Founded by former ‘maquisard’ (Resistance fighter) Joseph La Picirella, the aim of the museum is to pass on the memories of Resistance members to future generations. One of the few Resistance museums in France, it provides a rare link with the tragic events which left their mark on the village of Vassieux-en-Vercors. The Vercors, which was a centre of French Resistance during the Second World War, is still marked by its history today. The museum is a major attraction in the Drôme, as much for the remembrance aspect as its perfect setting in the Vassieux Valley surrounded by mountains. As well as enjoying panoramic views of the Vercors, you can discover the « Chemins de la Liberté (paths to freedom) », like the path leading to the ‘Mémorial de la Résistance’ at Col de la Chau, another tribute to the local heroes who should never be forgotten.
As you enter the totally renovated museum you will see a Sten machine gun, broken in half and bearing the word « Pax », a symbol of peace designed by the founder. Your tour starts in front of the painted wooden panel by Marcel Labeste depicting his idea of the Résistance and military cruelty. Continue on through the 160m² exhibition space covering all aspects of Resistance through several periods (before, during and after the events). Get close to the everyday life of the Resistance workers through digital touch screen displays and hundreds of exhibits. Understand the geography of the place and the importance of Vassieux-en-Vercors during the war. Watch films giving moving, firsthand accounts of events. The museum is a carefully thought out way of explaining to youngsters the importance of the actions carried out by the Resistance.