Dark Tourism in Auvergne

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Dark Tourism in Auvergne
Dark Tourism in Auvergne
France
RITTER Fanny – International Intensive Short Course in Dark
Tourism - Saaremaa, Estonia – July 28th– August 9th 2013
Auvergne
The Arverni
The Arverni people lived in the North of the Massif
central
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A people reputed rich, powerful and very influential
on the others Gallic tribes
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Their most important cities was built in strategic
sites called « Oppida »
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Three oppida in Auvergne : Corent, Gondole,
Gergovia
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Oppidum of Gergovia
Gergovia's Battle
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52 BC : Gallic's rebellion against roman
occupation
Caesar set up his camp at the foot of Gergovia's
plateau to besiege the oppidum
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Vercingetorix and his armies repulsed the
Romans and won the battle
The rediscovery of Gergovia
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1863 : Napoleon the 3rd renamed Merdogne in
Gergovia
19th century : the begging of more intensive
excavations
Tourism in Gergovia
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1990 : Creation of an association for the site
promotion
« Home of Gergovia » : tourism office,
interpretation centre, shop, exhibitions room
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New project : « Home of Gergovia 2 »
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13 500 visitors every year
Natural Site
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Beautiful panorama on the Clermont-Ferrand
and the Chaînes des puys
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Cervolix : famous kite festival feasible thanks
to the geological aspects
Cervolix : 30 000 visitors every year
The Arverniales
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Gallic archeoparty : 10 000 vistors per year
Reconstruction of a gallic and a roman camp
and of a Gallic tavern
Initiation to excavations, arts and crafts
Historical reconstruction of battles between
gallics and romans
Guided tour of the plateau and documentary
films
Impact of the promotion
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19th century : people thinks that the Arverni are
bearded and with a good head of hair
The comics Asterix diffused this idea
Wrong idea : a gold coin depicting Vercingetorix
proves it
Conclusion
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A major place of the history of Gaul
Symbol of resistance against enemy in France
Statue of Vercingetorix in Clermont-Ferrand
Mont Mouchet
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A 1,497 metres high moutain of the Margeride
massif
Located on the borders of Cantal, Haute-Loire
and Lozère
Situation during the 2
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nd
WW
France was divided in 2 parts : an occupied
zone and a free zone
Petain established his government in Vichy 55
km far from Clermont-Ferrand
The beggining of Resistance : The Call of
Charles De Gaulle June 18th 1940 on the BBC
“I call upon all
Frenchmen who
want to remain free
to follow me ”
Resistance in Auvergne
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Numerous movements were created in 1942
The MUR was created in 1943. He rallied the
major movements of the free zone
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In 1944, 3 « réduits » are created. One of
them :The maquis of the Mont Mouchet
[
Réduit : a place very difficult
to reach which permits to hide
the resistance fighters scattered
in the mounts of Auvergne and
to organize the movement
]
Battles of the Mont Mouchet
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10th June 1944 : German attacked the maquis
all day long and finally withdraw
11th June 1944 : 2 800 germans headed for the
Mont Mouchet, they were repulsed once more
but the maquisards ran away to the reduit of the
Truyère.
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20th June 1944 : Last attack
which forced the maquisards
to scattered in the Cantal
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Liberation of the region
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July 1944 : The differents groups gathered
together in the French Forces of the Interior
(FFI)
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31 August 1944 : Complete liberation of the
region Auvergne by the FFI of Auvergne
Memorial monuments
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National Memorial for the resistants and the
maquis of France
Museum of Resistance which focus on Auvergne
Resistance
Tourism at the Mont Mouchet
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A playful museography adapted to children
Summer holiday guided tour of the museum and
the forest
Inn near the museum
Difficulties
In the 90's : 30 000 peoples
visited the museum every year
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Since few years : frequenting
doesn't stop to reduce because
of the death of the resistants
and their families
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The new generation shows
less interest for the memorial
sites
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New tourist qualification
The authorities focus the tourist attraction on the
exceptional geography : hiking pathes, discovery of
fauna and flora
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They also bought the inn for the welcoming of
visitors
→ The goal is to promote the site
as an exceptional destination
for memory and the discovery
of the nature
Dark tourism concept
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Directly linked with war and death
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Cultural tourism : provides general knowledge
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Allows to remeber the past events
Understand the history of a region or a city
Allows to avoid to reproduce the past mistakes
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Tribute to the victims
Dark tourism sites
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¾ of them feel good with the concept
The half want to visit dark tourism places
The most are linked with the two World Wars
Oradour sur Glane, beaches of Normandy
landings, south-eastern battlefields of the 1st
WW...
Abroad sites : Pompei in Italy, Ronda in Spain,
Berlin and Chile
Reasons for visiting
For all : to better understand and learn more of
what happened. To better understand the heritage
of places they visit
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For ¾ : The visit allows to make event real for
them. They doesn't help them to feel empathy with
the victims
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For the half : dark tourism permits to feel closer
with their heritage. They want to «see it in order to
believe it»
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For anyone : it's a tourist attraction. They aren't
interested in seeing sites linked to death or
suffering
Survey analyze
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Destinations evoke are always sites linked to the
two World Wars
Recent events with very strong and significant
memories
Old events : they don't consider them as dark
tourism attraction at first.
Visitors have a more distant look on old events,
there are less ethicals problems with tourism
Conclusion
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Tourism is not always easy in memorial sites
A fall of frequenting inevitable after the death of
the persons concerned. They need a complement
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To combine memory and nature are pertinent for
places less renowed
Problem : who will managed and leaded these
sites in the next decades in France
Dark tourism are an interesting way to keep alive
these sites
Thank you for your
attention