Oisans, land of treasures, land of encounters The crystals extracted at La Gardette are said to be of incomparable purity and clarity, and have been mined from the earliest times. The renown of these stones dates from the time of Louis XVI; they were originally intended to adorn a grand chandelier at the Palace of Versailles. Throughout the ages, men have visited this area, drawn by the magnificent landscapes and by the treasures hidden beneath the ground. This is the land of fertile valleys, dramatically changing seasons, and diverse customs from one village or valley to another. Julius Caesar and his legions dug out the Roman road which passes by Rochetaillee, beside the ancient lake of St Laurent which filled the plain in past times. Napoleon is said to have changed his route to see the hidden gems of the Oisans valleys. Bernard Hinault, friend of this region and past winner of the Tour de France, will have appreciated the beauty of the local mines and their minerals. Nowadays huge numbers of tourists from all around the world are drawn to our mountains to ski, cycle, trek…and of course to see our minerals!!