Man’s first steps
700 000 years ago, men were present on the terraces overlooking the Durance and the caves in the Verdon. Little by little, they settled down to live by hunting, fishing and gathering.
Man progressively structured his domestic area, evolved towards a production economy, tamed fire (400 000 years before Christ).
From 35000 B.C., the first modern man, Cro-Magnon, invented the art of finery.
The Museum of Prehistory of the Gorges du Verdon in Quinson enables visitors to follow the great stages of Man’s adventure.
Romanity and Christianity
The Roman era was a new stage in the organization of society, rich in innovation particularly in the field of agriculture and town planning. The ancient town of Riez has kept the remains of this brilliant civilization which can also be seen in the spa establishments of Gréoux-les-Bains or Digne-les-Bains.
Then Europe entered the Christian era with its social and political organization which was to develop up until the Middle Ages.
The Priories of Ganagobie, Salagon, the cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Bourg in Digne-les-Bains, the Villages et cités de caractère trace the evolution of this society, with a large place for Romanesque art and the Renaissance.
Rural life and pastoralism
The material or immaterial objects which bear witness to rural or pastoral life to be seen in the Museum and Gardens of Salagon in Mane and in the Musée de la Vallée éclaté in the Ubaye valley tell of the customs and traditions in the Alpes de Haute-Provence from the Middle Ages up to the early XXth century.
Castles of the Alpes de Haute-Provence
Castle of Sauvan in Mane
This private historical monument was built in 18th century, in the purest of classical styles which belongs to that century: it was nicknamed the little Trianon in Provence.
Medieval Castle and Rotunda in Simiane-La-Rotonde
These works of Romanesque art (12th century) are listed historical monuments and host historical, botanical and art exhibitions, as well as an aromatherapy laboratory which initiates the visitor to the benefits and properties of plants and their essential oils.
Castle of Château-Arnoux
A 6th century castle to visit for its staircase, council room and the park.
Built between 1635 and 1643 this castle which is composed of a quadrilateral flanked by two towers with turrets which were retiled in 1784, during the inventory of «varnished tiles».
An imposing semi-feudal (XIIth century dungeon), semi-Renaissance castle which is a listed historical monument. Crenellations, defence structures, mullioned windows, spiral staircase, fireplace in plaster from the pays d’Aix, listed park.
Castel of Templiers in Gréoux-les-Bains
The first stones of what was later to become the so-called « templars » castle were probably laid in XIIth century.
The Tour du Mont d’Or in Manosque
This 17m-high tower is all that remains of the former dungeon and is swept by winds from all points of the compass, which gave it its name, as « auro » in Provencal means « wind ».
The clock tower in Barcelonnette
Known as the « Cardinalis tower », and also called the clock tower, this tower is 40 metres high. It was built in 1316 as the bell tower of the Dominican convent. Gargoyles decorate the corners of this tower.
The Pont dit Roman in Oraison
The so-called Romanesque bridge over the Rancure was built in 1698, in pebbles and cut stone, and served as an aqueduct to bring drinking water from the spring to the nine fountains in the village.
The bridge over the Durance in Oraison
The seven-arch bridge over the Durance was inaugurated in 1888, in the presence of Frédéric Mistral.
The « Roman » bridge in Céreste
An XVIIIth century « Roman » bridge.
The Roman bridge in Lurs
The Roman bridge of Ganagobie is the most important artefact on the Domitian Way.
The three-arched bridge in Mane
The Romanesque bridge in Mane or bridge over the Laye or the three-arched bridge is a bridge which crosses the Laye in Mane. This is a Romanesque starling bridges, dating back to XIth or XIIth century which be from the same era as the Priory of Salagon. It is a listed historical monument.
Pont de la Reine Jeanne between Vilhosc and St Symphorien
In Provence, this is the name given to all the Medieval bridges. Characteristics: humpback, single arch. The historical monuments panel dates back it to 15th century. The Dromon valley, now lost, was much used in the Middle Ages.
Pont de la Reine in St Benoit
Bridge known as Reine Jeanne bridge (Queen Jeanne of Provence): length 39 m, width 2.7m, humpbacked. The paved surface widens out at both ends (wings).
Pont du Moulin in Thorame Haute
The Pont du Moulin is a XVIIth century listed historical monument spanning the Verdon. It is of particular architectural interest and is seen in many illustrations and postcards.
Pont et plateau du Châtelet in Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye
Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye is at an altitude of 1470 metres, in the haute vallée de l’Ubaye, on the road to Vars. The hamlet of Fouillouse can be accessed via the Châtelet bridge which is over 100 metres above the Ubaye river.