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For the neighbourhood in Marseille, see La Castellane.
Castellane and Le Roc Von Oben
Castellane and Le Roc Von Oben
Coat of arms of Castellane
Coat of arms
Castellane is located in France
Coordinates: 43°50′51″N 6°30′50″E / 43.8475°N 6.5139°E / 43.8475; 6.5139Coordinates: 43°50′51″N 6°30′50″E / 43.8475°N 6.5139°E / 43.8475; 6.5139
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Department Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Arrondissement Castellane
Canton Castellane
Intercommunality Moyen Verdon
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Gilbert Sauvan
Area1 117.79 km2 (45.48 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 1,579
 • Density 13/km2 (35/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 04039 / 04120
Elevation 639–1,761 m (2,096–5,778 ft)
(avg. 724 m or 2,375 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Castellane (French pronunciation: ​[kastɛlan]) is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in southeastern France. With about 1 600 inhabitants, Castellane has the distinction of being the least-populated sub-prefecture of France.


Castellane is a very old city located upstream of the Gorges du Verdon. The city is 724 metres (2,375 feet) above sea level.

The Roc, or Notre Dame, overlooking the city is 184 metres (604 feet) above the city. The historical site has been occupied since the High Middle Ages. The site is accessed from the centre of town behind the old Church of St. Andrew. The walk takes about 25 minutes.

Two reservoirs are located in the territory of Castellane:

The hiking trail GR 4 passes through the town.


The commune is part of the Jurassic limestone area in Provence.

Peaks and passes[edit]

Castellane and the Roc.

  • Castellard (1,725 m or 5,659 ft);
  • Pre Chauvin (1,741 m or 5,712 ft);
  • Lèques Pass, the route taken by Napoleon;
  • Blaches Pass, on the road to Saint-André-les-Alpes.


The commune has 7 000 acres of wood and forests (about 59% of the area).[1]

History of name[edit]

Castellane's name appeared in texts for the first time circa 965-977 (Petra Castellana). The name breaks down into three Occitan terms, pèira, castel and the suffix -ana, which means rock and fortified town.[2]


In 2009, the unemployment rate of the Castellane population was 12.4%.[3]

In 2009, there were 45 businesses in the secondary sector and 84 paid workers.[3]

Middle Ages[edit]

In the early-ninth century, the area around the current town of Castellane was inhabited by only 84 people. To protect themselves from invasions, inhabitants shifted to the top of the Rock which dominates the valley of the Verdon, and on the terraces below the Rock. Some vestiges of this site of Castellane, who was appointed in SINAC 813 (current place called Signal and Petra Castellana in 965) are still visible. For practical reasons, the people then settled at the foot of the Rock in the bottom of the valley.

Gradually, three towns came into existence:

  • The Rupes, on top of the Rock, soon entirely occupied by the castle (built in 977 by Pons-Arbaud and Aldebert);
  • the Castrum, halfway up, on a larger site but easy to defend;
  • the Burgum, current site, easily accessible and facilitating trade.

In 1189, Baron de Castellane Boniface III was attacked by his lord Alfonso I of Provence whom he refused the honour, and must forfeit. Another war broke out between the Baron and Count of Castellane in 1227. In 1262, Charles I of Anjou submitting Boniface of Castellane. In the thirteenth century, the family of Castellane lost possession of the city in favour of the Counts of Provence, and Baillie was installed. To protect themselves from these attacks, in addition to the protections specific to the city, the Castellane build a series of fortified outposts: to Demandolx in custody, Chasteuil, Rougon, and perhaps Taloire.

The Black Death reached Castellane in 1348, and was followed by a devastating flood of Verdon. In 1390, Raymond de Turenne ravaged the surrounding territory and the village of Taulanne, but failed to take the city, but by destroying the wooden bridge over the Verdon River. In the middle of the fifteenth century, the high village is completely abandoned in favor of that of the lowland site.

The bridge was already in the Middle Ages and is built of stone from the fifteenth century. A house of the priests brothers took charge of its maintenance. The bridge on the Place Castellane was frequently used for routes between the Mediterranean.

In the fifteenth century, a community settled on the present site of Taloire.

Provence was attached to the Crown of France in 1483, and Louis XI razed the castle. In 1486, the consulate was vested in Castellane, which could administer itself.

Sites and Monuments[edit]

The oldest monument in the territory of the commune is the dolmen of Pierres Blanches, Neolithic-Chalcolithic final, registered. The Rock, 184 metres (604 feet) above the community of Castellane.

The museum of Sirènes et fossiles and the Moyen Verdon are networked with other museums in the Gorges du Verdon, the home of Pauline Gréoux-les-Bains, the museum of the life of yesteryear Esparron-de-Verdon, home gorges du Verdon in La Palud-sur-Verdon and the Museum of prehistory in Quinson gorges du Verdon.


Town Hall[edit]

The castle of the eighteenth-century Eoulx is richly decorated with plasterwork, including ceilings on the first floor, door panels overcoming, the rose in flakes from the ceiling of the second floor. Externally, it has two towers, its openings are curved.

The town hall is housed in the former building of the Savings Bank, like a villa: balcony supported by large consoles and balustrades thick façade adorned with a pediment.

In the city

National Street, two doors have transoms or capitals with volutes, and a lintel is decorated with foliage.

In the town, several cabins, dry stone most often have been a record inventory of topographic DRAC. Some are covered with a slab monolith. One of them, to Rayaup, dates from the eighteenth century (the inscription is very recent in 1586).

The deck of Roc, supporting the road Sisteron-Vence, when the first decade of the fifteenth century, and succeeds several wooden bridges, the last thrown on the Verdon in 1300 was destroyed by Raymond de Turenne in 1390. The construction of the bridge approaches Nyons (built in 1401, 42 m (138 ft) long), Pont de Claix (built in 1607-13, 45 m (148 ft) long), Tournon (built in the sixteenth, 49 m (161 ft) long), Entrechaux (24.5 m (80.4 ft) long). Pope Benedict XIII granted indulgences to anyone who would do a charity to fund its construction.

It measures 43 metres (141 feet) long, the ark in a slight speed bumps 14.40 m (47 ft) high and 36 m (118 ft) locked range. The deck is 3.9 m (12.8 ft) wide overall, parapets leave 3m available to the road. The segmental arch is double lane. Careful construction in medium unit, and two relieving arches supporting the right bank.

The ears have been restored several times. Metal tie rods are laid in 1697-99. The bridge as a whole was restored in 2008 and closed to traffic. It was decommissioned in 1967 and decommissioned in 1982. The bridge and its approaches are a registered site since 1940.

The library (online catalog) is installed in the former convent of the Visitation founded in 1644.

The most monumental fountain, the main square, features a pyramid on which is carved a cross on a square compass, two chisels and a mallet, emblems of the Freemasons. At the top of the pyramid is a pedestal with a ball. She rubs shoulders with a bronze monument commemorating the visit of Minister of Public Works Yves Guyot, in 1889.

Natural Sites[edit]

The Rock which dominates the city, rising to 930 metres (3,051 feet) (over 200 metres (656 feet) above the Verdon), is a historically listed site.

Our Lady of the Rock (Notre-Dame du Roc)[edit]

Chapel of Our Lady of the Rock[edit]

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Rock (site of the High Middle Ages), on the Rock which dominates the city, belongs to the former Convent of Mercy. But the wall and the south façade only dates from the late twelfth century, having been shot in half during the wars of religion, and rebuilt in 1590. Crumbling in 1703, it was again rebuilt in the early eighteenth century and in 1860. A tent foliage and scrolls date from the Renaissance.

The furniture includes

  • a statue of the Virgin, in marble, of the sixteenth century (dating hypothetical classified under object);
  • two paintings of St. Charles Borromeo and St. Francis and St. Jane de Chantal, classified for tables and frames gilded, bearing the arms of the Bishop of Senez Duchaîne and dated the seventeenth century.

She has received numerous votive offerings dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including

  • classics engraved plates (136 total);
  • bridal bouquets (21 total);
  • a given array after a vow to Our Lady, dating from 1757, and classified;
  • a given array after the cholera epidemic in 1835, classified;
  • a table given by a released prisoner, dated 1875 (classified under object);
  • thanks for a given table after a smallpox epidemic, dated 1870, listed;
  • a table, given by a person who escaped a shipwreck in 1896, classified.


Church of St. Victor[edit]

The old parish church of Saint-Victor-standing part of the thirteenth century and is a listed building. It is constructed in a similar manner and on the same plane as the Church of St. Andrew, the old town above the present town. It was the seat of a priory of the abbey of St. Victor in Marseilles. The apse is decorated with Lombard bands, each hoop is monolithic. Unusually for the region, it has a collateral novel revoûté the seventeenth century. The base of the tower date from 1445, but the summit was rebuilt in the eighteenth century. This work follows the damage done by Protestants in 1560.

Her altar date from 1724. The choir is adorned with paintings, framed in wood, an Annunciation carved in high relief of gilded wood (eighteenth century, listed). The wooden furniture, the stalls, the pulpit and the lectern at the foot hexagonal form, in total, an interesting set of eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, some of which are classified.

The furniture also includes a silver chalice of the early seventeenth century, whose foot is multilobed, classified.

Other places of worship[edit]

The Church of the Sacred Heart[edit]

The Church of the Sacred Heart, now parish church was built in 1868-1873 by Father Pougnet and dedicated to Our Lady. It is magnified by the aisles in 1896. The first bay is occupied by a platform. The interior is Gothic, the tower is built against the façade.

The furniture includes a few items listed

  • custodes two silver, one dating from around 1650 and one from the eighteenth century;
  • a cross of gilded wood of the eighteenth century;
  • a silver chalice of the sixteenth century.

Other religious buildings[edit]

  • the Chapel of St. Joseph is part of the Augustinian Church, rebuilt to replace the chapel of the Blue Penitents. It was partly demolished to widen the boulevard Saint-Michel;
  • Buddhist temple
  • Thyrse Chapel St., near Robion
  • The Church of St. Thyrse (or St. Thyrse) Robion, restored in 1942 and historical monument in 1944, the first Romanesque (eleventh and twelfth centuries in the region). It was covered sheet after an unfortunate attempt to restore;
  • Saint-Pons in Eoulx, never changed since its construction, not arched, it has preserved its original cornices (middle or late twelfth century, also of the thirteenth century according to the DRAC, listed building), it has a flat quest copper ranked seventeenth century;
  • ruins of the Church of St. Andrew the thirteenth century, in ruins since the eighteenth century (site of Petra Castellana);
  • Church of Our Lady of the Twelfth Plan, former priory in Castellane, Church of St. Sebastian Chasteuil (sixteenth century), ruins of the church of Saint-Pons in Eoulx, Saint-Pons (sixteenth century) with bell dated 1436 in Robion, Saint-Jean Taloire, the thirteenth century or the fifteenth century, was damaged by the earthquake of 1951, St. Peter Taulanne, Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Villars-Brandis (with a special copper censer double-decker-shaped windows of the late fifteenth century);
  • Chapelle Sainte-Victoire in a place called Angles, date from the late nineteenth century at the earliest, is oriented to the west, the false ceiling is a plaster lath;
  • chapels of Saint-Pons Blaron (ex-Castillon), Saint-Antoine and Notre Dame (ruined) to Eoulx, St. Trophimus to Robion (has a silver chalice of the seventeenth and especially a flat copper quest of the sixteenth century classified ) St. Stephen, on top, Taloire, St. John, in Villars, the cemetery of Our Lady of the plan includes several funeral chapels

Military Architecture[edit]

Petra Castallana Pentagonal tower[edit]

The layout of the walls of Petra Castellana, ancient city on top of the current is still visible, and they date from the twelfth siècle120. They were reinforced by fourteen towers, one has survived: the pentagonal tower. It was built into this place and date of the fourteenth century (listed building with a square tower).

The enclosure of the lower town is built from 1359, with leave of the Count of Provence. It is still visible in the square towers at the front of the houses on the square. Ravens, who could support defense projects (bretèches or simple parapet with battlements) are visible on their façades. Two of the doors of the chamber remain:

  • that of the Annunciation or petardeers, flanked by two towers, high-rise headquarters of the resistance of 1586;
  • that of the clock or St. Augustine, in a square tower. The passage passes under the tower by an arch, an arch opened by outwardly curved on one side and an arc barrel inside the city, too curved. The arch between the two is semicircular. The tower is a listed building.

One of the towers of the Saint-Michel is home to a loft since 1585.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1793 2,050 —    
1800 1,962 −4.3%
1806 1,886 −3.9%
1821 1,930 +2.3%
1831 2,106 +9.1%
1836 2,069 −1.8%
1841 2,252 +8.8%
1846 2,187 −2.9%
1851 2,200 +0.6%
1856 2,129 −3.2%
1861 1,989 −6.6%
1866 1,842 −7.4%
1872 1,814 −1.5%
1876 1,904 +5.0%
1881 1,891 −0.7%
1886 1,858 −1.7%
1891 1,780 −4.2%
1896 1,782 +0.1%
1901 1,625 −8.8%
1906 1,536 −5.5%
1911 1,519 −1.1%
1921 1,254 −17.4%
1926 1,039 −17.1%
1931 1,532 +47.4%
1936 1,059 −30.9%
1946 1,279 +20.8%
1954 1,092 −14.6%
1962 1,110 +1.6%
1968 1,114 +0.4%
1975 1,234 +10.8%
1982 1,383 +12.1%
1990 1,349 −2.5%
1999 1,508 +11.8%
2008 1,579 +4.7%
Castellane with the church St Denis on "Le Roc"

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Castellane is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "France, le trésor des régions". Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  2. ^ Nègre, Ernest (1998-01-01). Toponymie générale de la France: Tome 3, Formations dialectales (suite) et françaises : étymologie de 35000 noms de lieux (in French). Librairie Droz. ISBN 9782600028844. 
  3. ^ a b "Insee - Bases de données - Données locales". Retrieved 2016-05-23.