Fortified heritage: between France and Italy

The history and heritage of the Ubaye valley led to the inevitable discovery of fortifications. This rich military history is due to the geographical location of the Valley, crossroads between Piedmont, Savoy and Provence. The major campaigns of fortifications modernized the valley and its inhabitants’ lives: roads were opened (Cayolle pass...), new means of communication, and electricity supply.

One of the numerous fortresses at the former italian border
Forts and fortresses to watch while hiking

Visit the works of Vauban from Serre Ponçon to Mercantour

Vauban was the first to mark the landscape by building forts (St. Vincent les Forts), when Ubaye still belonged to Savoy.This mountain fortress was completed around 1880 by a set of constructions: the fortresses of Chaudon, Châtelard (La Condamine) and the Col Bas in Dormillouse (the Lauzet).

After the French occupation of Italy during the 19th century, the fortress of Viraysse (Larche), the highest in France (2772 m) and the fort of Tournoux (La Condamine) were erected. This last one is a real wall, gradually developing up to a level difference of 900 m allowing the observation of the passages between the Italian valley of the Stura and the pass of Vars. Finally, around 1930, the Maginot Line completed the fortifications. In Meyronnes, the constuction works of low and high Saint-Ours and of Roche-la-Croix, oriented towards the pass of Larche, are exemplary of the construction techniques of those days.

Rioclar*** an ideal starting point
to discover the region

The fortress of Tournoux in Ubaye
The fortress of Tournoux in Ubaye

Camping Rioclar *** lies in the heart of the Ubaye Valley between the Lake of Embrun and La Haute Vallée. You can easily vary your activities: visit one of many mountain lakes, discover the forests and other natural ressources, go for mountain climbing, cycling or hiking. A visit to Barcelonnette gives you more insight in our heritage and a good idea of our way of life in the Alps.

Ancient Barcelonnette to discover in the valley

In the past the people of the Ubaye Valley knew very well how to survive the long winters and feed everybody: a part of the fammily stayed in the valley taking care for home and animals or making clothes and furniture of wool and hemp. Others left with their cattle to warmer places, taught traditions and handycraft abroad, or left for trade.

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Camping dans les Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

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