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The Cottian Alps (; french: Alpes Cottiennes ; it, Alpi Cozie ) are a mountain range in the southwestern part of the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
. They form the border between
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
(
Hautes-Alpes Hautes-Alpes (; oc, Auts Aups; en, Upper Alps) is a department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Regions of France, region of Southeastern France. Located in and named after the French Alps, Alps, it had a population of 141,107 in 2016. It ...
and
Savoie Savoie (; Franco-Provençal Franco-Provençal (also Francoprovençal, Patois, Gaga, Savoyard, Arpitan or Romand) is a dialect group within Gallo-Romance languages, Gallo-Romance originally spoken in east-central France, western Switzerland ...

Savoie
) and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
(
Piedmont it, Piemontese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...

Piedmont
). The Fréjus Road Tunnel and
Fréjus Rail Tunnel The Fréjus Rail Tunnel (also called Mont Cenis Tunnel) is a rail tunnel of length in the European Alps, carrying the Turin–Modane railway through Mont Cenis to an end-on connection with the Culoz–Modane railway and linking Bardonecchia in I ...
between
Modane Modane (; ) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to ...
and
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...
are important transportation arteries between France (
Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, ...

Lyon
,
Grenoble Grenoble ( , ; , ''Grainóvol'', oc, Graçanòbol, ''Grasanòbol'') is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. ...

Grenoble
) and Italy (
Turin Turin ( , Piedmontese Piedmontese (autonym: or , in it, piemontese) is a language spoken by some 700,000 people mostly in Piedmont it, Piemontese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = ...

Turin
).


Etymology

The name ''Cottian'' comes from ''Marcus Julius
Cottius Marcus Julius Cottius was king of the Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: ...
'', a king of the tribes inhabiting that mountainous region in the 1st century BC. These tribes had previously opposed but later made peace with
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
. Cottius was succeeded by his son Gaius Julius Donnus II (reigned 3 BC-4 AD), and his grandson Marcus Julius Cottius II (reigned 5-63 AD), who was granted the title of king by the emperor
Claudius Claudius ( ; Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was the fourth Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial p ...

Claudius
. On his death,
Nero Nero ( ; full name: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68) was the fifth emperor of Rome. He was Adoption in Ancient Rome, adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and s ...

Nero
annexed his kingdom as the
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
of
Alpes Cottiae The Alpes Cottiae (; English: 'Cottian Alps') were a small province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnationa ...
.


History

For a long part of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
the Cottian Alps were divided between the
Duchy of Savoy From 1416 to 1847, the Duchy of Savoy ( it, Ducato di Savoia, french: Duché de Savoie) was a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasse ...

Duchy of Savoy
, which controlled their northern part and the easternmost slopes, and the
Dauphiné The Dauphiné (, ; ; oc, Daufinat or ; frp, Dôfenât or ; former English name: Dauphiny) is a former province in Southeastern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of ...

Dauphiné
, which at the time was independent from
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
. The '' Dauphins'' also held, in addition to the southwestern slopes of the range (
Briançon Briançon ( is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically h ...

Briançon
and
Queyras The Queyras ( oc, Cairàs) is a valley located in the France, French Hautes-Alpes, of which the geographical extent is the basin of the river Guil, a tributary of the Durance. The Queyras is one of the oldest mountain ranges of the Alps, and it was ...

Queyras
, now on the French side), the upper part of some of the valleys that were
tributaries A tributary, or affluent, is a stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") ...
of the
Po River The Po ( , ; la, Padus or ; grc, Πάδος, Pádos, or , ; Ancient Ligurian: or ) is the longest river in Italy. It is a river that flows eastward across northern Italy starting from the Cottian Alps; it, Alpi Cozie , photo=Monviso_Cottian ...
(
Valle di Susa
Valle di Susa
,
Chisone The Chisone (in Piedmontese ''Chison'' or ''Cleson'') is a Italy, Italian torrent (stream), torrent, which runs through Pragelato, Fenestrelle, Perosa Argentina and Pinerolo in the Metropolitan City of Turin. It is a tributary of the Pellice, whic ...
valley,
Varaita Valley Varaita Valley (in Italian language, Italian ''Valle Varaita'') is a valley in south-west of Piedmont, in the Province of Cuneo - Italy. Etymology It takes its name from the Varaita, a right-hand tributary of the Po (river), Po which flows through ...
). The Alpine territory of Dauphiné, known as '' Escartons'', used to have a limited autonomy and elected its own
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...

parliament
. This semi-autonomous status lasted also after the annexation of the Dauphiné to
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
(1349), and was only abolished in 1713 due to the
Treaty of Utrecht The Peace of Utrecht was a series of peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized commun ...

Treaty of Utrecht
, which assigned to the
House of Savoy The House of Savoy ( it, Casa Savoia) is a royal dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the uni ...
all the mountainous area on the eastern side of the Cottian Alps. After the treaty annexing Nice and Savoy to France, signed in Turin in March 1860 ( Treaty of Turin), the north-western slopes of the range became part of the French republic. Two eastern valleys of the Cottian Alps (
Pellice The Pellice (in Piedmontese Piedmontese (autonym: or , in it, piemontese) is a language spoken by some 700,000 people mostly in Piedmont it, Piemontese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 ...
and Germanasca) have been for centuries a kind of sanctuary for the
Waldensians The Waldensians (also known as Waldenses (), Vallenses, Valdesi or Vaudois) are adherents of a proto-Protestant Proto-Protestantism, also called pre-Protestantism or pre-Reformation movements, refers to individuals and movements that propagat ...
, a
Christian movement A Christian movement is a Christian theology, theological, political, or philosophical interpretation of Christianity that is not generally represented by a specific Christian church, church, sect, or Christian denomination, denomination. Religi ...
that was persecuted as
heretical Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
from the 12th century onwards by the catholic church.Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 874–876


Geography

Administratively the range is divided between the
Italian province The provinces of Italy ( it, province d'Italia) are the constituent entities of the Italy, Italian Republic, on an intermediate level between a municipality () and a regions of Italy, region (). Since 2015, provinces have been classified as ...
of
Cuneo Cuneo (; pms, Coni ; oc, Coni/Couni ; french: Coni ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and funct ...
and the
Metropolitan City of Turin The Metropolitan City of Turin ( it, Città metropolitana di Torino) is a Metropolitan cities of Italy, metropolitan city in the Piedmont region, Italy. Its capital is the city of Turin. It replaced the Province of Turin and comprises the city of ...
(the eastern slopes), and the
French departments In the administrative divisions of France, the department (french: département, ) is one of the three levels of government under the national level ("territorial collectivity, territorial collectivities"), between the regions of France, admini ...
of
Savoie Savoie (; Franco-Provençal Franco-Provençal (also Francoprovençal, Patois, Gaga, Savoyard, Arpitan or Romand) is a dialect group within Gallo-Romance languages, Gallo-Romance originally spoken in east-central France, western Switzerland ...

Savoie
,
Hautes-Alpes Hautes-Alpes (; oc, Auts Aups; en, Upper Alps) is a department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Regions of France, region of Southeastern France. Located in and named after the French Alps, Alps, it had a population of 141,107 in 2016. It ...
, and
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (; oc, Aups d'Auta Provença; ) is a Departments of France, department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Regions of France, region of Southeastern France. Formerly part of the Provinces of France, province of Provence, i ...

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
(the western slopes). The Cottian Alps are drained by the rivers
Durance The Durance (; ''Durença'' in the Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin ...

Durance
and
Arc Arc may refer to: Mathematics * Arc (geometry), a segment of a differentiable curve ** Circular arc, a segment of a circle * Arc length, the distance between two points along a section of a curve * Arc (projective geometry), a particular type o ...
and their tributaries on the French side; and by the
Dora Riparia The Dora Riparia (; pms, Dòira Rivaira; french: Doire Ripaire or ''Doire''; la, Duria minor) is an alpine river, a left-hand tributary of the Po (river), Po. It is long (of which 5 km in France), with a drainage basin. It originates in ...
and other tributaries of the Po on the Italian side.


Borders

The borders of the Cottian Alps are (clockwise): * the
Maddalena Pass The Maddalena Pass (Italian language, Italian: ''Colle della Maddalena'' French language, French: ''Col de Larche'', historically ''Col de l'Argentière'') (elevation 1996 m.) is a high mountain pass between the Cottian Alps and the Maritime Alps, ...
to the south, which connects the Cottian Alps with the
Maritime Alps The Maritime Alps (french: Alpes Maritimes ; it, Alpi Marittime ) are a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges ...

Maritime Alps
; * the Ubayette Valley, the
Ubaye The Ubaye (; oc, Ubaia) is a river of southeastern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one cont ...

Ubaye
Valley, the Serre-Ponçon Lake, the high
Durance The Durance (; ''Durença'' in the Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin ...

Durance
Valley, and the Guisane Valley to the southwest; * the
Col du Galibier The Col du Galibier (el. ) is a mountain pass in the southern region of the France, French Dauphiné Alps near Grenoble. It is the eighth List of highest paved roads in Europe, highest paved road in the Alps, and recurrently the List of highe ...

Col du Galibier
to the west, which connects the Cottian Alps with the Dauphiné Alps; * the Valloirette Valley, the
Maurienne Maurienne ( frp, Môrièna) is one of the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-lev ...

Maurienne
Valley, and the Chardoux Creek to the northwest; * the
Mont Cenis Mont Cenis ( it, Moncenisio) is a massif (el. 3,612 m / 11,850 ft at Pointe de Ronce) and a mountain pass, pass (el. 2,085 m / 6,840 ft) in Savoie (France), which forms the limit between the Cottian Alps, Cottian and Graian Alps. Route ...

Mont Cenis
Pass to the north, which connects the Cottian Alps with the
Graian Alps The Graian Alps ( it, Alpi Graie ; french: Alpes grées ) are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain rang ...

Graian Alps
; * Mont Cenis Lake, the
Cenischia The Cenischia (; french: Cenise, ) is a mountain torrent (stream), torrent which straddles the south-west France, French Departments of France, department of Savoie and the north-west Italy, Italian Metropolitan City of Turin, in Piedmont. Part of ...
Valley, the
Dora Riparia The Dora Riparia (; pms, Dòira Rivaira; french: Doire Ripaire or ''Doire''; la, Duria minor) is an alpine river, a left-hand tributary of the Po (river), Po. It is long (of which 5 km in France), with a drainage basin. It originates in ...
Valley, the
Po Plain The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain ( it, Pianura Padana , or ''Val Padana'') is a major geographical feature of Northern Italy. It extends approximately in an east-west direction, with an area of including its Venetian P ...
, and the
Varaita The Varaita (; pms, Vràita ; oc, Varacho ) is a river of the Province of Cuneo Cuneo (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the It ...
Valley to the east.


Peaks

The chief peaks of the Cottian
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
are:


Passes

The chief
passes
passes
of the Cottian Alps are:


See also

*
Alpes Cottiae The Alpes Cottiae (; English: 'Cottian Alps') were a small province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnationa ...
(the original Roman province) *
Cottii Regnum Cottii Regnum was a small independent kingdom in northwestern Italy. It included most of an important road over the Mountain pass, pass of Mont Genevre and Mont Cenis into Gaul. The kingdom was included in the Roman Empire about AD 64. References ...
*
Cottius Marcus Julius Cottius was king of the Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: ...
*
Donnus The chieftain called by Latins Donnus was the ruler of the Ligures, Ligurian tribes inhabiting the mountainous region now known as the Cottian Alps during the 1st century BC. Although initially an opponent of Julius Caesar during the latter's con ...
*
Ambin group The Ambin group (''Groupe d'Ambin'' in French language, French, ''Gruppo d'Ambin'' in Italian language, Italian) is a sub-range of the Cottian Alps located on the French-Italian border. Geography Administratively the range is divided between ...


Maps

* Italian official cartography (''
Istituto Geografico Militare The ''Istituto Geografico Militare'' (''IGM''), or Military Geographic Institute is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Itali ...

Istituto Geografico Militare
'' – IGM); on-line version
www.pcn.minambiente.it
* French official cartography (''
Institut Géographique National An institute is an organisation An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), see spelling differences), ...
'' – IGN); on-line version
www.geoportail.fr


References

{{Authority control Mountain ranges of the Alps Mountain ranges of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Mountain ranges of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Mountain ranges of Italy Mountain ranges of Piedmont