• Interpretation Centre

The Old Customs House

Open the door of Châtel's Old Customs House to discover a different side to this cross-border region.

Interpretation Centre The Old Customs House Châtel


Châtel (74390)
Animals not allowed
Unguided individual tours available permanently
Guided individual tours on request
Average duration of an individual visit : 01h00

Children and adults will enjoy a fascinating trip back in time, learning about the game of cat and mouse that went on between the smugglers and the customs officers (known as "gabelous") in the mountains of the Portes du Soleil before the advent of winter sports. With lots of eyewitness accounts and a fascinating exhibition packed with documents and illustrations, the Old Customs House tells the story of a picturesque world full of surprises!
Temporary exhibition: "Black gold and grain of salt".
Did you know that salt, the ‘white gold’ of the 18th century, and oil, the ‘black gold’ of the modern day, have much in common? In those far off days as now, these commodities were and are a valuable part of our everyday lives, hence their national strategic importance, both in terms of tax revenue and foreign policy. As a result, both ‘white gold’ and ‘black gold’ have crossed the border as contraband, with rival smugglers and customs officials playing an ingenious cat-and-mouse game…

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    Access to the building is limited to a maximum of 10 people, respecting physical distances (1.5 metres) and barrier gestures.
    Wearing a mask is compulsory

    Discount with the Multi Pass (-10 à -30%).


    Adult: 4.50 €
    Child : 3.50 €
    Group adults: 3.50 €
    Group children : 3.50 €.

    Free entry for children < 8 years.
    Child entry valid for 8 - 15 years.
    Group rate available for > 10 people.

    Family entrance: €3.50 per person (1 adult + 1 child).

    Methods of payment accepted : Bank/credit card, Check, Cash, Credit transfer


    Animals not allowed
    Languages spoken : English, French
    Languages of documentation : German, English, French, Italian, Dutch
    Languages visits : French
    Languages audio guide : English, French, Dutch

    Groups welcome all year round by reservation


    From 25/04 to 29/04/2022 between 2 pm and 6 pm.
    Closed on Saturday.

    From 12/06 to 30/06/2022 between 2 pm and 6 pm.
    Closed on Saturday.

    From 01/07 to 31/08/2022
    Opening hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday between 10 am and 12 pm and between 2 pm and 6 pm. On Wednesday and Friday between 2 pm and 7 pm.
    Closed on Saturday.

    From 01/09 to 16/09/2022 between 2 pm and 6 pm.
    Closed on Saturday.

    From 17/09 to 18/09/2022
    Opening hours between 10 am and 12 pm and between 2 pm and 6 pm.

    From 19/09 to 30/09/2022, every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday between 2 pm and 5 pm.

    • Educational visits
    • Coach access
    • Shop
    • Play area
    • Picnic area
    • Lift
    • Toilets
    • Exhibition space
    • Parking
    • Children's entertainment
    • Temporary exhibition


    1277, route de Vonnes 74390 Châtel

    Shuttle line 4, stop "Les Fioles".
    Parking nearby.

    Near shuttle stop

    • Accessible for self-propelled wheelchairs
    • Reserved space 330 cm wide < 20 m from the site
    • Vertical signage of parking spaces
    • Even flooring with no obstacles
    • Absence of slope > 5%
    • Doors >=77 cm wide
    • WC + grab handle + adequate space to move
    • Site, building totally accessible
    • Reception staff sensitized to the reception of people with disabilities
    Hearing Disability

    Audiosguides is equipped with a magnetic loop for the hearing-impaired people equipped with an adapted device.

    Visual Disability

    Audiosguides is equipped with a contrasted keyboard for the partially-sighted persons.

    More informations

    Information update on 19/04/2022 by Châtel Tourisme