Europe’s highest town
Fortified since pre-Roman times, Europe’s highest town (1,325 m) stands sentinel at the junction of four great valleys guarding the road to Italy. Head straight for the picturesque Haute Ville, overlooked by Vauban’s grim-faced Citadelle, perched above the uninspiring modern town. Entered by the Porte de Pignerol, the largely 18thC old town is packed tightly within its walls, offering terrific views across the Dauphiné Alps. Precipitous streets like the main Grande Gargouille tumble downhill; there is Vauban’s sturdy Eglise de Notre-Dame which looks almost as impregnable as the citadel; and a plethora of souvenir shops.
Brian√ç¬µcon is an excellent jumping-off point for excursions into the Pare National des Ecrins which borders Italy to the south-east.