Culture & Gastronomy Published on 19/09/2022
Following our articles on the “Mont-Rond antenna” and the “Colomby de Gex pylon”, here is “the Reculet Cross”. Its history is sure to capture your attention. Enjoy reading!
Taking a geographical perspective
“Le Reculet” is the 2nd highest summit of the Jura massif, after the Crêt de la Neige. The summit reaches an altitude of 1719 meters. It lies southwest of the Crêt de la Neige and northwest of Geneva in the commune of Thoiry and is situated in the National Nature Reserve of the Jura mountain chain.
The summit offers views of the Pays de Gex, Geneva, Lake Geneva, and the Alps chain, including the famous Mont-Blanc. 🥰
You may have already climbed it, but do you know the history of its cross?
According to Father Rousset, parish priest of Thoiry, “In 1892, the country had been humiliated by the defeat at Sedan. The Catholics had a difficult time rallying to a Republic that wanted to be secular.”.
Against this backdrop, Father Monnet proposed to raise a cross on the summit of the Reculet as a sign of Christian faith, and to launch a payment of 1500 francs.
The way of the Cross
A blacksmith named François Nallet began creating this cross on July 6th.
Four carriers offered to carry the 1600 kilograms of work on their backs from the village to the summit. The four valiant carriers were: Faustin Antonioli, Aimé Fusier, Auguste and Louis Girod. Hurrah to them! 💪
There is a cross on the site that was gifted by Madame Veuve Félix Perréal of Allemogne. The digging and laying of the foundation were done by Emile Ecuvillon, François Guillemin and Auguste Carry.
Approximately 2800 rivets are used to construct the Reculet Cross, which stands ten meters high with 1.5 meters in the ground. August 4 marked the completion of the construction and sealing of the entire project.
In a ceremony attended by nearly 3000 people, Bishop Louis Joseph Luçon, bishop of the diocese, blessed the Cross on Sunday, August 7, 1892.
A committee was formed to organize a program for the cross’ centennial on July 27, 1992. This was composed of a mass, the placing of a plaque, a country meal, and a musical performance by the Echo du Reculet.
A postcard was then published. Postal mail leaving Thoiry during the three-month period was postmarked with a commemorative stamp.
At the foot of the Cross of Reculet, every year, at the end of July, the parish association of Thoiry / Saint-Jean-de-Gonville holds a mass. Every year, this mass is attended by many faithful and hikers from the Pays de Gex and Valserine Valley.
Anecdote: In the cemetery of Thoiry, on the grave of François Nallet, the blacksmith who made the Reculet cross, you can also find his Reculet cross. Rest in peace François.