Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is located in the heart of the Maurienne Valley, the southernmost of the great valleys that cross through Savoy. The gateway to the Domaine des Sybelles, the global capital of for mountain cyclists, it is the meeting place for sportsmen and nature lovers at all times of the year. Out hotel in the town centre is ideal for discovering the main attractions of the town on foot or for easy access to the main ski resorts.
This pretty little town with its colourful buildings was first and foremost a spiritual destination. In the Middle Ages, a cathedral was built by Gontran, Duke of Burgundy and grandson of Clovis, to house the relics of Saint John the Baptist brought back from Alexandria by Saint Thècle: the three fingers of the hand that baptised Christ. The relics made the town the capital of the valley. Hence its name, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, and its coat of arms: a hand raised in blessing. The event is celebrated at the ‘Feast of Bread’ every first Thursday in August.
While staying at the hotel, you will be able to discover the rich heritage of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Just a stone’s throw away, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, with its steeple, an old keep, its cloister, a beautiful example of Gothic art, and its crypt that runs under the choir of the cathedral. But the real star here is Opinel. The mythical Savoy knife, born in the Gévoudaz workshop in Albiez, has its own museum in Saint-Jean. Instructive and free-of-charge, it tells the success story of this family firm founded in 1890 by Joseph Opinel, a skilled blacksmith and tool maker.
Another museum to visit in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is the Costumes, Arts and Popular Traditions Museum. Located in the prestigious surroundings of the old Bishop’s Palace, it houses an exceptional collection of costumes of Maurienne.