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Architecture in the Verdon

The tile to Wolf

At the edges of the roofs of tiles glazed the Bell Tower of Comps-sur-Artuby there curious small bumps. These are small hollow bulbs that have the particularity to whistle when the wind blows. Called the tiles in equipped with tiles to Wolf, because said, when the wind blew, chasing the Wolf of the heights where it usually lives, that whistle warned, the inhabitants need to return the hens and the flock...


Between Comps-sur-Artuby and Bargème, via Trigance, and up to Châteauvieux, the Artuby territory is dotted with small rural chapels, whose charm is equally buildings that the sites in which they are located. The number denotes the vitality and the ancient importance of religious life in Provence; but here, their variety especially illustrates countless motivations behind their construction. With three chapels protected as a historic Monument, Comps is privileged. The documented presence of a Templar commandery isn't there for nothing.
Saint-André reports from afar by its high stature a bit steep overlooking the village. Between its construction and its function of Chapel, the status of the Church has changed considerably. Formerly next to the Castle, which is now defunct, it was both of manorial Chapel and parish church. Too little maybe and especially too perched where the village, little by little, descended into the Valley, it has substituted the present Church to meet the needs of the inhabitants. Its construction is very neat and perfectly regular equipment of limestone of its walls.
It has the particularity to offer three types of coverage: Slate on the bedside, the oldest of the tiles on the nave and the glazed tiles part on the Bell Tower, coating for the most prestigious constructions. Next door, the Saint John Chapel is much more modest but equally interesting. It is sometimes directly attributed to the Templars, including due to the saint to whom it is dedicated, Saint Jean. A bit aloof, Saint-Didier, isolated on its hillock with extreme simplicity. It is likely that it was a funerary chapel, watching over a cemetery slightly outside the village.
Arriving at Trigance cannot miss the St Roch Chapel slightly outside the village and preceded by a porch. The façade wall is perforated, protected by a railing in wood, which allowed to stop and to address a prayer even if the doors were closed. Busy days, the crowd remained in contact with the Interior and could follow the blessing. The particular shape of these chapels is common in the region. Especially on the Pilgrim routes. Trigance, Saint-Roch was built in 1629 by the inhabitants to be protected from the plague which was then prevalent throughout the region. Saint Roch passes to ward off contagious diseases. Here is what is called a votive chapel.
Bargème the origin of the Chapel is more amazing still. Its construction was imposed by the Parliament of Provence to the inhabitants of the village guilty of murdering Lord of the place in the middle of an office. The community could not only run. The Chapel is dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Sept-douleurs. This is what is called an expiatory Chapel. Finally at the bottom of Bargème on the D21 crosses a small building any simple recently restored: the chapel Sainte-Pétronille. Pétronille passes to protect the herds. Each year the bust of this Saint was carried in procession in the chapel at the time of the great migration. On blessed herds as well as bread and salt. Other chapels are present throughout the routes. Their history is lost in the mists of time. Can only imagine the countless prayers of which they were the receptacle. All remain an opportunity to stop and relax.

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Castles of campaign

At the centre of the village of La Palud-su-Verdon, clamped in its narrow streets, is "the Castle". It is necessary to move away slightly from the village, in the direction of the Route des Crêtes, for en pour en saisir take all the imposing mass, big construction square, flanked by four angle towers that seem to proportionally facades sober, regularly pierced by numerous windows on two floors fine, bedrock forming terrace... Castle of La Palud-sur-Verdon, although relying on an earlier structure, which are distinguished the "couture" on the North wall and the remains of mullioned windows, is characteristic of the noble buildings of the region between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Around Verdon can still observe those of Saint-Laurent-du-Verdon (Var), of Eoulx (municipality of Castellane) and especially of Aiguines (across the gorges) that is distinguished by its roofs covered with polychrome glazed tiles in fish scales, production of the earthenware of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. At halfway between the stately Middle farm Middle peasant of the previous centuries, which can be seen in the Gorge (domaine de Mayreste) or near Moustiers (the Hert) and the bastide bourgeois of the 19th century of the type of Valx, that one crosses after Moustiers in the direction of La Palud, these 'castles' who nothing defensive display than by their dimensions the rank of their owners. Inside however, and according to the local fashion, they were often decorated with gypsery. After the Revolution, these oversized properties were often fragmented into several homes, A La Palud several potters settled in these walls, using the approaches of the construction for the warehouse and the preparation of clay. At the foot of the Southeast Tower of the castle one can still see the oven of the last Potter this castle houses the home of the gorges du Verdon, Space Museum of the Grand Canyon.

Architecture of roller

To build houses, roads, walls, the inhabitants of the shelf (and a little further...) have widely used the closest material and the easiest way to extract: the rollers in the basement. The time and the mode of the stonework are re-appear on many homes the structure of these walls. Originally, to be protected from rain, moisture and wind, they were all coated. Miniature constructions, the countless sheds which were to cropland and valleys, demonstrate this issue architecture directly from its natural environment. The stones were also often field on which stands the shed. These sheds were used to shelter the peasant origin. He stored a few tools.Sometimes, human and animal are spent the night to avoid having to come back when the field was far from the farm. Their forms are very varied. Some have two rooms, a fireplace, a floor for storing of hay or a dovecote. The droppings from pigeons enriches the Earth... The rural economy leaves nothing to chance... With mechanization and the departure of many farmers, some of these sheds are transformed into "secondary residence" and have been expanded.

The jas Lands Roux

Giono wrote "I wonder if what I see there is a farm in the form of a hill or a hill -shaped farm." We must cross the sheepfold  built without mortar or cement, this white stone cut out of the mountain of Lure. In the cool shade of the domes jas Lands Roux, the feeling of being in the presence of a successful art is profound. Everything here is essential , beautiful and simple: to protect a wall ( strong wind on the mountain of Lure ), a hut for the shepherd , a nave with four domes for the flock , a pitcher for water the sky. The quality of this architecture , perhaps the millennium, has been recognized by the classification of jas monument in 1993.

The dovecotes

Forcalquier was under the Ancien Régime, the kingdom of pigeons for the right loft was not there seigneurial privilege. Who owned and cultivated land could build a dovecote and accommodate the sinking , however number proportional to the size of the property ; this inexpensive livestock was of great interest : wild pigeons were attracted with salty foods traditionally tail of dried cod ( which they quickly became fond and faithful to the loft ) , while continuing to feed themselves in neighboring fields ; pigeon droppings , columbine , is a mild fertilizer , easy to carry up hills and orchards of meat, an important nutrient intake . Little maintenance is required because the harvest of the columbine is not performing three to four times per year. Pigeons fear the cold, wind, noise they fall prey to predators such as rats , martens, weasels . These data are all architectural constraints for pigeon : they are shaped round tower , rectangular, topped with a roof panel channel or integrated farm tiles, they are open to the south or east , sheltered from the prevailing wind. They are high , so that the birds spot them from afar, and have protected areas off by a projecting cornice and a frame glazed tiles for skate rats. Inside, every couple has its nest in a boulin , hollow circular aperture made ​​of brick , plaster or clay . Some lofts have more than two thousand bearers . These buildings are old : the town has several pigeon Limans the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ; the mayor Cato , large square tower fifteen meters high, is dated 1553.

Sharp sheds

Two geological periods (upper Jurassic and Miocene ) left on the land of Haute Provence, a treasure in the field and it took digging, as in the fable . Because it had to be cleared of stones these thankless land to make it cultivable . So why not use this harvest of dry stone walls to mount demarcating land or who supported the cultivation terraces on sloping land, or shelter for tools , shelter or shelter his flock. The material is abundant, available, free , strong , and from the Neolithic , it is used to build the first houses of the settlement ; pregnant oppida Gallic also use . And over the centuries, the building dry stone huts , ovens, apiaries but farms will increase , based on techniques increasingly sophisticated . In Forcalquier , sharp huts are very numerous. An average of these sheds required in its construction from 200 000 to 300 000 stones , for a total weight of 30-50 tons . Two facings are mounted in parallel , between which is inserted a locking itself consists of stones . The choice of stones in their quality ( resistance to frost and sun is the best guarantee ) and their dimensions , is critical to the strength of the shed. Construction corbelled domes or cradles are not without technical problems. For domes , it does not need formwork but the steeper the slope of the dome is low , it is more difficult to achieve. All know-how that has been passed from father to son , refined and improved over the generations by the successes and failures.

paddle boat in the Lake Sainte-Croix
Climbing tree
Pont de Galetas
Pont du Roc

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