Musée de la Résistance du Vercors At the end of the 19th century, many young Italian men crossed the border, seeking employment and a better life. Many from the Alpine areas of Italy found work in the Vercors as woodcutters. Missing their pasta and with meat in short supply, they created their own style of ravioli, filled instead with local cheese and parsley. The recipe was introduced to the locals, and today, la raviole is an emblematic food of the area, together with walnuts.
Later, due to the fresh mountain air, the region became known for climatic healing, notably for sufferers of asthma, tuberculosis and other lung-related maladies. Following the Second World War, many children from bomb-hit towns and cities were sent here for restorative care.
The Second World War marked the history of the Vercors massif. The geographical make-up of the region renders the Vercors a natural fortress, with the lower pre-Alps plains encircling the high mountain cliffs like a belt. Add to this the dense forests and hidden caves, and the massif was the ideal place for the young partisans of the French Resistance to regroup and train, ready to defend the free south from the Nazis.
The story of the maquisards, as they were known, and the tragedy that ensued in June 1944, when Nazi forces penetrated the fortress in gliders and slaughtered injured fighters as well as the inhabitants of Vassieux, is superbly recounted at both the museum and memorial of the Resistance in Vassieux.