Coordinates: 44°52′31″N 5°43′21″E / 44.8753°N 5.7225°E / 44.8753; 5.7225
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The church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Mayres, at the start of the 20th century
The church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Mayres, at the start of the 20th century
Location of Mayres-Savel
Mayres-Savel is located in France
Mayres-Savel is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Coordinates: 44°52′31″N 5°43′21″E / 44.8753°N 5.7225°E / 44.8753; 5.7225
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Jean-Michel Brugnera[1]
13 km2 (5 sq mi)
 • Density6.9/km2 (18/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
38224 /38350
Elevation484–1,769 m (1,588–5,804 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Mayres-Savel (French pronunciation: [mɛʁ savɛl]) is a commune in the Isère department in southeastern France.[3] It borders the communes of Marcieu to the west, Saint-Arey to the east and Prunières to the north.

The largest alpine pasture in France, which is called Senépy and is at an altitude of 1769m, is within the boundaries of the commune. It hosts a herd of around 1000 cattle.[4] Mayres-Savel is separated from Saint-Arey by a large ravine. At the border with Saint-Arey, but within the borders of the commune of Mayres-Savel is an unusual rock formation called 'La Demoiselle' (which is French for 'The Maiden'). 'Demoiselle coiffée' is a French word for the rock formation called a hoodoo in English.[5]


The Chateau de Savel, at the centre of the eponymous seigneurie ( or fiefdom), was described as a fortified house by Raymond del Sers in a census from 1399 who said "quod dictum castrum non nomiauitur castrum I sed domum fortem" which approximately translates to "as for the castle, it is not called a castle but a fortified house." The Lord of the castle at the time was Lantelme Eynard.[6] The ruins of the Chateau are still within the bounds of Mayre-Savel.[7]

The old bridge across the Drac, the mountain tributary which marked out the limit of the fiefdom, was knocked down in 1720 to isolate the village and protect its inhabitants from the plague.[4]

The commune of Savel was submerged when the Monteynard Dam was built in 1962. To preserve the memory of Savel, its name was incorporated in that of the neighbouring commune of Mayres along with the remaining land from former Savel which was still above water.[4]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 97—    
1975 78−3.07%
1982 91+2.23%
1990 100+1.19%
1999 107+0.75%
2009 100−0.67%
2014 130+5.39%
2020 88−6.30%
Source: INSEE[8]

Its inhabitants are called Mayrants or Mayrantes in French.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires"., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 9 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ INSEE commune file
  4. ^ a b c "Mayres-savel". Le Monteynard. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  5. ^ "LA DEMOISELLE AU FOND DU RAVIN ENTRE MAYRES ET SAINT-AREY". Géologie Patrimonie Matheysine. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
  6. ^ Sirot, Élisabeth (2007). Noble et forte maison - L'habitat seigneurial dans les campagnes médiévales du milieu du XIIe au début du XVIe. Éditions Picard. p. 33. ISBN 9782708407701.
  7. ^ Tasset, Eric (2005). Châteaux forts de l'Isère : Grenoble et le Nord de son arrondissement. Grenoble: éditions de Belledonne. p. 684. ISBN 2911148665.
  8. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE