Tignes

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Tignes
Tignes Val Claret, taken from slopes of the Grande Motte mountain
Tignes Val Claret, taken from slopes of the Grande Motte mountain
Coat of arms of Tignes
Coat of arms
Location of Tignes
Tignes is located in France
Tignes
Tignes
Tignes is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Tignes
Tignes
Coordinates: 45°28′06″N 6°54′20″E / 45.4683°N 6.9056°E / 45.4683; 6.9056Coordinates: 45°28′06″N 6°54′20″E / 45.4683°N 6.9056°E / 45.4683; 6.9056
CountryFrance
RegionAuvergne-Rhône-Alpes
DepartmentSavoie
ArrondissementAlbertville
CantonBourg-Saint-Maurice
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Jean-Christophe Vitale
Area
1
81.63 km2 (31.52 sq mi)
Population
(2014)2
2,587
 • Density32/km2 (82/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
73296 /73320
Elevation1,440–3,747 m (4,724–12,293 ft)
(avg. 1,810 m or 5,940 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Tignes (French pronunciation: ​[tiɲ]) is a commune in the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It is located in the Savoie region with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambery.

It is best known as a ski resort. Together with nearby Val d'Isère, it forms the "Espace Killy" ski area. Tignes was the freestyle skiing venue for the 1992 Winter Olympics and co-host city for the 1992 Winter Paralympics.

Villages[edit]

Tignes comprises 5 Villages; Tignes Val Claret, Tignes le Lac, Le Lavachet, Tignes Les Boisses and Tignes-les-Brévières. The first three are close together at 2100 m and Les Boisses and Les Brevieres are further down the valley, above and below the dam respectively. Les Brévières is an old village whereas all the others were created as part of the Dam construction or development of the ski resort. All the villages are part of the ski resort known as Tignes.

Dam (barrage de Tignes)[edit]

Barrage de Tignes.

The original village of Tignes was in the Isère valley below Val d'Isère. After the second world war, France needed electricity and it was decided to build the hydro-electric Tignes Dam in the Isère valley. Whilst this was a great achievement for French engineering and was for the greater good of France, it meant that the old village of Tignes was drowned. The dam was completed and the village was submerged in 1952. A replica of the original church was created in Tignes les Boisses. Once every 10 years the lake behind the dam (Lac du Chevril) is drained for maintenance work and the remains of the old village becomes visible.

The dam was painted with a fresco of Hercules in 1989 by Jean-Marie Pierret with the help of eight mountain climbers. The fresco is considered one of the largest in the world. The portrait of Hercules was added and funded by private corporations interested in boosting the Olympic appeal during the winter games of 1992 which took place in nearby Albertville, France.[1][2]

Ski resort[edit]

A ski lift on the Grande Motte.
Logo used to identify the ski resort

After the loss of the old village it was decided to develop a ski resort at the higher lake (Le Lac). This was surrounded by a bowl that is ideal for skiing and is headed by the Grand Motte glacier. The resort was developed largely during the 1960s and the building style reflects what was regarded as good building design at that time. In recent years the town has worked to improve the look of the new villages with some success.

The lifts of Tignes have been managed since 1967 by the company STGM (The Société des Téléphériques de la Grande Motte).[3] Many lifts are fast 6 or 8 person chairlifts and there are 113 snow cannons which produce 450,000 m2 of artificial snow each year.[4] The ski area is linked through easy access with the adjacnt resort of Val-d'Isère, combining to for the Tignes-Val d'Isere ski area (formerly known as Espace Killy). At 4.2 km, Tignes boasts the 4th longest funicular in the world.[citation needed] Ski trails in Tignes reach a height of 3456 m giving Tignes the highest marked ski trails in Europe, aiding its reputation as one of the best resorts in the Alps for snow sureness.[5]

Operations[edit]

There are 56 ski patrollers covering the resort of Tignes.[6] There are 15 snow cats to maintain the quality of the pistes; FOUR of these are equipped with winches for working steep slopes and one is for shaping the half pipe. Around 60 percent of the slopes are groomed each evening.[7]

Grande Motte glacier[edit]

Due to the presence of the Grande Motte glacier, Tignes offers year-round skiing.

Tarentaise Valley skiing[edit]

The Tarentaise Valley is the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. The well-known neighbour systems are Paradiski (Les Arcs and La Plagne) and Les Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens and more). There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create the largest ski area in the world. However, that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.

2017 avalanche[edit]

On 13 February 2017, four people died due to the avalanche at the ski resort. It was reported to be at least 400 metres (1,300ft) wide and at an altitude of 2,100 metres.[8]

Summer[edit]

Tignes is well known for its year round amenities. In the summer Tignes shifts towards a multi activity resort with particular focus as an altitude training base for athletes. Many come to the resort to utilise the facilities it offers for altitude training with notable sports people such as the French national rugby team making use of the facilities.

However, Tignes still maintains its appeal as a ski resort throughout the summer by offering skiers the ability to ski on the Grande Motte glacier.

View from the 7th hole of the golf course with Tignes Le Lac in the background

Tignes has tthe highest golf course in Europe. Designed by the golf architect P. Valant. The course features a full 18 hole course running along a 5 km stretch of the mountainside.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WORKS IN PROGRESS; That Dammed Hercules By Bruce Weber". The New York Times. 1989-11-05. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  2. ^ Tignes: From Past to Present
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-02-28. STGM Tignes
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
  5. ^ http://www.skicollection.co.uk/Ski/Tignes.htm
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  8. ^ "Four dead in avalanche at French ski resort Tignes". BBC News. 13 February 2017.

External links[edit]