel of the same name was founded in 1702 after the flooding of the Borne river. From the chapel there is a wonderful view over the Aravis mountain chain.
Standing above the village of Le Grand Bornand, with panoramic views over the Aravis chain, the chapel of Le Nant Robert is well worth seeing. It was founded in 1762 and renovated on several occasions during the course of the XX century.
At the end of the Bouchet valley, just above the hamlet of Lormay, there is a stone testifying to events which took place during the French Revolution : priests refusing to swear allegiance to the Constitution were hidden by the local population.
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