Version FrançaiseEnglish VersionNederlandse versieDeutsch Version
1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site

Find out more

Monuments of Castellane and its surroundings

​Tour de l’Horloge

Built in raw stone around 1360, this massive Square Tower is pierced, broken arch, one of the only two doors of this first wall built at that time, which gave access to the city: the door of the setting sun.
This strategic position explains the importance of its platform surrounded by machicolations which dominated the start of the moat at the foot of the Hill. The gap, fed by the Verdon and the runoff of the Roc, ran along the walls up to the door of the Marc, in the front of the left flank of the present Church. Harrow was descended from the vault along the scenes of stones in order to farm the street Soubeyrane. Behind the Tower climbs a lane in the Hill, called: rue de la Poudrière, but no more plate does the brand: yet the cave for ammunition warehouse always opens intramural hillside.
The 17th and the 18th century some quiet after the medieval torment, bringing the art of war for, Ravens still surrounding the building were relieved of their niche wall to cover with a tile roof. Will be Deputy soon topped cubic construction of a cylinder capped with a bulbous wrought iron campanile, where the clock mechanism is installed.
This old craft Marvel nearly two centuries works like the chimes of our grandmothers. An iron bar rises up the hammer and operates it to mark the hours and the half by hitting the Bell.
The municipal employee is to reassemble the apparatus that is periodically raising the weight to a height of some ten meters using an antique crank. At the beginning of this century, the chimes was loud and clear to the reapers in the bottom of the Valley. Today, much more discreet, it does wake up person...
Produced by a mechanism based on the lever arm, the sound is proportional to the force of the weight that operates it. The sound is lower, the weight had to decline over the years...

The oratories and Petra Castellana

Perched at the top of the rock, overlooking of 190 metres, Notre-Dame-du-Roc Verdon Castellane and its inhabitants who worship it since its first construction, (castle chapel), alleged during the first part of the 9th century.
To get there, we can borrow two trails connecting, with one hand behind the church Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur. It should be framed by two bell towers... but foundations were dug at the site of the old moat, which, at this point, collected runoff from the rock. The excavations were so deep and the basement so important that the appropriations for the second tower were literally submerged. We we raise little by little to the rhythm of the oratories of this cross, allowing us, over our steps to discover the vast panorama of the city, in its green hills with mountains, helmed by the Flash of silver of the Verdon.
Fourteen stone stations were inaugurated on November 29, 1868 and decorated twenty years later polychrome cookies representing the scenes of the Passion.Soon seems Petra Castellana, lying on the southern side of the Hill, in the serenity of book returned to nature. You have to go very far in our collective memory to understand or grasp, the emergence of our future. We have slammed the doors of our automobiles and are reverted to travelers who arrive and learn at the same rate as our fathers who built these walls become pebbles. Petra Castellana watching us come, hooked on slopes panic-stricken broom; Notre-Dame du Roc watches over the footprints of a difficult life that no one knows more. The layout of streets rest in the grass mad with it and even sections of walls there but so inaccessible that was one such village defended on this roc steep, thorny and wild, could not resist to be and become.

Special Offers

Chalet on campsite at Castellane Mobile-home
Starting from 301 €/Week

Mobile-home at Castellane Chalet
Starting from 350 €/Week

Camping pitches at Castellane Gorges du Verdon Pitches Gorges du Verdon
Starting from 18 €/Night


Notre Dame watched the twists and turns of a story that not spared it from its promontory. Mute witness to the bloody fighting that ruined the barony of Castellane, it allowed the escape of Boniface VI "the Troubadour" by the underground that it hides under its nave. (It was transformed into crypt in 1890).Sacked in 1560 by the Huguenots, rebuilt in its first form in 1590, it hosts a community in his Hermitage in 1663 to 1672. It must move due to its decay, which requires a new reconstruction in 1703, but it is of poor quality and a restore is needed in 1775. The revolution will affect especially his furniture. In 1876 the facade was rebuilt and the primitive statue filed at the edge of the abyss replaced by the present work from a height of more than six metres and a weight of 20 tonnes, channeled,-said, by the Assembly of the devout from Castellane... women!
Looting, abandonments, reconstructions have left stigma... Thus the altar is offset from the axis of the nave... and on the walls to discern old forms. Successive furniture means to our eyes with a Virgin by marble of the 17th century. Deplore the recent theft of the tables that adorned it... (signature of Jenti-1736 - for master-altar).
Castellane becoming capital of Bailiwick in 1281, Notre Dame was Royal Chapel and, as far as do is put, were affected by the fathers or servants of the parish who had charge of custody and maintenance as well as loads of ringing the angelus and all other offices of the week... The last of these ringers lived at the beginning of this century. His office punctuated daily life. In addition to this duty, custom wanted it went to ring the Bell to ward off hail or storm when they threatened.
Notre-Dame-du-Roc is not stingy with miracles away plain calamity. Grateful farmers then offered a plate of wheat or grain for the ordinary of the beloved ringer... It was unfortunately suspended from his duties after having had their hands burned by lightning that he had so long away. However, these days, means still Peal the Bell of Notre-Dame du Roc. But to know the time, do not rely on his number of shots. Each Walker can visit pleases the building liked popular Madonna. To get there, the key is available at any time of the day. So, she goes and comes between the Chapel and the rectory between hands that will tend to transmit it, as well as the Hellos are exchanged naturally throughout this trail.
And if the bell sounds do point always the miracle of ward off bad weather as it was for centuries, always brought together those who hear it and the hand that pulls the rope is no longer truly anonymous in this chapel that welcomes you and you houses for all the time you give him.

Place the fountain of Lions - Rue du Mitan

The fountain originated in medieval times. It served the needs of the walled city; She served again at our grandparents who saw surmounted by a stone Obelisk, as evidenced by old photographs. It was powered by a source located above the road leading to Notre-Dame du Plan. The source is disturbing sometimes, due to agricultural irrigation, the inhabitants would then refuel before the current position in a packed well now, whose depth required a system of mechanical winch chain hoisting buckets. Today, all Castellane fountains are fed by water from the city and are therefore drinking.
Opposite the fountain, a cold stone building eye-catching architecture. This building was the Hall of the "white Mule" which could see the sign at the beginning of this century, suspended to the gallows in wrought iron which survives even today. The main gate is decorated with two lions carved wooden, by analogy with the names of previous owners, and from there, any hypothesis would come the name of the fountain called "the lions", which by customs, distinguishes it from other placing. This place was called "place aux Herbes": during the market days, it was reserved for local growers to sell their vegetables, and other farm products.Meanwhile, near les Halles, he was then used to hoist a flag until the mid morning, determining by there the time allocated exclusively to castellanais merchants; Once the signal is brought, it was turn to professionals outside to exercise their sales.

Church Saint-Victor

Built on lands of the Abbey of Saint-Victor de Marseille and on his initiative, it is around it that will form the village, part of a fragmented community of which the first was the high city, Petra Castellana. Maybe it's the need for a social identity that makes that Saint-André-du-Roc and Saint-Victor display such similarity.Although a first sanctuary existed in the 11th century, there is nothing apparent, and it is late 12th century to be dating with greater certainty the current façade of the building.
In 1260, full power of the Barony, near the Castle, this church, becomes with Notre-Dame-du-Plan, parish of Saint-André-du-Roc. It will remain until 1876, inaugural year of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur.
In 1445, Notre-Dame-du-Plan was abandoned. Saint-Victor grows North of a Bell Tower (built with stones from Petra Castellana) and then a second nave (called the Rosary). The wars of religion spared not the interior furniture. Then trashed badly maintained, the sanctuary decay little by little. It will be the Ministry of Bishop Soanen, late 17th century, so that some extreme emergency repairs are carried out (open Bell Tower, destroyed floors, the two split... aisles) and some uses abolished (creation of a cemetery outside the walls because it was custom to bury in the Church). Around 1670, the arrow of the Bell Tower collapsed; It will take until 1780 that the top floor in the current State replaces the provisional roof requested by Bishop Soanen, contemporary works of the third and final nave North of the second. It is easy to spot successive additions outside the building next to the apse...However, it is difficult to not be shocked by the made coarse atop the Tower, interrupting policies from ochre-coloured corners of Petra Castellana, and breaking the harmonious momentum of the magnificent hangers of the fifteenth century by openings angular and disproportionate.
The only projections of the austere façade are those of Lombard cornice and its line of Corbels which support a canopy (churches and their forecourt were long places of gathering outside of the cult).
The very dark Interior houses some remarkable pieces of furniture including a superb altarpiece from 1724 on the altar of the Virgin in gilded wood, worked wood reliefs, two pillars of carved chest wood Chair, and the high altar (18th century) adorned with gilded wood tabernacle four-poster and tables. Express the wish that the efforts undertaken by the persons engaged in Saint-Victor, in order to safeguard this heritage, will bear fruit. We thank them because their volunteer work enables each year these doors remained open too long closed.

The pentagonal tower

Dominating the village, closing the extreme height of the enclosure, culmination to the gaze, as a reflection in the Valley of Notre-Dame-du-Roc, claiming the medieval de Castellane, the Tower Pentagonale character is one of the best books kept. Despite its roof that replaces the original slots from 1359, its silhouette remained unchanged and the absence of buildings surrounding renders this place the aspect that there be six centuries ago. The entire facade facing the plain and the city was empty, and a series of platforms served by a flock of scales overhung the Valley; admirable position of watchtower... but certainly uncomfortable during the harsh winters in the middle of these mountains.
Closed, pierced by fenestrons, it was inhabited during the last century. A Dovecote occupies two floors under its terminal Vault. Pigeons farmers or travellers? Because they had to be used, providing messages to the four corners of the land as the servants of cities in Bourg, fallen into disuse in the 1960s only load... The valet by city could thus inform you of a thousand public or private events, so... on 14 August you would not arrive late at the night procession unfolding his bright snake of torches up to Notre-Dame-du-Roc...
He would not have missed to remind you of the patronal feast last Sunday in may, and you could participate in the decoration of the Church and reaching the top of the hangers until the side pillars of long blue veils like the cloak of the Virgin; you have not failed to honour the Saint-Antoine to winter on 17 January and eat at the mass small pieces of focaccia in a cloth; in its announcement, you could have chosen your Empire style costume to participate in "Bravado" of infantry and cavalry, which commemorated the beginning of the century the passage of Napoleon, prancing about the "City Tour"... He would tell you the dates of fairs or markets (Wednesdays and Saturdays)... it would have issued the search for your cat... or announced a show. Certainly he would have not claimed revenues of cod with leeks, fresh pasta with nuts, or flood... but if you wish, you can ask the people of this country... The real Castellanais know their traditional dishes.

Les Halles

The canopy of the hotel du Levant was built to serve as a shelter for the Carters, carriers and other drivers. The hotel was originally the canopy less important that at the moment (there is the fitting of a later building at the level of the Genoese), was shifted on the rue des bains. In its shelter stood as the grain market, where its name from "halles". To this end, the three external angles, were arranged large tables of stone topped with hoppers in which farmers paid their grains so sworn auditors measure the harvest.
These halls were also one of the favorite playgrounds for the Meanies of the time. "Caroge" was in vogue: this game was a game between two teams that alternated the roles. The head of the first leaned their backs to the wall and aligned his crew curved facing him, in single file, the first player having his head on his stomach. On this human Caterpillar, members of the second team rushed round to round and taking support on the back of the last, trying, over others, to reach the leader facing them. This kind of exercise practiced on stone slabs require a particularly strong constitution saw the wounds and bumps harvested, as we reported some Dean with a hint of nostalgia, rubbing his elbow...

The convent of Augustins

In 1281, Charles I of Anjou gave the Augustinians the Castellane Castle. Order built it into a convent and the building suffered over the centuries many arrangements of which the last was in 1987 in the creation of the boarding school of the college in its venerable walls. The cloister is the centre around which complements the buildings. The Gallery at the Romanesque arcades supported by decorated pillars, with square bases, frames a lawn from which emerges a well from the beginning of the century under a clump of trees. A door opens, at sunset, giving access to the chapel which was one of the Lords and therefore dating the origin before 1260. Unfortunately awkward restores have denatured it. It will shoulder a corner tower circular overflowing into the gardens of the rue des Bains.The Augustinians had built a church at the dawn of the 14th century, aided by Charles II of Anjou, on the current boulevard Saint-Michel.
The chapel then served as the sacristy for the new sanctuary and will be made at the cult under the name of St. Joseph as in 1915. Interior decoration and furniture made it one of the richest and most popular of Haute Provence. He crossed the story with relative serenity. But the Church, that wars and the revolution had spared, was destroyed in 1876... to expand the boulevard Saint-Michel!
The porch, miracle witness, has been rebuilt against the wall of the old Castle (it originally opened front door of the clock), and is framed between pilasters of departure of the vaults. The Augustinian order disappeared during the French Revolution; in 1793 a public school was installed in the convent. He later became a religious school for boys. In 1913, Prince of Monaco bought as vacation colony; He is currently property of the municipality and the Department.

The feast of the French - The beautiful Judith

This Festival celebrated annually since the memorable 31 January 1586 originates at the foot of the door called since "The beautiful Judith", but also known as "the Annunciation" in reference to the (from Annonciade) Servite fathers monastery installed in its vicinity; or ' oxen' because the animals transported from the surrounding countryside were slaughtered under her porch. It was drilled in the wall in the 16th century during the extension of ramparts, where collected streets resounded the echo of the tools of the artisans working in their shops, where multiple shops offered their stalls to a cosmopolitan residents crowd, peasants, travelers are bustling on cobblestones sometimes crowded cattle. Over time where the community would appreciate hawkers or troubadours under the awning stretched before Saint-Victor.
But serious events were troubling the minds and paths, the religious wars shook the order of the Kingdom and since the sad episode of the brothers of Mauvans (1560), Catholics and protestants to entredéchiraient periodically on the land from France... not always for simple theological questions.
Thus the Baron of Germany, direct descendant of Boniface V, general of the troops reformed in Provence in 1586 he had not, in deciding to attack with his ally Lesdiguiere Castellane and 1,500 men, the idea of reclaiming the lands of the barony of which he was the direct heir? The assailant had the effect of surprise, but the body of troops was not discreet enough and warned inhabitants had time to strengthen its defences, murer its doors and mobilizing arms and ammunition.
Little hot Lesdiguiere take such a place... Of Germany convinced him to attack. The only way to invest the place to push a door, that of the Annunciation was chosen next to his weakness and the small number of his supporters. A body of troops under the leadership of Captain Jean Motte then attaches to the laying of firecrackers. Be aware that a firecracker was a big, very heavy bronze coin in the shape of a bomb. packed full of powder. It was hanging the mouth against the door, and when the powder exploded, the inertial force due to the mass of the piece was steal the obstacle in brightness. It goes without saying that such an operation resulted hazardous exposure to jets of weapons of defenders... corollary fatal to the captain receiving a cauldron of boiling oil thrown from the top of the walls by Castellanaise Judith Andrau. The troupe disperses, shocked by this death spectacular officer... and unwilling to a new offensive...
Germany and Lesdiguiere throw the camp; It is the failure. The population then pronounced the solemn vow that the community will commemorate this event for at least a century: promise was kept since it gives rise to a feast and processions along the walls all on 31 January from 1586. Religious ceremonies, a song, have even been written specially to glorify this episode, and the tower was popularly named after the name of the heroine who saved the... "The beautiful Judith".

Streets and houses of Castellane

It is easy to notice, the architectural similarity of houses intramural of the village. S houses supporting each other are built while height, some reaching five floors.The ground floor opens on the street, in the majority of cases by a large barn door to two gates, the generally straight header consists of a beam, or basket Cove stone carved and finely jointed. This opening is lined with a door of building massive, solid wood coat hanger or hanger broken, often of style Louis XIII and sometimes framed by pilasters of stone. Some houses have their roof doubled over the Genoese to a covered terrace. This provision corresponds to the lifestyle that had their inhabitants, namely that of a population before rural, but group habitat.
Because due to the rugged terrain and means of communication configuration, the crops were gathered around Castellane or around the hamlets. The ground floor was used as draught animals and cattle; the floors of housing, attics and terraces of drying fruits and vegetables, sometimes from Hay stores; stems and pulleys hanging, now useless, under certain Genoese. Here, and there, on the streets, still houses which were not inhabited but had load of discount warehouses of farm equipment and other cars, generally surmounted by hay and grain granaries. This time is not so far since in the 1950s one of the last horses, vestige of this way of life, occupies the ground floor opposite the No. 9, rue de la Fontaine, under two granaries hay. In the country oxen were used for the sake of economy and cost-effectiveness. They were hooked on a plot in the street of mid-life and in doing so, the animal was immobilized in a device consisting of four strong pillars in solid wood fitted with winches and called 'work'. After a few years of inactivity, it was dismantled.
At the same time, Farriers disappeared, correlatively to the blacksmiths, as well as animals and the small trades with their tools:-the last carts were built in a workshop located in the alley adjacent to the flank of the Church,-the cobbler, shoemakers who were then shoe makers, Tinsmiths, watchmakers, potters, weavers, tailors, hatters... Fortunately, we still have the joy of seeing return, with spring, our Milliner, who opened his shop and introduces its new collections.

Around the Verdon

Saint-Thyrs - Robion - Saint-Trophime

De Castellane, to get to Saint-Thyrs, Robion or Saint-Trophime, walk two roads lead there. by car, you need to take the Valley of Rayaup, fashion show impressive and full of charm. In this Valley, swim in the waterholes, and reached almost to the plateau have the pleasure to drink at the source under the walnut trees. Then make three wishes, keep secrets, and if at this moment you hear the cuckoo sing, they materialize.
At the edge of the plateau that you approach stands the epic silhouette of a chapel, dedicated to St-Thyrse of Bithynia in all likelihood. This work of modest dimension presents a rare harmony. Romanesque invoice in its primitive stage, it is decorated internally of Lombard bands that are generally outside the buildings.Repaired in the 17TH century on the orders of Bishop Soanen (time of the upper part of the Bell Tower) it was classified by the Monuments of France who restored it a few years ago.
By Robion, against the mountain, mount, mount... until the white Chapel all hooked up in the cliff, then perhaps there you see the source flow... and if you get to drink its water, you marry in the year... In addition to this saying, be aware that the current Wren building dates from the 17th century. It was the purpose of annual processions, on 28 December, to celebrate the Patron Saint of the town (Saint-Trophime d’Arles). This custom can be attached to the traces of habitations around and those of a drawbridge, implying that she was the former parish of Robion. Regret the theft of his Merovingian stele...

Legend of the auberge de Saint-Thyrs

Before arriving at Saint-Thyrs, the huge Walnut will welcome you under its shade said to be deadly because no culture grows, and if you are lie long enough, the creaking of his huge frame and the murmurs of the water from the source in the conch will tell you the terrible legend of these places.
Once, on this steep, stony and inconvenient, road that goes from Draguignan to Castellane, Comps and Jabron, the traveler, at dusk of the day and especially when one of these mountain thunderstorms threatening, is willing to join the faster this relay doing hostel, housed in the massive bastide. In these uninhabited spaces, the echo no mounts and the bandage of the car jolting in the rubble warned well in advance the innkeeper of this perhaps promising arrival. It was therefore time to prepare pots and victuals, to rekindle the fire. The horses were stabled forage and straw fresh while that above coloured cutlery in the bowls.
Troops were always well received, met, but... some waited very long return or the arrival of solitary foreigner who had to borrow this way... and do stop! And these nights, the reddish glow filtering through the openings in the wall, went very late... These disappearances, these nocturnal lights, in these places already haunted by the ghosts of Templar, their treasures and their underground shrines of Saint-Thyrs, Valcros, Saint-Trophime, did rise in popular imagery table of this new red Inn. The legends have their share of truth? The fact remains that disturbing were the thoughts of one who, in the year 1959, discovered in one of the cellars under the common room, a mature oven filled with ashes! But worry, meanwhile, the Inn acquired by a new family bought the legend by becoming "land of prosperity" where lived the nurse deemed into the Var, which filled the House of children happy and full of life... and it is well known that these are children who remove spells!


We walk on the surface of things, where in our civilization the meaning took precedence on the served, that of irony to climb to town, where this mean there no longer has meant. In the developed of Rocky, a feudal figure suspended above the Lake Castillon catching the eye and not attract them towards a chaotic Ridge to the undefinable shapes... It is soon surprised to think that the mountain pushed walls...
This is where we see the distance that separates us from town, this leap out of time she did over lived everyday. That is why need to wander in Haute-Provence, where content is almost unspeakable, where he must remain at the level of sensations and not to say, at the level of the receptive rather than of restored. These landscapes, because they breathe, we are out of the usual universe that we offer the media where everything is translated by the sounds, the words so that we only have them to determine our fate.
Here, it is not the words that determine us. This is what we may have forgotten, namely completeness between what we are and there where we are. Maybe here will we have the chance to relearn to find or rediscover our identity. "Ville, so high that one sees the Eagles of dos". 'Ville', the root of the commune of Demandolx, the name of his Lord, slain in an open field with a part of his family during the wars of religion, the history intimately interwoven with that of Castellane. Did to leave without you be rendered by a trail where the view loses itself in a magnificent panorama to the Romanesque chapel of Conche sitting on a shelf behind the Ridge, at 500 m from the Church of San Fortunato (late 11th century) left unfortunately to the abandonment.


To the side of the Destourbe Eoulx viewing the enfilade of the Valley dug by the torrent of the same name, very pleasant to be followed by a road paved and shaded. This village perched and windy (where its name) is in fact in a few houses crushed by the imposing mass of a castle built on immense vaulted cellars. The successive Lords were Boniface de Castellane (1226), and then the Comte de Provence (1248).
It was presented by Queen Jeanne in 1381 to Jean de said Raymond Le Gros. His descendants will leave it to the Revolution. Extensive gardens to the abandonment ranged beneath her facade. It was rebuilt in the 18th century style that he displays in his gypsery and was attended by an elegant company in the 19th century... In the year 1988 sheep to borrow the grand staircase.
Three chapels surround this imposing edifice which of Saint-Pons, the purest Romanesque style primitive (not domed) at the door full hanger. Unfortunately doomed weatherproof, maintenance-free no, it degrades over time. What could be saved? A track on a hillside to walk to Saint-Thyrs and Robion passing through "the river of Eoulx".


The trail leading to Taloire begins at the bridge of the same name over the Verdon, climbs through woods and clearings between two rugged landforms, nice hiking in the shade of large trees. A large sloping field crossed a Creek announces the arrival to the village.
To the right of the path dropped a Romanesque chapel gutted by the earthquake of 1951. Some still inhabited houses are grouped at the entrance, at the foot of a narrow plateau strewn remains, after which appear to be the remains of an oratory, which access passes between a massive fortified town and a tower at the deformed walls House. Here were found several Roman medals, 34 gold coins, as well as an honorary ring, hallmark of the Knights.


This place is named Vaucroux (from hollow Val) then Valcroze. Above a Valley very deep in the forest, lying on a bare nipple furnished two or three trees including a huge oak tree old at least six centuries, on the edge of a pine forest, very austere, silhouette typical of Provence, the castle farm, framed by two towers covered with tiles waders filled Dome, sheds a camaieu of ochres cirque of hills. Against the main body was a chapel square vaults. A niche carved into its wall had to shelter a small statue to the right of its entry, the remains of a stoup earthenware of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie enshrined in a scallop in staff reflect the 18th century of all origins.
By the maintenance and restoration work began owners, this private property should greatly be respected. If these lands were given to the Knights Templar of the Ruoux by Boniface IV, as evidenced by a paper bearing its seal in 1205. These are not installed at this location, but have built a fortress located to the Northwest of the "rocks of the fort", almost inaccessible ruins if it is by Robion and the bass of the gifted.


Chasteuil, road to the end of the world, takes its name from the latin Castellum and the site was occupied since ancient times, evidenced by the discovery of numerous medals and Roman coins.
The GR4 bypasses, coming from Castellane, the rocky outcrop crowned by the ruins of the old village. There, the foundations of a square Tower mark the place du Château monitoring the Verdon, reminding us of the power of the barony de Castellane, which it was part.
The roofs of Chasteuil gather as chilly around their church, modest Chapel of the 16th century, dedicated to San Sebastián, including the belfry to the rustic and heavily perforated device supports two bells whose silhouette is not without mentioning the so-called "torment", equipped with upper counterweight tall and broad and enabling sufficient wind which, in the storm, was sounded signal to the fly.
You will be probably happy to stop the abundant flow flowing in this village in the narrow streets near the source. The «poude» (sickle) no longer cuts the aspic (wild lavender) to power the "peirau" (alambic)... But today's homes restored thanks to the initiative of a group of artisans who want to revive the community in exercising their professions.


Rougon held a prominent place in the history of the barony of Castellane was stronghold of the glacis of the defence. Its Lords were always mixed with near or far to the conflicts that waved this corner of Haute-Provence... many of their neighbours had often in addition to complain of their warriors excesses... Their Castle, whose ruins Crown the rocky spur above the village, will be purchased by the Abbey of Lerins that enjoy until the French Revolution during which it was sold as a national asset. Its chapel Saint-Christophe, illuminated during fiestas, opens his porch curved sunset. The nave of three bays to handlebar presents a decoration of tendrils and foliage: his yellow majolica tiled date as the whole of the 17th century. The friendly village is a pleasant stop for hikes in the countryside and to the bar of the Catalans are fragments of fortifications... The view beads of the Gorges is sumptuous, marked by two rocks facing, popularly baptized - leaving Samson and Delilah".

Meyrestre and la Palud-sur-Verdon

Meyrestre, old village of la Palud-sur-Verdon, was more populous than the basin occupied now, very damp location (the Latin root Palus indicates indeed the presence of wetlands...) and was secured by a chapel dedicated to Notre-Dame-de-Meyrestre. In the CARTULARY of Lérins (first monastery of Provence was founded by Saint-Honorat, which gave its name to the islands of the Bay of Cannes in 405), found traces of the installation, in 470, in the District of Saint-Maurice (or Saint-Maurin), a colony of monks of that order. This neighborhood to halfway between Meyrestre and La Palud, on the edge of the Gorge, is for the traveller a haven of freshness and delight. In this place, the soft Tuff of the mountain massif was dug by two sources that Gush out cascading in a circus of hanging Prairie. A multitude of holes, troughs and duct ouvragent rock. Some of these crevices are large enough to serve as shelters.
In the 19th century, these caves, communicating between them, served as attics to hay, after having housed the monks who certainly remained there until the 17th century, in which there is reference of the desert of "Saint – Maurice" in reference to this cave shrine. The stone stairway carved into the rock and traces of vestiges of the walls that were closing such shelters attest to this occupation. Until the end of the middle ages the configuration of la Palud-sur-Verdon evolved.Firstly, it consisted of three districts whose Meyrestre was the most important. then the current village became result, thanks to the residence, in his castle of the family Demandolx, from the 14th century to the French Revolution. The current remains, much damaged, date in whole of the 18th century. Much older is the Bell Tower of the village (vestige of the ninth century) and the chapel incorporated into the imposing church which was rebuilt around 1870. Also owned by this family the "Meyrestre Manor", building current of the 17th century, window mullions and framed by two towers, sheltered on a rock above the Verdon platform, that should occupy a vassal noblio-peasant.

The Verdon

The Verdon is omnipresent in the story of Castellane, who was born in this place because the river is fordable, where the construction of the bridge of the Roc. Its waters fueled the moat; He determined the structure of the city: designed to evacuate flood, the streets were hollow, houses support between them either directly or using small arches. They move even now. Dams regulating the flow of waters now allow to walk along its course to lower risk. Its beautiful gorges offer the practice of watersports, climbing, hiking along wooded banks remained wild. The Verdon taking a tourist aspect, we enter the prospective history: Castellane becomes what it is because the Verdon is a beacon in our civilization of leisure.
The Grands Travaux de Marseille, in the vicinity of 1900, make, by drilling of tunnels (for the penstock works to channel the Verdon), today possible walks in the bottom of the Gorge. The Martel Trail, the name of the surveyor of this gigantic project abandoned application 6 hours of walking, the Chalet of Maline to Point Sublime, sense in ' which we advise you to borrow it. Your market will be marked by remarkable points including:
•    the Cavaliers Beach, ideal for a picnic
•    Eboulis de Guègues, result of the droppings of the drilling of the tunnel of the same name
•    the Mescla (confluence of the Artuby)
•    the Belvedere of the Brèche Imbert
•    the 240-step staircase
•    the site of Trescaire
•    the chaos of the Samson corridor
•    the Baume aux pigeons...
.. .and to the arrival, the source of the Merlet, both desired, Springs less than 3 metres from the confluence of the Baoux and the Verdon at the foot of the parking.
Grandiose L'Imbut, passable only by seasoned athletes trail, presents multiple challenges and we will know that you advise to request the assistance of a guide.The route des crêtes actuated on its 20 km of corniche its string of impressive viewpoints overlooking the Gorge. Furthermore, de Castellane, a half-day will suffice to climb quietly with the kids until the Cadieres de Brandis and to picnic near the sky, in the shade of the pines that focus on the unique circular panorama. All the places mentioned in this book are accessible by hiking trails, more circuits are possible, more or less long or difficult.

hiking - Verdon Gorge
hiking- Castellane
hiking - Verdon gorge
hiking - Roc Castellane

Back to questions on Castellane through the ages

Other information
Other categories