The name of the town first appears in the archives in the year 1118, when the town was under the archbishops of Embrun, the region was known as the « Dauphiné » and the capital was Grenoble. The town had its own castle and was protected by fortifications…
According to certain sources, it was the town of Guillestre that gave its name to the river because it was once called « the river of Guillestre ». Others say that it was the other way around, that the river gave its name to the town because « Guil extra » meant « above the Guil », away from the devastating floods.
Like many other villages of the region, Guillestre experienced a turbulent history, influenced by various French-Italian wars, as well as religious wars. Previously a stronghold, the town’s heritage remains rich with the preservation of the old part of town with its fortifications and old gates, giving you access to Guilestre’s historical center. You will note the rural, mountainous architecture bylooking up and noticing the open attics overlooking the street where they hay used to be hoisted using a pulley system. Many of the houses are garnished with the local stone: Guillestre’s pink marble.
The Tourism Office of Guillestre offers you a map with an itinerary though the old part of town i to help you discover Guillestre’s heritage.