Place François Mitterrand, 73000, Chambéry
All year round, daily.
Former 19th-century Napoleonic barracks transformed into a business and cultural centre.
The former Curial barracks were saved from demolition, and transformed in 1986 into a range of modern cultural facilities, restaurants and night clubs. The size of these former barracks clearly demonstrates Chambéry's military function - it was built under Napoleon I in 1804, as it was the only crossing point for troops marching to or from Italy. In 1810, when the structural works were completed, the barracks had already cost over a million francs - five times more than the project to transform the château into administrative offices for the Mont Blanc region! Built over two floors, its high slate roof and attic rooms give the barracks a well-proportioned and balanced aspect. Each of the four main buildings measures 100m long, arranged around an arcade-lined central courtyard. The upper floors contain vast galleries, which can fit a large number of beds. Therefore, whilst the barracks were originally built to house 3000 men, you could easily fit twice that. At the end of the 19th century, the barracks were given the name 'Curial', after the original general of Saint-Pierre d'Albigny, a hero of the imperial wars. On the outside, the former barracks have preserved the clear western façade. Today, it is one of the few Napoleonic barracks left in France.