LES PENITENTS DES MEES: Legend has it that these rock towers were once monks, petrified and turned to stone as punishment for their indiscrete glances at the passing “Mauresques” women.
THE AMMONITE SLAB OF DIGNE LES BAINS: At the heart of this geological reserve lies a stratum of rock covering 350m² and containing more than one million fossils.
THE CITADEL OF SISTERON: At a height of 500 meters, the citadel of Sisteron looks down upon the town and the Durance River. Built on a natural tower of rock, it dominates the landscape upon arriving in the town, situated in a narrow passageway between the Dauphiné and Provence. The Citadel with its impressive fortifications was a strategic stopping place on the way from the Alps to the Mediterranean. Classified as a historical monument, the Citadel is the centrepiece of the town today. Henry the IV’s military engineer, Jehan Erard, followed by Vauban, both left their mark on this architectural showpiece.
GANAGOBIE ABBEY: The monastery of Ganagobie is situated between Sisteron and Manosque on a steep plateau that dominates the Durance valley. The Ganagobie plateau sits at an average altitude of 650 meters and was formed between 20 to 25 million years ago in the Forcalquier basin which, at that time, lay under the sea.
With its geological landscape- natural rock formations offering shelter from the elements-, water sources and abundant vegetation, the Ganagobie is a site of exceptional interest. Its geological and geographical context meant that this site was inhabited from the Bronze Age, 2000 years B.C.
THE VERDON GORGE:
This magnificent canyon bridges the departments of the Var and the Alps of Haute-Provence. Erosion by the Verdon River has lead to the infamous limestone crags that tower meters and meters above the river. In the heart of this nature reserve, abundant in fauna and flora, the views are spectacular and not a little exposed. The villages dotted the length of the gorge and nestled close to the immense rock faces have preserved the Provençal charm of earlier times; they offer a warm welcome and a multitude of activities thanks to the awesome natural beauty that surrounds them.
MUSEUM OF PREHISTORY, QUINSON:
The prehistory museum of the gorges of the Verdon is found in Quinson, in the heart of the Verdon national park and in close proximity to some of the major archaeological sites where many of the ancient remains were unearthed. More than 50 years of archaeological digging in over sixty sites has revealed a history of man in Haute-Provence reaching back almost one million years, now on show to the public in Europe’s largest museum of its kind.
LE TRAIN DES PIGNES
The Train des Pignes has bridged the Mediterranean and the Alps for more than a century and is a established character in the collective memory of the valleys that its passes through. Daily, the little train makes its way from Digne to Nice. While, every Sunday from October through to May, a steam engine operates between Puget-Théniers and Annot.