Le patrimoine de La Grave et Villar d'Arène

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Parish Church of St. Martin de Villar d'Arène

In the center of the village of Villar-d'Arêne stands the Saint Martin of Tours Church, built between 1866 and 1870 with travertine rock from the Lautaret Pass.


In Villar d' Arène, several places of worship followed one another. After two big fires - in 1672 and in 1771 - almost complete reconstructions were necessary.
On Sunday, November 2 1771, at the end of Mass, a fire broke out under strong winds and devastated 72 houses in less than a quarter of an hour ... Even the church was greatly damaged, in spite of its bell tower being covered with lead. The whole village was rebuilt with wood collected in Monêtier-les-Bains and in the small forest of Villar d'Arene.

The church, rebuilt between 1866 and 1870, bears certain characteristics of neo-Gothic art. The bell tower, built in golden travertine rock from Lautaret, features twin bay windows with semicircular arches, similar to those of the Lombard style churches.

Its large proportions, that proved unsuitable for the unstable ground, reflect the wealth of the emigrants who paid for its construction. The church was inaugurated on November 11th 1870, Saint Martin's Day.

Due to its deteriorated state, the church has been closed to the public since 1986.


Overtures :

Closed temporarily.



Villar d'Arène - © © OTHV / J. Selberg

Place du village
Villar d'Arène
05480 Villar-d'Arêne


Phone : 06 83 03 78 21

Friends of the Saint-Martin church of Villar d'Arene Association

This association aims the restoration of the Church of St. Martin of Villar d'Arene, emblematic building of Villar d'Arene.

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The land of the Meije (Circuit n°16)

La Meije domine La Grave - © Bertrand Boone

La Grave

04 76 79 90 05

The land of the Meije (Circuit n°16)

The village of La Grave, a temple for mountaineers and ofpiste skiers, is known the world over. However, due to its particularly tortuous access, this village was only linked to the rest of the world by road during the second half of the 20th century.

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