Letters war Chalet La Douceur - Chez Germain

Chalet La Douceur – The memory of an exceptional place

Hundred years. That’s how long it took to discover a real treasure hidden in the Chalet La Douceur, in La Clusaz: the abundant correspondence of four brothers, soldiers of the Great War, leaves a poignant testimony which still marks the spirit of the place today. Maurice Vittoz confides.

Un véritable trésor

Latest acquisition of Groupe PVG, the Chalet La Douceur welcomes travelers looking for authenticity and comfort. In the heart of the Confins valley, in total harmony with nature, nothing seemed able to shake the quiet charm of this old farm. However, in the spring of 2018, there was a twist: the workers renovating the chalet discovered a mysterious burlap bag in the gaps in the frame. In this bag, 2,000 old letters, perfectly preserved.

An extraordinary historical testimony

This is the war correspondence of the four brothers of the Ruphy family who then lived on this farm called “L’Adroit”, in reference to the sunshine it enjoyed. Maurice Vittoz, emblematic figure of La Clusaz and close to the Ruphy family, says: “Joseph, Germain, François and Jean were mobilized on August 3, 1914, leaving the responsibility of the family farm to their parents and their three sisters. They didn’t think they would leave for more than a year.”

As soon as he learned of the existence of the letters, Maurice Vittoz became passionate about this testimony of local life, but also of the Great War: “It is a priceless treasure, he said. I read everything in two months and I classified the letters by boy and year. It was very moving.” And for good reason. He retains from his readings the description of the daily life of the poilus on the front – sometimes in a roundabout way because the censorship was watching -, the injuries, the palpable concern between the lines, but also very practical recommendations regarding the management of the farm.

Tributes and living memory

Today, the letters have been returned to the Ruphy family and Maurice Vittoz, at the age of 81, relates with great emotion in his voice the last ceremony of November 11: “These letters caused a lot of talk here and the centenary of the war of 14-18 brought together all generations around the memory of the 52 soldiers of La Clusaz who died in combat – including François Ruphy. »

And it is quite natural that the PVG Group also wanted to pay tribute to the Ruphy brothers, by naming the two accommodations in the chalet “Chez Germain” and “Chez Joseph” and exposing some of the precious handwritten letters. Now rehabilitated into a comfortable residence, Chalet La Douceur retains its old-world mountain charm while offering amenities that make it an ideal place to get together with family in all seasons. The two accommodations can be rented separately or combined to accommodate up to 20 people on 320m².

Snowy roof view Chalet La Douceur

The pleasures of winter sports and those of the summer season are within reach here. And the little extra that makes all the difference: a breathtaking view of the Aravis mountain range.