35 Culture Fort l'Ecluse, Leaz

Guardian of the Pays de Gex, Fort l’Ecluse is one of only three remaining examples of French mountain fortifications from the first half of the 19th Century. An underground staircase of 1165 steps links the lower and the upper halves of the fort. Special activities, exhibitions and large screen video presentations help make your visit a memorable one. A unique and unforgettable site!
A via ferrata (rock climbing path) starts at the parking lot at the fort. It is free and available to all with adequate equipment. Level : quite difficult.

In the heart of the Gex transversal valley, the site of Fort l'Ecluse is a natural, strategic passage between the Jura and the Alps since Roman times.
Constructed at the place of a 13th century fortified dwelling, Fort l'Ecluse has always played the role of a border. When it became French in 1601, the Royal engineers enlarged and reinforced the buildings. At the beginning of the 19th century, the fort dug directly in the rockbed was restructured in 2 phases to accommodate a strengthened fortification.


By road : motorway A40 Mâcon-Geneva : exit n°10 Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. motorway A39 : exit n°7 Poligny, then RN5 direction Gex and Bellegarde. motorway N1 (Switzerland) : exit Meyrin/St Genis Pouilly and then direction Bellegarde.

Prices, packages

Individual rates :
Adults: 5 €
Children 6 to 16 years: 3.50 €
Student fee and job seeker (with identification): 3.50 €
Family price (2 adults and 2 children minimum): 15 €
Free :
Children under 6 years
Beneficiaries of the RMI upon presentation of proof

Rates for groups of at least 20 people:
- Adults: 4.50 €
- Children: 3.00 €

Proposed visits and duration


Free visit : 1h30 to 2h30

Spoken languages

French, English

Description of services and / or proposed infrastructure

Sales of beverages, books on and around the fort. The tourist Office of Collonges and Region is present throughout the season.
Showcase of the Friends of the Nature Reserve of the Upper Chain of Jura.
Via ferrata freely accessible with adequate equipment.

To discover