The history of the commune of le Monêtier les Bains
Le Monêtier-les-Bains is distinguished by strong alpine features, visible glaciers and wild and unspoilt mountainous areas.
In the north of the Hautes-Alpes department, the town occupies the high valley of the Guisane, the name of the river that starts its course at the summit of the Col du Lautaret (2058 m).
It is one of the four communes of the Serre-Chevalier resort and the peak of this major mountain resort whose ski lifts mark the north face of the valley over a stretch of around fifteen kilometres from Briançon.
It covers around 13,000 hectares between the Col du Galibier, the Cerces mountain range (the departure point for the main hikes is at the Pont de l'Alp) and the Parc national des Écrins.
The valley is wide enough to ensure that mountain agriculture still thrives here and still marks the features of the landscape.
Les Grands Bains de Monêtier
The first traces of the Roman city date from the 4th century after JC . The Romans already knew the two sources of Monêtier and their benefits, the village was then called «Stabatio», signifying «a place of healing». Its virtues would have given its name to the river Aquisana (the water that heals), now called Guisane.
In 1715 a settlement is built to the south of the village, using the "Hot-Font" source, composed of three basins. North of the village, we build the Rotonde : building nicknamed « pavillon des buveurs » ( "Drinker's pavillon"), its waters will only be prescribed for drinking, for their gastric properties, and will be complementary with the "Font-Chaude", prescribed in baths and showers for their dermatological and rheumatological properties. The Rontonde spring has the additional characteristic of being loaded with gas.
At the time, the clientele frequented the Grands Bains, and the king of France decided to build a spacious and comfortable royal spa .
For many years to come, Monêtier will experience significant activity around the baths and its surface water, which seeps into the ground and heats up on contact with an underground magma structure to emerge at 44°C.
In the 1950s, the exploitation was put to an end in order to take advantage of the economy and the development of winter sports.
It is from 1999 that the wish to develop additional activities have revived the thermal project and that the municipality builds the new facility named « Les petits bains » ( "the little baths")
Composed of an 80 m² poll and 3 balneotherapy baths, it was a great success as soon as it opened.
In 2008, the following were built « Les Grands Bains du Monêtier » , 4500 m² thermo play centre in operation today, combining the benefits of natural hot water its Spa center. Through multiple courses in these indoor and outdoor pools, the institution offers relaxation, well-being ang lasting memories.
A shop and a restaurant complete the offer for the people of Briançon and for holidaymakers.