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The industrial era

The Queyras depopulated, from 7300 inhabitants in 1841 to 1674 in 1968. The Guillestrois region also suffered a significant population loss. Its population went from 7397 inhabitants in 1841 to 3463 in 1968. The exodus was towards urban centers and their factories. The Queyras closed in on itself, lacking road-links to Italy.

The story continues!

The modern world inventions , electricity, running water… I imagine arrived late in the Queyras?

You’re partly wrong! Abriès has a public lighting – and it’s free! – as early as 1899, thanks to the hydroelectric power station of Ernest Martin’s mill. The same was true for Ristolas in 1907! The “Queyrassin tradition” of mutual aid endured the centuries! Several attempts were made to create industries: semi-precious stone work in Saint-Véran, the asbestos mine in Péas, and the copper mine in Saint-Véran, which operated from 1901 to 1960.

What about cars? I saw a postcard showing the first car in Izoard path in 1911!

Cars will have serious consequences on the Queyras and will change everything… The Queyras is now landlocked, whereas before any hiker could cross the mountain passes. Summer tourism began in the late 19th century, the Abriès Grand Hôtel opened in 1899, and the mountain guide profession was taking shape. In the early 20th century, the army tested a new means of transport: skiing! And it was a success. The Aiguilles ski club was founded at the end of 1906. In the 1930’s, the Abriès, Aiguilles and Saint-Véran ski resorts were created.

Media news

In the 1920s, Radio Tour Eiffel broadcast the Queyras advertising!

The arrival of tourism

What about tourism and skiing?

For the most part, even agriculture and livestock farming depend on it, as meat and cheese sales increase during high  seasons. But the Queyrassin inhabitants have not sacrificed their traditional ways: mutual aid, welcoming others, links with Italy and Germany – these are all still alive and well. Above all, the Queyrassins love their valley!