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The Canjuers Plateau

It was difficult, once again recite so many testimonials about the Verdon and ignore the presence in this territory of a geographical feature which, since 3.000 years, led to the prehistory and the Canyon, men to live and prosper.
The Canjuers Plateau is a large massif limestone of the Jurassic superior of Prealps of Grasse, located in the Var Department, and, integrated with the great Plans of Provence since Roman times. With the Valensole Plateau, it is these huge natural platforms such as altars for mineral site celebrity. Canjuers extends north of Draguignan South of the Gorges du Verdon, delimited to the North by large margins (1577 m) peaks. Hemmed in the West by the hills of Aiguines, AUPs. Order to the East by the foothills of Castellane-Fayence. Its altitude goes up to 1577 meters. The summers are hot and dry; the cold, harsh winters. For there have performed manoeuvres during my life military, I honestly think that there not large differences in temperature on the heights, with what we can know at the same time in the far north of Europe. We have, in places, our 'little Siberia à la française".
The geological formation of the country dates back to the era secondary and one can easily think that this depression was, in fact, a huge atoll whose bottom was occupied by various coral species. A hot and humid tropical climate there prevailed, favoring ipso facto the good development of reptilian groups, crocodilians, and fish to bony shells. A high Reef that United the massive des Maures and L'esterel, preserving at the same time the sedimentary basin of the violent sea movement. This led, in 1970, the discovery of many fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, when archaeological excavations by gentlemen L. GINSBURG and g.. MENNESSIER. Their discovery was the capital when they uncovered a single specimen complementing the panoply of the builders of the history of the Earth (archaeologists): a beautiful "Steneosaure" intact, old 135 million years, measuring 2.40 metres long, lying in the heart of the site listed on the small Plan de Canjuers. And their archaeological harvests graced of aquatic turtles, ammonites, sea urchins, shells in all genres. Other plant and animal species were thus identified, dating back to the end of secondary school. Another discovery of importance, that of a "Pleurosaure", marine prehistoric animal. Which proves yet once, and if need were, the presence of the sea that covered the area of the Gorge, there are millions of years.

The legacy of the past

Heir to a long military tradition, the Canjuers Plateau fits perfectly in the Plans advances of Provence. Roman ruins have been identified and it is certain that Jules Cesar, the return of a military campaign against Pompey in 49 BC, has installed its glorious Legions on the plateau. This is probably at this time that Jules César made Aiguines an advanced observation point, an oppidum, to be more precise. Plans advances de Provence, Roman appellation, were part of the Provincia Romana and installing regiments on the heights allowed almost absolute control of the val - Ives, communications axes, and also facilitated the deployment of armed troops.
This military practice is committed to us, since areas in altitude still represent strategic military points: who holds the heights, command the valleys. Undoubtedly, the appellation of Canjuers is inherited from passage of the illustrious host of the region, first founder of the camp of the Roman garrisons on the site. Julius Caesar, Emperor of Rome, Canjuers is a derivative of Jules Camp, which suggests a Roman military occupation until the end of the Western Roman Empire, in the 5th century of our era. It is probably at this time of occupation that dates back to the construction of the Pont de Garuby, now buried under the waters of the Lake of Ste-Croix.
Throughout its past, the Canjuers plateau essentially supported food activity turned to the rearing of sheep and goats. An extremely low population density and a farm settlement divided, suggesting a self-sufficiency of local life. It was difficult to establish high-yield agricultural crops, when one knows that the zones composed of rocks and pebbles are superior in number to those of cultivable land. Unlike the Valensole Plateau, whose quality and the nature of the soil promote grain agriculture, at the same time as farming of Lavender (there are cultures of lavender, but one grows the plants). In this context, half a dozen hamlets lived folded on themselves.
Climate favoured nor new locations of stands. On one side an accentuated Mediterranean trend from May to September characterized by hot summers and dry, without a drop of rain and heavy nights; on the other, a strict and severe winter like a high mountain climate with snow, Frost, ice, cold and violent winds. The spring and autumn that making short appearances.

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Flora and fauna of the Canjuers plateau

As the vegetation, the only real concern of the site that it fits, it is composed mainly by the maquis, the garrigues, clumps of boxwood and spiny, and some tree species, Scots pine and oak persistent essentially. Flora, for its part, is especially represented by so-called wild perennial Mediterranean species: Echium, Eryngium, Genet Spain and mountaineer, and traditional herbs like thyme, Laurel, Rosemary... Wildlife, too, is predominantly Mediterranean, particularly reptilian.Two rivers flowing only in surface source water this immense. There, in the North, the Artuby which flows into the Verdon instead La Mescla. And to the South, the Nartuby, which will be lost in the course of the Argens near Le Muy City Centre-Var.
The relief is karstic origin, suggesting the existence of groundwater once allowing men and beasts to subsist at the time of their presence on the shelf. Cavers, these reckless excavators from the bowels of our planet, these sons of Martel noted great chasms, such as the Ross Aven. Among the buried sources flowing underground, cannot refrain from mentioning the Ross, this natural river which crosses Canjuers, and who, before the impoundment of Lake St. Croix, formed la Fontaine l ' Evêque, arising out of land close to Bauduen. Vauclusian source which was considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe with the Fontaine de Vaucluse.
Speleological races are regulated with the presence of the military field, as the avens are generally the areas of maneuvers by tanks and artillery.
The exploration of networks is the result of an operating agreement between the military, the Speleo-Club of Draguignan authorities and the Centre of archaeological studies of Var. Work and the explorations are held in July and August, during downtime of the shots. The evocation of this prohibited and highly regulated area leads us to speak naturally the canjuers military Camp.

Canjuers military camp

For several years now, we associate the terms "Plateau de Canjuers» with the Canjuers military Camp, whose project was launched in 1962. Managed by the French army perimeter covers 35,000 acres. The territory under supervision to and end on a distance of 35 kilometers long, in the stretched part, on 10 to 12 large in the closer.
Departing from Draguignan addresses the site by D 955 crossing from side to side the perimeter to join Comps-sur-Artuby, Northeast. The departmental 25 linking Bargemon to Bargème, passes through the military camp. D 49, which saves Aups to Bauduen, bypasses the southwestern boundary, and the D 957 (Aups-Moustiers-Ste-Marie) runs along the Western limits of the militarized zone.
Information signs written in French, English, German and Italian, are erect at the entrance to the perimeter close to tourists on the precautions to be taken during the crossing and field military roads that they be required to borrow within its limits. Stops outside the route of the road are not recommended. We have to stay on the course, if you want to avoid to be in the middle of the polygon of fire. What beautiful target you'd then! If you find nose to nose with a char AMX 30 arising from the maquis and its what 40 tonnes in displacement... Or, with the flagship of artillery motorized in the form of a chariot "Leclerc"!

Life revolves in the military camp

No wonder or particular to this, since we must not ignore that field military du Plateau de Canjuers is a space of manoeuvres for the army, and that this is the first use of this area under protection. The constructions of the first barracks began in 1970. Subsequently, from 1972, the date of weapons of the 21st Regiment of Camp, and 1984 when was created the company reinforced works 3rd, regiments settled successively. In 1973, it was the Centre of development frameworks and training of shooters (weapon Armored Cavalry and artillery ground-to-ground).
In 1976, the 60th Rgt. artillery and Elements of the 405th Rgt. of artillery of Hyeres-les-Palmiers (refonde since in 54th Rgt. artillery) and, the 1st Rgt. of hunters.Without forgetting to mention a firing battery to complete the 401st Rgt. of artillery installed in the year. This set is a real town in which are stationed permanently near 3,000 men who host more than 110,000 soldiers per year. These figures date from the time when it was not question to put an end to Conscription of soldiers. That is, for novices, National Service.
Managed areas to receive regiments of the French army, but also contingents from Europe (the allies primarily and in particular "to 15"), the Canada and even the United States.
All come to improve on what represents the largest military training camp in Western Europe.
The Canjuers Camp receives armoured and mechanized army (tanks and artillery) units and helicopters of the light Aviation of the land Army (A.L.A.T.). The harshness of the climate, the chaotic and inhospitable landscape, poverty land, and the extent of non-forested areas, make it an ideal area of maneuvers.
Off-summer season, it is common to hear thunder gun. This strange and unusual noise must not prevent visitors to continue their trip in the mountains and massifs of the Verdon.

The military camp and its environment

Boxwood, maquis and garrigue, largely occupy the plateau. Rare are the forests, and only trees present are those who are able to face the vagaries of the climate, pine Sylvestre and oak Pubescents are dominant. The Camp authorities participate with the National Office of forests (O.N.F.) recovery of forested areas. They thus cooperate in the fight against a disease caused by modern pollution aimed at the decline of the Scots pine. 160 kilometres of firewalls have been installed and we can say, without a chance of being wrong, that fire measures taken here are among the most effective in the world.
The example could be applied during summer in the South of the France, perhaps obviating our Mediterranean forest parte in smoke. The causes, known also, urbanization and wild mass tourism. The shots, for these reasons, are suspended in summer. What does not prevent firefighters based at Canjuers come lend a hand and help their colleagues from neighbouring departments during fires who declare themselves strangely, and primarily, between late June and early September.
The fire is the worst enemy of our administrative Region, and the worst year was undoubtedly that of 1990 during which are 27,000 hectares of forests have been destroyed, removed simply map!
As hunting (game is essentially the wild boar), regulated, it is permitted inside the boundaries of the Camp. A "right to hunt" is granted by the military authorities to the followers of this activity, mainly the inhabitants of communes. For the anecdote, when it is said that the military are passionate enthusiasts of firearms, they represent only 19% of the total number of game hunters, in this Department where the army is well represented. 81% of hunters are the "civilians".
The army maintains good relations with the surrounding communes, proof of this is that it allows to riparian breeders to frolic freely their livestock in concession areas. And in particular, to shepherds of Comps-surArtuby.

The entente cordiale

The Canjuers Plateau has a rich archaeological region. Paleontologists are interested also to pursue their studies in situ. Excavations are undertaken by organizations, be they private or public. This collaboration is an agreement between these entities and the Ministry of the armed forces.
A few years ago, natural history Museum has launched an extensive campaign of research to try to recognize the Plan of les Bessons (northeast of the small Plan de Canjuers) in paleontological site.
In fact, archaeologists, Mineralogists, geologists and speleologists benefit from the same advantageous conditions in their respective work on studies conducted on the ground: the return of the remains of the Roman occupation; the development of microscopic flora in the course of the Artuby; the topographical identification of fossil discoveries; the update of new galleries and new underground networks; geological surveys of the periods of sedimentation...
Tourist activities save not Camp due to roads that cross, and in summer, there are many visitors who migrate north to the South, in reverse, or looking for discoveries in sites du Verdon — continuation of the Riviera Sun. Even if the Canjuers Plateau does not offer a major tourist aspect, since it hosts the Member field of the same name, its presence on the limits of the geographical area of the Gorge - and -Canyon of the Verdon is indisputable. Throughout the roads bordering the presence of this site, blue-white-red lined panels, most of the time clung to trees along the course, remind constantly that the places are prohibited access.

The Jabron wearable

A few steps from the famous Gorges du Verdon, a stream flows casually from the South to the North, into the Verdon at Carrejuan: the Jabron.
The Jabron originates near a hamlet located in the southeast of the Alpes de Haute Provence by the name of La Foux. The total length of its survey trip does not exceed 18 km. The course of the river turns Northwest to reach the village that bears his name, Jabron, located on the D 955. Along the medieval plain of Trigance, the Pont Napoleon to cross it easily at the threshold of the small var town. The torrent then plunges into minis gorges that he has carved, wearable, to then join the Verdon. A small bridge, the Roman bridge of Sautet, to overhang the mini-canyon. Yet evidence of ancestral occupation of Rome in this Provencal Earth.
The flow of Jabron varies throughout the year depending on rainfall and hydrology of course fed by several small springs of resurgence. Relatively active in autumn and in spring, the bed of the Jabron is often dry from June to early September. Pots filled with water, and the gours of stagnant water diversion bays then benefit to House a little friendly population of reptiles verdonniens: vipers, snakes and frogs. Studies on the hydrology of the course was conducted over 25 years ago (in the years 1975) using fluorescein, revealing the existence of an underground bed almost parallel to the existing surface. Some of these waters fed by various networks Ross, running under the Canjuers Plateau.
The site of Jabron is truly a haven of peace and tranquility. Little-known as little frequented, the place unveils a wild world animated by summer insects. Many butterflies invaded the outskirts of banks, followed by of browsers insects. Serenity is the characteristic of this river and its course.
The image of the Verdon, his elder brother, the torrent has a similar geographical morphology with its pre-Canyon, its Gorges and Canyon. In models reduced, certainly in their dimensions and their proportions, but similar. Not to mention the color of its waters at any point tallies with that of our Emerald Green torrent, the Verdon.
Thus, it is easy to translate the limits of each of these sectors by breaking it down so:
•    the pre-Canyon: from its source near Jabron up to the height of the Pont Napoleon, Trigance,.
•    Gorges: de Trigance in the hamlet of La Table Ronde,.
•    the Canyon: La Table Ronde in Carrejuan.
As strange as it may seem, less than 3 kilometers, are successively upright on the bed of Jabron, a mini-Styx, a mini-Imbut, a mini-chaos, all in a mini-canyon... Its waters are crystalline green, with emerald reflections!
In Gorges, Jabron flows peacefully under a forest of Aleppo Pine and Mediterranean, followed by sites in the middle of which alternate crake, the boxwood, and thorny bushes. High humidity, conducive to the development of fungi enables some to grow, Morels, (blood) saffron Milkcap and pine mushrooms. In the commune, the gathering of mushrooms is regulated.
The sunshine of Jabron is conducive to photographs and blend shades of ochre, grey, white, green. A natural limestone cement binds the stones of the course between them, forming strange concretions. The small cliffs and the throat size provides an overview of the route of the river. The highest point of the cliffs shall not exceed 12 to 15 meters above the bed of the Jabron.
A bridge to cross overhanging the mini-canyon. The Verdonniens often call it the Damoiseaux bridge, better known as the Roman bridge of Sautet, its name on maps. Not to be confused with the Roman bridge of Tusset, that lies it upstream of the Samson corridor at the top of the Salpêtrière parade and that can win, on foot, from the road which leads to the hallway Samson car park.

The Damoiseaux bridge

These are stubborn legends which gave its name to the book as the Damoiseaux bridge. Young people came here to the Court to their promise... Use wanted same that you throw overboard a pebble, a piece of wood or a piece for the most fortunate of them so that a dream came true or that a wish be catered.
This is beautiful lurette that the Damoiseaux come more conter fleurette their Dulcinea, but deck him, remains. Traditions are lost and dreams soar! The origin of this book is lost in the mists of time. In other words, it is not known much, except that its construction probably dates back to the middle ages, since it represented an important Mule route from Chasteuil, passing by Suns, reaching Trigance. Remains of a paved, are still visible. Time has covered much of this once prosperous path.
A path which the starting point is set at the height of the House of heritage, Trigance, on the left bank, borrows the bridge to the Damoiseaux (or, Sautet) to join Suns and Le Bourguet by top Bagarry. Remaining on the left bank, the path crosses the Breis glue and the site of the Round Table, to reach Carrejuan, and crossing the book, won D 952. This route allows the charming Jabron wearable global discovery. Ride family, very easy to undertake.

Bourguet and Bagarry

Le Bourguet was once a prosperous Templar place. Ruins testify to this past presence. As for Bagarry (another village, but also a geographical site, two relatives of the Castellanais mountains), the founder of the order of poor Knights of Christ, who would later become the order of the Knights Templar, its creator somehow was Hugues de PAYENS... by BAGARRY. Some historians and other specialists in the history of the Knights Templar, attribute to Hugues de Payens a Provencal origin by birth.
The riverbed allows an approach to the bottom between June and September, both the course is dry. Progression leaves appear more or less easy passages, with stones and blocks, the steep, and eaves overhang of 3 to 4 metres from the torrent. This excursion is nevertheless reserved for very good hikers because the path is sports.
The precaution to take is, in addition to advance with caution, the greatest attention on the presence of reptiles. The places being infrequent, heat and stones present in abundance, standing water or in the form of a trickle, all is conducive to the presence of snakes and vipers in the summer.
From the road between Suns and Trigance, and even better hiking on the trail that goes from Trigance in Carrejuan, customers will be able to realize a round, slightly elevated and particular form of relief, on the left bank of the Jabron, in the massif of the Breis glue. This place bears the name of the Round Table. Popular belief gives it to have been a place of meditation for the Templars. At the same time, the serenity was friendly meetings, and same for the observation of the stars.The proximity of the castles (like most of forts or fortified buildings) as those of Suns, and Valcros Trigance, is perhaps not unrelated to this legend?

The Verdon and its balms

The main feature of the Verdon, the mountains and massifs as gorges and plateaus, is to be of karstic origin. Limestone is the main and fundamental element of the karst country. The erosion due to wind, rain and snow promotes the digging and the attack of limestone, sedimentary rock that covers much of the surface of the Earth.
It is not uncommon in Provence to speak of "balm" to refer to a cave. In fact, in the language of insiders, several terms refer to these natural phenomena occupied by prehistoric humans, but also by certain species of animals. Thus, lia tune, cave, cave, define themselves as cavities more often horizontal or subhorizontal. Let's say that the term of "balm" is unique to Provence for designer these peculiarities of the relief.
A phenomenal amount of these balms populate it, somehow the Verdon Gorges and Canyon country in particular. Perhaps 10,000, perhaps 15,000, no one knows, because no one is actually committed in the Census of these caves. Especially as there are everywhere. Open on the bed of the Emerald torrent, in the cliffs at the top of the mountains, on the plateaus... Their dimensions are sometimes amazing like the balm to the Pigeons that is 60 meters high (on the route of the Martel Trail).
Without start here 'counting' balm by baume of the Verdon, it is few that deserve to be reported, if not be nominated. Their names sometimes inspired strange origins.
Among the most famous: the Baume aux pigeons, the Baume aux boeufs, the balms Feres. Translation: La Baume in Pigeons so named by the presence of these birds in an older age; the Baume aux boeufs, located in the parade of the same name, near the Martel trail but left bank, takes its name from the cattle that children kept and took deep Gorges in summer. The Cherubim were their cows in the balm for the night, or in case of rain. The balms Feres, also in the parade that bears their name, near the Martel trail, on the left bank, because "feres" means a man wild, proud, country bumpkin, a disreputable character. The cave has therefore likely provided refuge to these little ordinary men who hacked the precious metals. There are also:
•    Baume aux hirondelles, dogs balm, bee balm: the translation is easy, swallows for the birds that nest there, dogs, no doubt there wild dogs, or the dogs coming to seek refuge. The bees for the same reasons.
•    Balm of false coin Fox balm, balm of the Grand Duke: the definition is easy to find. With respect to the Grand Duke, it is not a Duke of the aristocracy, but the nearby species of OWL, a nocturnal bird of prey.
•    Balm of the JSON, balm of the Church, balm of the stops: the JSON means a lift used by shepherds and cutters of boxwood who formerly worked in the forests of the Gorge, allowing them to climb onto the top of the cliffs wood cut for delivery then to La Palud-sur-Verdon to heat the ovens of potters; to Aiguines for the dervishes of boxwood; towards Moustiers feed masters Faïence wood ovens.
•    Gold or the maker of gold balm balm.
•    Balm of Styx, the Mann balm, balm of the Imbut: there the definitions have a direct relationship with the site that welcomes them. These caverns open on the course of the Verdon, in the area of the Gorge near the Imbut trail are huge vaults that overlook the riverbed. About the river Styx, also known as Baume collapsed, by the fact that blocks broke from the vault of the cavern and came crashing to the threshold of the gaping opening, on the bed of the Emerald torrent. As Styx, Mann and Imbut terms, they successively translates 'a corridor that leads to the underworld', name of Mythology Greek given by Martel during the first exploration by the Fund in 1905; bad Ford; and funnel.

The balm of the Garret, the balm of the Templars and other balms Provencal

There is a huge balm that deserves special attention. The great Galetas balm. It is now visible only when one runs by small boat or pedal boat, going up in the gully North of the Pont du Galetas, coming from the Lake of Ste-Croix. Its dimensions are greater than those of the Baume aux pigeons.
Why these strange names? Simple observation, or one explanation as any, which is to say that the names were awarded in function specificities either from that of their occupants, is still by a moniker for what being dedicated. In all cases, these are people in the country who gave these names to so-called caverns and caves.
Curiously some sites have retained their appellation of origin in some way, such as the St-Maurin caves near the Cascade de St-Maurin, the fairy cave or the cave Mary Magdalene at Moustiers Ste-Marie, les Caves du Bouc d'Or and la Chèvre d'Or, North of La Palud-sur-Verdon, near the road that leads to the hamlet of Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers.
Since this abandoned village, a short trail in the footsteps of the former Roman road for win the Notre Dame cave in which a chapel is nestled in the heart of the cliff. This cavity has the rarely used name balm of the Knights Templar. Beautiful balms are clearly visible in the terminal area of the pre-Canyon, especially in the Salpêtrière parade, when it comes to the site of construed, toward Rougon and the site of the Sublime anointed. For the Non-provencaux, or for those who do not have the use of the Provençal as a spoken language, it is worth mentioning the need to dissociate the terms "balsams" and "baou". Baou means top or rock, or the place. Indeed, one finds for example the Baou of the OWL, the Baou Roux, the Baou of the keel which are rocks that rise to the heaven. And the blessed Baou, which means place blessed. It is not forbidden to think that we can meet one day or the other, "du Baou la Baume" or conversely, "Baume du Baou"...

The monoliths Verdonniens

Phenomenon also curious, there are as well in the Gorges and Canyon of the strange mineral masses who took a form not human, but animal or vegetable: upstream of the Samson corridor, on the Roman Tusset, an enormous gray rock bridge trail seems low, the Lion's mouth, top 30 metres, the profile strangely resembling a roaring lion's mouth and pretend say «hostile nature Attention...»
Near the Martel trail, between the 2nd and the 3rd tunnel coming from the corridor Samson, stands in the middle of the Verdon, the Dent du Chat, a white and pointed rock that resembles a canine feline (3 to 4 meters high). A little further away, stands in the sky, on the left bank, the Baou of the OWL, representing its Summit the Rancoumas belvedere; its height is 40 metres. In the hamlet of the Conciergerie, upstream the Imbut there duck, high rock of 4 metres high on eight long that resembles a duck on the water.
Still further in the Canyon, overturned on his hat, could yet discover the fungus, 5 metres, circumference 8, such a reverse bolet which shows his foot in heaven.To the selvedges, that it is not the surprise of falling nose-to-nose with the shark fin, which it seems that only the backbone is visible. 7 to 8 meters, 3 to 4 metres long, it feels almost before a piece of Museum of prehistory.
At the belvedere Galetas, right bank and overlooking the Lake of Ste-Croix, turning toward the cliff, slightly at the top of the road, we guess the Dromedary, a colossal beige ochre rock about ten meters long and 6 to 7 high, actually takes the form of an elongated Dromedary. The most visible marks or the most significant, are found on the pre-Canyon Road, on the threshold of the mountains of Merlin, where three figures overlooking the route keep the passage: the vigil.The first one looks like a Caryatid Egyptian, is the Sphinx of the pyramids, the second at a head of jovial jester is the Djinn. The third meanwhile is the Gorilla, named by its similarity with our very distant cousin. Phenomena of this kind, there are other quantities in the mountains and massifs of the Verdon... In particular, a beautiful megalith at the top of the cliff that overlooks the chapel Templar of the rock, a few hundred metres after the village of Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers.
You find them and locate them!

The message of the Templars, the mystery of the Holy Grail

Many legends remain in Provence. Sometimes perennial, sometimes stubborn, they all and certainly a true origin and have at the bottom of this part of truth that have brought them to us. There is always the source of a legend or a myth an experience or an epic which are subsequently processed, modified, or even accompanied, at the option of the mood of the storyteller or Narrator.
The Gorges du Verdon did not escape these legends Provencal came from the bottom of the ages, and sometimes to who knows where... But it is also this, the heritage and the history of a region, a country. The presence of the Knights Templar in the Verdon, it is evident, traces and evidence we have. To be convinced, just read the book Guy Talib and Jean-Marie BARANI, "Unusual and mysterious Provence", and, "The island of the vigil" of Alfred WEYSEN.
The Templar term is here used in the true sense of the word, i.e. on the order of the Knights Templar (order beheaded by the good King Philippe Le Bel in 1314 with the blessing of Pope Clement V) which no one can claim to be the heirs, except perhaps in order Masonic universal, the brothers practicing the Scottish rectified Rite, of Templar origin by the will of the Baron de HUNT, of German origin, and above all, of the French Jean-Baptiste WILLERMOZ.
The Knights Templar wanted the good of man and not his loss! It will need to know. Because if the real Templars were still among us, or if the order was still present, this would be for a long time!
The religious of this region, Christianized fervor from the earliest times of Catholicism, was conducive to the fabulous and wonderful tales mix with the conquest of the Holy Grail (or Holy Grail) by the Knights of the Round Table. In this context all the facts fit together or overlap. To try to see a little more clearly, we will have to try to unravel the mysteries of the different actors in these places to assimilate the legends that haunt the mountains of the Verdon.

The mystery of the chalice

Almost at the same time of the establishment of the order of the Knights Templar, around the year 1100, are the wishes of the King Arthur (or Art us) and the Knights of the Round Table to the conquest of the Holy Grail.
The Grail or Holy Grail, is the cut that would have served to Jesus during the meals of the last supper that he shared with his disciples, and cut that used Joseph of Arimathea (believer and Knight of the Palace of Pilate ounce) to collect the blood of Christ on the cross. The first traces of the Grail story date back to the 12th century. The origin of the word is multiple. Provençal 'Grazal', from Spanish "Grial", meaning both a vase, a container.
Curiously, another fact troubling, a few steps from Comps-sur-Artuby, found the Avellan wood. Between Avalon and Avellan spelling grade is low, and the declination of the old French, or the old Provençal, Avalon in Avellan quite qualifies.

The Templars in the gorges du Verdon?

What do these stories have to do with the Verdon, you say? Two historical facts, sometimes filled with legends and mysteries with a present reality in our eyes, the Verdon. That this can have in common? First degree, little interest. Now if we deepened our research, one realizes that, on one side, there is the mystery of the lost of the Templars treasure, the quest Grail who disappeared.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, Christianity was established very easily in Provence. Assisted in its task by the Saints and the saints of the Church of the first time approaching the shores of the Mediterranean, mainly between the towns current Marseille and Nice, Marie Jacobé, Sarah Marie, Marie-Salomé (celebrated in Saintes, in the Camargue), Mary Magdalene (which the cave is located in the Massif de la Sainte Baume, near St-Maximim), among others. A troubled period moved between the 6th and the 10th century. Well before the year millet, and until the Revolution, the Church will dominate this country, whose influences will mainly come from the two streams of monastic orders with one hand, the Abbaye Saint-Victor de Marseille, on the other, the monastery of the Lérins Abbey.
Persecuted after 1314 for those who had to flee the stake, and although the Comte de Provence was a distant relative of the King of France, to which he owed allegiance, the mit no eagerness to continue the Templar Knights. Therefore, many Templars took refuge in Provence.
Before their loss, it is good to mention railways that allowed pilgrims from Northern Europe to visit the Holy Land, passed through Provence. Communications, derived from the ancient Roman roads, routes served as a road to get to the Crusades. Among them, many Templars responsible for frame and protect them. The presence of the Knights Templar reinforces religious thought and emancipation of the monks of the Abbey of Lérins. In the Gorges du Verdon, with a few exceptions the towns and villages are most often under the influence of Lérins.

Evidence for their existence

The order of the Temple went so far as to promote the construction of Church and Chapel in these places, not failing to build any forts and the Commanderies to ensure their own dominance.
For the Templars, the Verdon Gorges formed an epicenter of Astral communications and as such, they were keen to establish a spiritual interstellar colony. This region was the representation on Earth of the astral zodiac signs.
The writer Alfred WEYSEN is based on findings following the discovery of the table of Saint-Martin Celestus, and a strange message found in an old manuscript forgotten in a library.
In addition, the nine altars of nine chapels Templar present in the region are moving each other under a perfect geometric angle corresponding to the number of the builders of cathedrals or...
Let us remember that nine Knights founded the order of poor Knights of Christ which will subsequently become the Knights Templar. These nine chapels named thus, letter after letter:-T: St-Trophime; E: St-Etienne; M: St-Maur; P: St-Pierre; L: St Lawrence; A: St-Anne; R: St-Roch; I: St-Jean; I: St-Julien.
The 'i' and 'j' with Latin the same meaning and represented by the same letter. These chapels are often built atop a rocky spur, sometimes difficult to access, or at the drop of a cliff. Unfortunately, these buildings were mostly looted, ransacked, demolished or partially destroyed by visitors loose and unconscious, sometimes carrying with them stones, tables, cross, or the remains of this rich past. This past is also part of our cultural heritage, there is the drama of wild vandalism. Human stupidity has sometimes matched only by his greed.
The legacy of the Knights Templar is manifested by the presence of castles, forts or fortified farms, built between the 11th and the 13th centuries. There are these buildings, sometimes good, sometimes dilapidated or in the form of ruins, Suns, Valcros, Eoulx, Mayreste, Trigance, Rougon, Castellane, Gréoux-les-Bains, St-Julien-de-Verdon, Comps-sur-Artuby... Not far from there, in the Var, the Templars had one of their most important Commanderies of Provence, Ruou (also spelled the Riou), a few kilometres from the village of Villecroze-les-Caves. There are also sounds strange between Valcros and Villecroz.

Remains, manuscripts and astrological signs

At St-sector (left bank Verdon, Corniche Sublime, yet written St-Maime, i.e. "St-Maxime"), the Knights Templar had a farm (today private property which serves as a barn) near which there was actually a Knights Templar shrine. 500 metres to the South of St-sector, another concentration of farms still bears the name of "la Commanderie". The Château de Valcros, in the middle of the 20th century, a man discovered in a book a text written in old Polish. This old manuscript said: '-in underground constructions of the old Castle of Val-de-Croix lies the treasure of the order of the Temple. '' Go and look. The Saint and the truth will show you the way.
A discovery of great importance would be: the relic of a work of the 16th century, attributed to the painter Simon VOUET (1560-1649), table rigged Saint Celestine-Celestius. Passed to X rays, this work reveals a cartography of the region between the set (North of Rougon) at the village of Jabron (to the South of Trigance), and the Pas de la Faye (to the East) to the Breis glue (to the East). In other words, the four cardinal points exactly positioned, plotted medians spend exactly on the site of Valcros! The sights include representation, diagrammed the twelve signs of the zodiac in the Gorges du Verdon, whose epicenter is formed by the site of the vigil. We find the place of the Vigil, on the right bank road, between Chasteuil and Pont de Soleils. They lie at the crossroads of the lines of ridges between the mountains of Merlin (the seer in Celtic. There is actually, North of Sublime Point a place named the Devens), and Carrejuan (Jean pierre).Other evidence or remains are yet represented. The chapel of Templar's rock, near the ruins of Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers village, North of la Palud-sur-Verdon.Built naked hollow rock mountains, it could provide a place of prayer. Burials would be scattered near the balm. Upstairs, a tumulus well kept secrets...

Sights of Templar...

And other sites of this kind are easily identifiable: the St. John Chapel, atop the rocky spur of St-Jean, on the path that leads to the village abandoned Brandis.The chapels St Julien and St-André Trigance, St-Trophime and St-Thyrse North of the village of Robion.
Names a riddle offers to our reflections: the village of the pre-Canyon perched on the hillside by the name of Taloire is dominated by the Pic St-Étienne, bringing to its Summit the Templar Chapel in ruins of St-Etienne.
St-Etienne formed the 2nd letter of the word Templarii. However, in narratives, Lancelot du Lac continues its path through the forest. The forest is a field which is now built a farm of Taloire. There are also the sites of small and great forest, on the left bank, between the jumpers and the Cirque de Vaumale. Lancelot and Gawain went to St. Stephen's Chapel to pray on the tombs of the brothers of Gawain precisely. Would have buried in this place. A large field near the village bears the name of 'Land of Grail'...
Another example. If we return to the island of the Vigil, can realize that the position of the stone figures by report the outcome of the lines of ridges exactly prefigure the mythological Merlin the sorcerer tale: the forest where Merlin is housed, and watchmen, guardians of the Temple of the Holy Grail.
The St-Maurin superior caves have been occupied, and certainly, by monks from the Abbey of Lérins in the 8th century of our era. They then founded Monasterium (Moustiers-Ste-Marie). But these cave habitats were also manned by the Knights Templar, because the place represented a strategic passageway in the land in the direction of La Palud-sur-Verdon, therefore, Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers, and the balm of the rock.

But no treasure found

There - it a Templar in the Verdon mystery? My goal was not in this chapter make you drink the chalice to the dregs, nor even to invent a story. Verdon would have what to do. But to show you the sometimes strange similarities which may exist between a real or fictionalized story, a site that are life-size, and the contemporary reality of certain events.
Since 1945, numerous researches and excavations carried out on suspected sites do nothing delivered from their possible secret Knights Templar. Only remain concrete testimonies as the walls of buildings or the evocative name of some sites. Histories of the Round Table Knights mingle strangely to the stories of the Knights Templar, to their mystery, their lost treasure. The quest for the Holy Grail may continue, the Verdon him, inexorably continue his race to the sea, and whatever happens, he knows that it remains the Verdon, the God of the waters - green, this snake green Provençal worthy of GOETHE's writings.
Note, curiously, for those who travel to Italy from Nice, found at halfway between Ventimiglia and San Remo, the locality "Vallecrosia! The French translation is "Val de Croix" or 'Val Cros', which would be a track of new investigations after the replay of the parchment found in the attic of the Château de Valcros, in the Gorges du Verdon.

The shepherds and their herds

"They have the same wrinkles and the same companions and the same scents as their old mountains, shepherds...".
Jacques BREL, in «Les Bergers».
Greco-Roman mythology refers to the presence of the shepherds in many texts studied, either in Greek, or in Latin or in history. The shepherds and their flocks are often represented on the pediments of temples and buildings of antiquity.
During the holiday period, i.e. during the traditional Christmas celebrations, it is customary to speak of Bethlehem in Provence (or well yet Belém in norms) when it comes to recreate, for a time that will last 40 days, the grilles, between December 4, day of the Sainte-Barbe and the Epiphany (early January).
At Sainte-Barbe (feast of gunners, but of all trades having a direct connection with fire also), it is customary to germinate wheat, or lenses, in a cup that it will put on the table on the evening of the big dinner, celebrating Christmas Eve.
The Shepherd becomes «lou Pastre dei Montagno» (the Shepherd of the mountains), the annunciator, one that will lead to the Church the newborn lamb which will be presented to the newborn child. This child, the last born of the village symbolize during all night, baby Jesus.
These are the shepherds and their flocks who somehow created the first channels of communications. These drailles in the mountain and the plain on which, the Ligurians, then the Greeks, then the Romans, then the men of the after Christ built their stony paths, then their lanes paved, then their roads, and finally their modern motorways.

In the footsteps of the shepherds of the Verdon

The pastoral civilization dates back to nearly 10,000 years. It is the oldest form of human activity whose origins are narrow were related with the evolution even human. As soon as the bipedal we have become was able to tame a few animals to assure his livelihood and his future, he began by performing a few steps outside its immediate territory in the company of sus sheep, goats and cows. Pets assured him to milk, meat, hides for clothing, and finally, the first tools and first weapons manufactured with the bones of their carcass. The man who plays, he became more bold and courageous and moved locations in places with his flock.
The steps of the Shepherd and the hooves of animals traced the axes of communications linking men between them.
Don't we say not only the mountains that the traces of the Shepherd leads to eternity?
The Shepherd is a very special man. Myths, legends surround his popularity or distrust that we have respect, you'll see why. Only the Shepherd, heir of an ancestral know-how, is human (today sometimes woman) capable of driving slowly, beasts without rush them, while their saver land sips of water and charged with humidity, knowing Moreover, shelter in a place conducive to the hot of the day hours, and the Park to ensure preserved overnight. Alone, the man capable of this function could be awarded custody of a herd. In the mountain, he had to treat diseases of animals, avoid cross unwelcoming neighbours fields, guaranteeing the development by the reproduction of the lambs, to be moving without fear of getting lost, face wild beasts, but also, cattle thieves jealous breeders, find water points...

An unordinary individual

Also, the Shepherd is never considered to be an ordinary individual. It enjoys a certain prestige, though granted magical, supernatural powers. He is the heir of the priests of antiquity. His knowledge he pulls of the Celtic Druids who crossed Europe as early as the 4th century before the birth of Jesus, the Shepherd. Farmers give the Shepherd of divine powers, it is called the 'spell '. One, that fort of its power is able to ward off the bad spell. It is able to repel a conspiracy and return on the curse spells that have been previously discarded.
Shepherd combat "lou gients that fon of the maloun... ', translate there, people who are struggling. It represents a kind of priest of Nature, the herdsman but star magician, able to read in the stars and the cosmos. He alone knows the secrets and mysteries of the beaded black vastness of azure. He knows nothing of passing time, it knows by heart the positions of the stars in the sky, the change of seasons to the day, he is even able to predict the weather in the coming days! The Carline obeys the Shepherd! He sees, and then he said, the Shepherd, "-it will do beautiful... ', '-time will cover..", "-snow is coming soon.... Strange... The Shepherd speaks to the elements to plants. For the people of the village, it is the healer, the berger-doctor. His knowledge of plants of the mountain made him outstanding botanist.
It heals, heals, and gives the appropriate remedy to animals as people. The pharmacopoeia is natural, plants have no secrets for him, knowing when picking species to produce maximum efficiency. Summer, Shepherd sees everything, knows everything about everyone. It remained at the top of the mountains and supervises the men from downstairs.
The Shepherd is more often a man rude, wild, living folded on itself in the company of his faithful and eternal companion dog. This character trait is not innocent, man lives alone, isolated, several months of the year with his animals. It communicates only with the nature. Nevertheless, in the villages, the oldest and the first form of grouped habitat, it passes for the best regarded of all character and has a good reputation. And even though it deals with Stormcaller, which storm betting its character, but who also commanded the elements and animals, it is also that which spreads the lightning from the sky and away yes storm rumbles through his incomprehensible words charged with secret words. The patron saint of the shepherds (of the shepherds) is Saint-Médard (feast June 8) which has the dual ability to be the protector of herdsmen, suais also thunderstorms. It is perhaps also why this man knows how to talk to Nature, elements, supernatural things ignored the ordinary mortals...

The attributes of the Shepherd

The dress appearance of the Palani also completes its character. The traditional image of a shepherd wearing animal skin or whistling in a Reed that he has cut in a cane or a rush, armed with a long stick, blowing is outdated. This, it is the image of the Shepherd that could still be in France at the beginning of the 20th century, and that a few postcards show yet. There is little that in some countries of Africa, South and South-East Europe, and the Middle East, that this representation is still current. Most often linked to tradition and popular imagery.
However it is not Shepherd without his long cloak of wool blue, black or brown. These long coats that fall to the ankles and the Shepherd still bears during the celebration of the Christmas mass. This same coat that differentiates the Shepherd among the other actors of the Nativity.
The man wears alongside her bag of survival, or panetiere. Its treasures are accumulated: a knife, an onion, a bread quignon, mountain herbs, a little wine or liquor, tobacco, a pipe, a few matches, sometimes a container in iron or wood to collect a bit of milk, the wire for some thrushes trap, and all the wealth of the world. But the Shepherd would be nothing without his dog. Legendary man is credible only if her faithful companion four-legged hounds behind the herd to reunite the lost sheep!

The shepherd dog

The dog is for the living being shepherd who spends most of his time at his side, knowing share the joys and emotions of his master, and, her life of wandering over the integers in the mountain. He obeys him finger and eye, knows interpret the slightest gesture, move any whistle, assimilate the slightest glance. Before even the Shepherd does give the order, the dog back in the herd latecomers, the indolent. The dog helps the Shepherd, originally, but it is also present to keep away the wild beasts or predators of the herd. According to the importance of the herd, the Shepherd has one, two, or even 3-4 dogs.
People are silent in the villages with the approach of the shepherd dog, some are even convinced that the animal is so gifted, so agile, it is able to go while telling his master!
A game between shepherds is to mix several herds in the middle of a meadow sheep that forming a single herd. The rule of this game is as follows: % sheep gathered, then, dogs are loose. The most gifted the winner somehow, will dog who will be able to regroup 'his' sheep in a minimum of time, without there have incorporated other individuals of another flock. Other shepherds say that their dog knows count.
This is not a galéjade (joke)! Indeed, the evening, when the animals are at the bivouac, the dog performs several times concentric circles around the herd.Sometimes in one sense, both in the other. Until the moment where the dog will go in a direction in which it stands. The Shepherd is certain that he is missing one, two or more sheep. This makes say to observers, that the animal recall seeing in the day backward beasts. These are being lost, should bring them back safely near the Shepherd. The dog will try to locate them and the ' bring to the fold.
Others still certify that their four-legged canine companion knows assign an age to the sheep and the sheep, broken down by small piles in the middle of the pre or the enclosure. Thus the dog formed heaps of young sheep, then more older ewes, to gather the oldest to replenish the herd, 'his' herd. The shepherd dog has no equal when it comes to consolidate the herd to the jas (at the fold) or vanade (the circular enclosure in the open air). Do not confuse vanade with the manade found in the Camargue, and which is a farm breeding of bulls and horses.
During your walks, you need to know to plan ahead when you hike with your furry friends on the trail of discoveries. The approach of a herd, be sure to attach it so that it does not melt on the cattle at risk of disperse to the four corners of the campaign. The shepherd dog, guarantor of the safety of the herd, will not hesitate to rush on your companion then considered his worst enemy. Not to have dispersed the herd, there is to the Shepherd which you case, but simply because that of the Shepherd Dog think see in yours, a predator.

Sheep in the Verdon

Is safe, it can easily say that sheep farming is the pastoral activity best suited to the geographical conditions of the Verdon. The villages of the Verdon managed to preserve this heritage of livestock keeping herds on-site.
The period of the transhumance spread two-step. This great adventure in the footsteps of the ancient traditions is cutter St-Médard, June 8, and the St-Jean, June 24, at the Solstice to and e, also called Golden Equinox. The other Equinox lying to h. September 23, autumn day. Doesn't have it custom to say "if it rains in the St-Médard, it rains 40 days later...!
At mid-June, men and beasts borrow the paths that lead to the Highlands. They spend the summer. The starting signal is often given by the baile (or bayle), Manager or person in charge of the herd (note that baile, is for the herds that who, at the oil mill, runs the raw pressures of the Golden fruit of winter, olive, which will give the liquid Sun, olive oil).
Formerly carried out by the road, walk, and night, transhumance is often today, always done by road, but by means of trucks in which are carried the beasts. .("Partem revendrem may ben leu... ': we leave, we will come back again soon.)
In autumn, when the first frosts of October posed their crystalline halo on the scorched leaves, then, men and beasts resume the path to the barn of the sheepfold.The winter may well pass, where it will go, we will resume our old habits by climbing still higher up towards the peak of the summer.
The passage of the herds on transhumance is still allowed as the event of the year. The entire village is in its window, the Mayor, on the steps of town hall, as if he wanted to condemn the access to surf that pervades his commune.

Organization of the herd

Comes to mind the Shepherd, his legendary hand, second of his dog inseparable stick. They are followed by the Packsaddle donkey which carries equipment and food, his platello around the shot (a necklace made of wood and leather, covered with riveted bells). Just then the RAM flouca, (or flocard) honored to be at the top of his flock, his colorful wool Tufts that it sports not without a certain pride at the top of his dorsal fleece. It does tingle his redoun (the Bell he wears around his neck) to mark its presence. A goat with large horns can be wear by the stream.
And to show that it is not forgotten, for little that it screwed him around the neck a redoun (or even called tabassoun) or a picounne (a Bell smaller than the redoun), she balance her head like to emerge from the fray. She knows that in the mountains, it will do avoid the most delicate places of passage to its congeners, the shepherd will pass for that follow all this beautiful flock. This herd that always follows that which is before. A few selected sheep have the privilege of wearing the picounne, this small bell that balance at the discretion of the swivelling. A more acute, and that noise come the sheep which some trimmed with a collar of boxwood, bear the sounaiouns (of the smaller bells adapted for the recognition of the sheep).
And Shepherd dogs running in all directions to drive, back, push the beasts that deviate, chew their tendons to move faster, give them a shot of buttocks so that they return the bulk of the troupe. Tirelessly, tireless, the dog is working his flock. Herd in which each "Bell bearer" to its role to play.
The donkey in the platello is the guarantor of the meal, it represents stewardship of the shepherds. The flouca to the redoun Aries is the leader of the herd. The sheep in the picounnes, the Deputy Heads. The sheep to sounaiouns, Assistant Deputy Heads. And finally, the goat in the redoun, incorporated into the flock, bring milk to the shepherd who drink it or will make cheese for the time spent in the high mountain pastures. In steep drailles of the mountain, where the goat goes, the sheep follow...

Wild sheep

This perpetual Orchestra moving causes of joyful drumming throughout the villages, plains and crossed trays...
It is not-so-distant time where shepherds descended into the gorge with a few animals to pass a part of the season. Even in the 1950s, it entrusted children in summer, care to care for a herd. On the Route de Crêtes (Verdon right bank), one can still encounter some wild goats frolicking freely in the boxwood and the maquis. These goats escaped from their pens a few years ago, and for others, they are the descendants of the flocks the shepherds drove in the season.
Many are the Rougonnais, the Paluards, and the Soleillans (of Rougon, La Palud from Suns) that had followed in the footsteps of their father, and before them, the fathers of their fathers on the transhumance trails that lead to the Gorge.
Until the recent past, traces of occupations by the shepherds were in the balms. There were here and there, the spoons made of wood, a broken Bowl, a few bundles of wood, a fire believed extinct recently...
Accessible SALVES were looted and emptied their testimony, their memory...
But these shepherds in Provence, half, mi-devins, were able to bind their existence to the Canyon, face time, and give rise to legends, while undergoing a harsh life, often alone with their animals. But their presence is still felt sign their attachment to this land, its values, its traditions, which allowing to forge the memory of Verdon.

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