The name derives from the Celtic word "bar" (rock). Small, quiet center of the lower Val d'Aosta, which backs onto the mountain along the left bank of Baltea, Bard is located in a narrow and deep gorge near the confluence with the valley of Champorcher, on a rocky promontory at 381 meters above sea level . The village presents a typical medieval town plan, with beautiful homes that enrich the only street: the House of Bishop. House Valperga, House Ciucci, which presents the structural elements from the XVI century, the House of Meridiana, the XVIII century Palace of the Nicole Family , home of the noble de Jordanis in the XIV century. The latter, in particular, was renovated in the XVIII century by the new owners, the Nicole, last counts of Bard. The building spreads over three floors, it is decorated with stucco and features a private chapel located on the top floor, decorated by the paintings of 1758, of the artist Giovanni Antonio da Biella. Last, but not least, House Challant, converted into a noble residence in the XV and the XVI century by the family Challant, one of the most powerful of the Val d'Aosta.
The village with its charming views is among the best preserved of the entire region. The buildings feature characteristic cross windows and mullioned windows.
Symbol of the country is the Forte (stronghold),an imposing structure, built of stone. It consists of three main buildings set on different levels and is located high above the town, on top of a rock covered by vegetation at the point where the bed of the river makes an abrupt turn. The structure features an increased emphasis due to the whiteness of the stones .
From Bard, at only 30 miles, it is possible to reach Gressoney-La Trinité or take the motorway to Saint Vincent and then in half an hour it is possible to reach the Col de Joux, from where one can enjoy seven miles of downhill slopes.
The discovery of stone carvings evidence that Bard was aleady a settlement in the Neolithic Ages. The town was fortified for the first time in Roman times, then a second time in the VI century by King Theodoric Ostrogoths due to its controlling position over the valleys of Dora, Ayas and Champorcher. The territory was for centuries under the control of the Lords of Bar which also dominated over the valley of Champorcher.
Not to miss:
The Church of the Assumption of Mary, located in the square, originated in the XII century. The present construction, built at the end of the XIX century, has a simple façade topped by a gable, a single rectangular nave, which is preceded by a stone staircase and an arched portico under which there is a visible monochrome painting which is the unique original feature of the XVI century. The bell tower of the second half of the XIII century in Romanesque style, has a square base with single and double windows.
The Quartier (headquarters) consists of a series of buildings, including a corner tower and other elements that date from the XV century and the first half of the XVI century.
The Forte was built in the XV century on a pre-existing Roman fortress by Amedeo IV of Savoy. It was destroyed by Napoleon and rebuilt by Charles Albert in 1830. Subject through the centuries of various transformations, today it houses the Museum of the Alps, a temporary exhibition and seat of numerous events.
The consular Roman road to Gallia, cut into the rock for over 200 meters. Still visible is part of the road that leads to the Donnas.
The medieval bridge over the Dora Baltea, located at the beginning of the village, which has been renovated several times. Originally the bed of the river was wider, but at present three arches are buried in the mud.
The archaeological geological site at the foot of the fortress of Bard is one of the most important of the Val d'Aosta, there are rock carvings that testify human presence since the Neolithic Ages.