Chartreuse Mountains

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Map of the Chartreuse massif

The Chartreuse Mountains (French: massif de la Chartreuse [masif d(ə) la ʃaʁtʁøz]) are a mountain range in southeastern France, stretching from the city of Grenoble in the south to the Lac du Bourget in the north. They are part of the French Prealps, which continue as the Bauges to the north and the Vercors to the south.

The monastic Carthusian Order takes its name from these mountains, where its first hermitage was founded in 1084. Also derived from the mountain range's name is that of the alcoholic cordial Chartreuse produced by the monks since the 1740s, and of the chartreuse colour, named after the drink.


The name Chartreuse is derived from the village now known as Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, earlier Catorissium, Cantourisa, Caturissium, and Chatrousse.[1] It appears to be of Gaulish origin;[2] and is perhaps related to the name of the Caturiges tribe.[3]


The mountain range rises between Grenoble (south), Chambéry (north), Voiron and Saint-Laurent-du-Pont (west) and Grésivaudan (Isère valley, east)

Main summits[edit]

Summits of the Chartreuse Mountains include:

Main passes[edit]

Passes of the Chartreuse Mountains include :

With road[edit]

Without road[edit]

Main canyons[edit]

Canyons of the Chartreuse Mountains include :

Main plateaux[edit]

Plateaux of the Chartreuse Mountains include :

Main karst areas[edit]

Karst areas of the Chartreuse include :

Panorama of the Grésivaudan Valley and the Chartreuse Mountains from Les Sept Laux.


The lithology is dominated by limestone, and several hundred kilometres of cave passages lie beneath the hills, including the world-famous 60 km long Dent de Crolles system.

The Tour Percée Double Arch, at 32 metres (105 ft) the longest span in the Alps.

Winter sports resorts[edit]

Chartreuse winter sports resorts include :



The Chartreuse Mountains gave their name to:


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1st edition, 1888 s.v.
  2. ^ Juan Luis García Alonso, Continental Celtic Word Formation: The Onomastic Data, p. 42
  3. ^ Robert Ellis, A Treatise on Hannibal's Passage of the Alps, 1853, p. 174

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°21′N 5°50′E / 45.350°N 5.833°E / 45.350; 5.833