Cottian Alps

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Cottian Alps
French: Alpes Cottiennes; Italian: Alpi Cozie
Monviso Cottian Alps.jpg
Monte Viso in the Cottian Alps, seen from the Rocciamelone
Highest point
Peak Monte Viso
Elevation 3,841 m (12,602 ft)
Coordinates 44°40′18″N 7°15′13″E / 44.67167°N 7.25361°E / 44.67167; 7.25361
Geography
Countries Italy and France
States/Provinces Piedmont, Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Range coordinates 44°45′N 7°00′E / 44.75°N 7°E / 44.75; 7Coordinates: 44°45′N 7°00′E / 44.75°N 7°E / 44.75; 7
Parent range Alps
Borders on
Geology
Orogeny Alpine orogeny

The Cottian Alps (French: Alpes Cottiennes; Italian: Alpi Cozie) are a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps. They form the border between France (Hautes-Alpes and Savoie) and Italy (Piedmont). The Fréjus Road Tunnel and Fréjus Rail Tunnel between Modane and Susa are important transportation arteries between France (Lyon, Grenoble) and Italy (Turin).

Etymology[edit]

The name Cottian comes from Marcus Julius Cottius, a king of the tribes inhabiting that mountainous region in the 1st century BC. These tribes had previously opposed but later made peace with Julius Caesar. Cottius was succeeded by his son, also named Marcus Julius Cottius, who was granted the title of king by the emperor Claudius.

On his death, Nero annexed his kingdom as the province of Alpes Cottiae.[1]

History[edit]

For a long part of the middle ages Cottian Alps have been divided between Duchy of Savoy, which controlled their northern part and the easternmost slopes, and the Dauphiné, at the time independent from France kingdom. The Dauphins held, in addition to the south-western slopes of the range (Briançon and Queyras, nowadays on the French side), also the upper part of some valleys tributaries of the Po River (Valle di Susa, Chisone valley, Varaita Valley). The Alpine territory of Dauphiné, known as Escartons, used to have a limited autonomy and to elect his own parliament.[2] This semi-autonomuos status lasted also after the annexion of Dauphiné to France (1349), and was only abolished in 1713 due to the Treaty of Utrecht, which assigned to House of Savoy all the mountain area on the eastern side of the Cottian Alps.[3]

After the treaty annexing Nice and Savoy to France, signed in Turin on March 1860 (Treaty of Turin), the north-western slopes of the range became part of the French republic.[4]

Two eastern valleys of the Cottian Alps (Pellice and Germanasca) have been for centuries a kind of sanctuary for the Waldensians, a Christian movement founded by Peter Waldo and which was persecuted as heretical from the 12th century onwards.[5]

Geography[edit]

Administratively the range is divided between the Italian provinces of Cuneo and Turin (eastern slopes) and the French departments of Savoie, Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (western slopes).

The Cottian Alps are drained by the rivers Durance and Arc and their tributaries on the French side; by the Dora Riparia and other tributaries of the Po on the Italian side.

Borders[edit]

Cottian Alps' borders are (clockwise):

Peaks[edit]

The Northern Cottian Alps from Pointe Clairy

The chief peaks of the Cottian Alps are:

name metres feet name metres feet
Monte Viso 3841 12,609 Viso di Vallante 3672 12,048
Aiguille de Scolette 3505 11,500 Aiguille de Chambeyron 3412 11,155
Bric de Chambeyron 3388 11,116 Pic de la Font Sancte 3387 11,112
Rognosa d'Etiache 3385 11,106 Dents d'Ambin 3382 11,096
Punta Ferrand 3364 11,037 Visolotto 3353 11,001
Bric de Rubren 3340 10,958 Punta Sommeiller 3333 10,935
Pic de Rochebrune 3320 10,891 Bric Froid 3302 10,833
Grand Glaiza 3286 10,781 Rognosa di Sestriere 3280 10,761
Panestrel 3253 10,673 Roche du Grand Galibier 3242 10,637
Peou Roc 3231 10,601 Rocca Bernauda 3225 10,581
Pic du Pelvat 3218 10,558 Pointe Haute de Mary 3212 10,539
Pain de Sucre 3208 10,526 Mont Thabor 3180 10,440
Pointe des Cerces 3180 10,434 Tete des Toillies 3179 10,430
Monte Granero 3170 10,401 Monte Platasse 3149 10,331
Rocce del Rouit 3145 10,318 Pic du Thabor 3144 10,316
Mont Chaberton 3130 10,286 Tete de Moyse 3110 10,204
Punta Bagnà 3129 10,266 Monte Meidassa 3105 10,187
Pelvo d'Elva 3064 10,053 Rocca Bianca 3059 10,307
Monte Albergian 3041 9,977 Bric Ghinivert 3037 9,963
Monte Barifreddo 3028 9,933 Monte Politri 3026 9,928
Pic Caramantran 3025 9,925 Bric Bouchet 2998 9,836
Pointe du Fréjus 2934 9,626 Pointe des Marcelettes 2909 9,545
Pic du Malrif 2906 9,535 Monte Orsiera 2890 9,479
Punta Cournour 2868 9,410 Monte Friolànd 2738 8,981

Passes[edit]

Colle d'Agnello/Col Agnel, 2,744 m

The chief passes of the Cottian Alps are:

name location type
(as of 1911)
elevation (m/ft)
Col Sommeiller Bardonecchia to Bramans snow 2962/9718
Col de la Traversette Crissolo to Abriès bridle path 2950/9679
Col d'Ambin Exilles to Bramans snow 2854/9364
Col de St Veran Valle Varaita to the Queyras Valley foot path 2844/9331
Col du Parpaillon Ubaye Valley to the Queyras Valley foot path 2780/9121
Col d'Étache Bardonecchia to Bramans bridle path 2787/9144
Col Agnel Valle Varaita to the Queyras Valley road 2744/9003
Col Girardin Ubaye Valley to the Queyras Valley bridle path 2699/8855
Col de Sautron Valle Maira to Barcelonnette bridle path 2689/8823
Col de Longet Ubaye Valley to Valle Varaita bridle path 2672/8767
Col de Mary Ubaye Valley to Valle Maira bridle path 2654/8708
Col d'Abriès Perosa to Abriès bridle path 2650/8695
Col de la Roue Bardonecchia to Modane bridle path 2566/8419
Col du Fréjus Bardonecchia to Modane dirt road 2542/8340
Col de Clapier Bramans to Susa bridle path 2491/8173
Col d'Izoard Briançon to the Queyras Valley road 2388/7835
Col de la Croix or Colle della Croce Torre Pellice to Abriès bridle path 2299/7541
Petit Mont Cenis Bramans to the Mont Cenis Plateau bridle path 2184/7166
Col de Vars Ubaye Valley to the Queyras Valley road 2115/6939
Mont Cenis Lanslebourg to Susa road 2101/6893
Colle Sestriere Pinerolo to Cesana Torinese road 2021/6631
Col de Larche/Maddalena Pass Ubaye Valley to the Stura Valley road 1991/6532
Col de Montgenèvre Briançon to Susa road 1854/6083
Col de l'Échelle Briançon to Bardonecchia road 1760/5774
Col de la Vallée Étroite Briançon to Modane foot path 2445/8022

See also[edit]

Maps[edit]

References[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

  1. ^ Bibliotheca classica or A classical dictionary, John Lemprière, G. and C. Carvill, 1831; pag. 414
  2. ^ Escartons, hommes libres, www.escartons.eu (accessed on 2012-04-05)
  3. ^ Joseph Visconti (2003). The Waldensian Way to God. Xulon Press. 
  4. ^ "Traité de Turin, Signé à Turin le 24 mars 1860 entre la France et la Sardaigne.". mjp.univ-perp.fr. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  5. ^ Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 874–876