• Historic site and monument

Statue of Général Dessaix

Born in Thonon les Bains, General Dessaix was a doctor, a politician, and a General of the Empire in the XVIIIth century.
Nicknamed "the intrepid" by the emperor Napoleon himself, he died on October 26, 1834...

Historic site and monument Statue of Général Dessaix Thonon-les-Bains


Thonon-les-Bains (74200)

The eldest of a family of fourteen children, Joseph-Marie Dessaix was born on September 24, 1764, in Thonon-les-Bains. A doctor, he embarked on a political career at an early age.

As a volunteer in the National Guard of Paris, he participated in the storming of the Bastille. Appointed captain of the "Légion Française des Allobroges" which he himself had founded, he launched an assault on the Tuileries on August 10, 1792.
In 1798, the electoral college of Mont-Blanc appointed Dessaix to represent it at the Conseil des Cinq-Cents (first instance legislative assembly under the Directoire). He was elected deputy for three years.

By decree of June 14, 1804, he was named commander of the Legion of Honor at the camp of Utrecht. He was made a count of the Empire in 1809 and began a valiant military career in the campaigns of Germany, Italy, Russia and France.

He was seriously wounded by a Biscayan at the battle of Moskowa (the projectile is now preserved in the Chablais museum) and was offered the government of Berlin by the Emperor. He defended Savoy against the Austrians again in 1814 and fell into disgrace at the fall of Napoleon. After three months in prison in 1816, he retired to Marclaz to devote himself to agriculture.

This general, whom the emperor nicknamed "the intrepid", died peacefully in Thonon on October 26, 1834. His name, engraved in the stone of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris among the most valiant officers of Napoleon, perpetuates his memory forever...

Today, hardly believable, we do not know where he is buried in the old cemetery of Thonon, near the Saint-Bon chapel.

This statue, financed by public subscription, was inaugurated on September 6, 1910 by President Armand Fallières, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the annexation of Savoy to France.


Free access.


From 01/01 to 12/31, daily.


1 rue des Ursule 74200 Thonon-les-Bains
Information update on 09/11/2022 by Office de Tourisme de Thonon-les-Bains