Between Saint-Etienne and Saint-Chamond, 15 minutes by car are enough to find you in a mountain site. In winter, Le Bessat, perched at 1,170 m, resembles a small ski resort (ski competitions were held there as early as 1909; two ski jumps built in the 1920s were not dismantled until 1966). A paradise for walkers, tobogganing and cross-country skiing enthusiasts (35 km of tracks suffering from global warming), horse riding enthusiasts, and all nature lovers. From the Croix de Chaubouret, on a clear day, the snowy peaks of the Alps appear like a mirage on the horizon. Established on a mule track linking the Loire to the Rhône, Le Bessat only became a commune in 1831. Nothing remains of its medieval castle, the Château du Toile destroyed in 1562. The present church dedicated to Saint-Claude dates from 1929 and is not lacking in style. The Madonna that dominates the village was erected under Napoleon III.

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