THE HISTORY OF RISOUL
A bit of historyThe first inhabitants seduced by the abundant sunshine and the mild local climate were the Gauls who settled here 2000 years BC, gradually forming the commune of 17 hamlets that we know today. Over the centuries, the "risoulins" took advantage of the natural wealth of their territory: they were farmers, stockbreeders, wood and stone craftsmen.
Risoul is located in the heart of the Guil valley, with a strategic position between France and Italy. The village shared the same destiny as Guillestre and Mont-dauphin, fortified to protect the valley from invasion. However it was not until the middle of the 20th century that Risoul experienced the biggest crisis in its history as all the young people left for towns and soon only slightly over 200 inhabitants remained.
In the 70s, the “risoulins” took things in hand and built a winter sports resort on their nearest mountain pastures at an altitude of 1850m in the heart of a larch forest. The future was guaranteed and the “risoulins” gradually moved back to the hamlets of their village where few things have changed today : the bell of the Romanesque church still rings on the hour every hour, the village oven and fountains are still there beside the wooden chalets.
In 1763, the Priest Albert registered 900 inhabitants in the parish. During the last century, due to numerous farming and artisanal activities (lime, plaster) the population reached 930 inhabitants. It then continued to diminish to just 290 inhabitants in 1950 and increased again to 450 permanent inhabitants in 1960. Today the parish has 677 inhabitants.
The parish stretches from the Pic de l’Homme mort (2100 m) to the banks of the Durance (about 850m) and is made up of twenty hamlets scattered over the north-facing slopes, including Haut & Bas Gaudissard, Barbeinc and Languieu.
For the last forty years, the top ski resort of Risoul 1850 has towered above them. The church and town hall are located in the main hamlet.
Risoul offers its inhabitants and tourists alike the charm of a modern resort, the attractiveness of hamlets where farming life continues and numerous possibilities for second homes on the outskirts of a cool, calm forest.