Saint-Véran is the highest village in Europe at 2042 meters altitude, where "the rooster pecks at the stars and heaven is at hand". Ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages of France, this county is located in the Southern Alps in the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras.
According to legend, Saint-Véran, who was bishop of Cavaillon in the 6th century (585-589), delivered the country about the Fountain of Vaucluse a dragon that was raging in the lead on the Mount and Luberon ordering him to leave. The monster, rising into the air, fell in the mountains of Saint-Véran and local residents, aware of the miracle by the shepherds from Provence in the summer, gave their country the name of the holy bishop.
The construction of Saint-Véran result of adaptation, since the Middle Ages to life at high altitude and are a unique model in Europe. The ground floor is built in stone walls very thick (50 to 70 cm). The upper part called "Fuste" is made of logs stacked and folded at the corners. It was once used to dry and then to house the collection of fodder to feed animals during the long winter months. This building is connected to another smaller stone, called "cassette" (it is in this part of the house, built in stone and thus relatively safe from fires that were in addition to the rooms, workshop crafts, food reserves). Parents, grandparents, children younger slept in the stable. The older children slept in one or two rooms on the floor of CASET. It's in the barn that is indeed carried out the long winter evenings. Inside the house everyone was able to do almost everything a small manufacture of agricultural tools, small furniture, to make modest repairs. But some work demanded more specialization. Thus there were shoemakers who made and repaired shoes, and the harness that made the saddles and collars for animals, blacksmiths (Saint-Véran many as there were many mules) which also makes keys, locks, nails , irons? As for women, she makes lace for their headdress in ancient times. They spun the wheel or distaff wool and hemp for the manufacture of linen cloth, they painted and carded wool. All these works were performed during the winter. In the spring, he had to have completed the repair or manufacture of necessary equipment for field work. Agriculture and livestock were once the main resources. Indeed, in every house, there was a yard and a pig, a mule or a horse, cows, goats and sheep.
Today, the town has 290 St. and St. Veran Véranaises, and lives mainly on tourism. In winter, Saint-Véran is a family ski resort, which promotes coexistence with the villagers. The summer Saint-Véran is the ideal place for nature lovers ... A multitude of family walks and hikes are available to you, with very varied landscapes. The agricultural and pastoral activities, although they have lost importance, can keep all aspects of a rural community. Thirty children occupy the benches of the two classes of kindergarten and primary. There on the town of Saint-Véran a wide choice of accommodation.
Upon entering the town of Saint-Véran, you discover the hamlets of La Chalp, the Raux, then the different neighborhoods (Belle Stone, The Villard, The City, The Chatelet The Forannes), with old traditional houses, their fustes, their slate roofs or larch shingles, carved doors of their 17th and 18th centuries, fountains, wooden chapels, many sundials ...
The current church dates from the seventeenth. It was designed by an engineer Huguenot and was rebuilt on the foundations of the former which dates from the 16th or earlier. This first church, you can still see carved stones: Outside, lions supporting the columns, on which there are capitals; Inside, columns and capitals whose motives are symbolic (faces, palms, weapons). Upon entry, the font will attract attention. There are reasons readable with characters from different eras.
The church is open daily from 9h30 to 17h. Free visit.
From mid-December to late January each year, the nativity of the village is exposed. His figurines were carved by villagers.
Chapels St. Mary Magdalene, St. Anne (The Hamlet Raux) and Agatha (The Hamlet Chalp) are open every Wednesday afternoon this summer.
The Old Traditional House:
Unique and authentic, this house was inhabited until 1976 with the animals in the same room, was left as: tools, furniture, utensils, clothing. Guided tour by a village elder in his house. On the floor, disabled access and visit antique furniture.
Open daily in season. By appointment in off season.
Rates: per person: Groups: 1.60 €. Free for accompanying adults. Individual: € 2.50.
Tel. : +33 4 92 45 82 39.
The Museum Soum:
The oldest house in the village (1641). "Sum" is a dialect word meaning "end".
Located in the upper village, neighborhood The Forannes. In this house museum dating from 1641, you will discover, in an authentic, all wealth and also the difficulties of life in the past.
Guided tours for groups by reservation. Open all year. Closed Wednesdays.
Rates: per person: Adults: € 3.80 - Children 6/16 years: 1.90 €. School groups: € 1.60. Groups of adults: € 3.30 from 15 people Ticket tour group: 5 €
Visit the village:
The village, its architecture, sundials, fountains, its fire engine, you are presented by country guides from Saint-Véran. Visits for groups (from 15 persons) by appointment.
Tel. : +33 4 92 45 84 13 or +33 4 92 45 81 77.
Group Rates: Adults: 4,00 € / person - Children: 6/12: 2.50 € / person.
The old copper mine Saint-Véran be visited for free. This old mine is also presented in an exhibition open and free oven located in the district Forannes.
Visit to a mountain farm (presentation of his role in the environment, contact with many animals such as cows, goats, ponies, donkeys, sheep, horses, rabbits, chickens ... In summer, you can discover life on the pasture).
Crafting is also very much alive:
Cabinetmakers, wood carvings by hand.
Cutler blacksmith (regional knives, tools for wood carving).
Internships lace, sewing, knitting, weaving.
Activities to practice in the summer:
A variety of family walks and hikes are available to you, with varied landscapes: in the woods or meadows, along rivers or in the direction of a lake, or on collars border with Italy. On all trails - including the famous GR58 - what a pleasure to discover a rich flora, to hear the whistling marmots, or for the morning and lucky to see the crests chamois and ibex ...
Mountain activities: mountaineering, rock climbing, via ferrata, canyoning ...
Horse riding between Molines and Saint-Véran (opening in July and August, closed on Sundays).
Acrobatic Forest Park (open all summer).
Donkey hire with equipment (hiking from June to September).
In July and August, visit to the Observatory Châteaurenard to 3 hours walk from Saint-Véran. Opportunity to visit the dome in the afternoon from 14h. The accessibility of the observatory is facilitated by the use of the chairlift cassettes, which can reach 2600 m above sea level, then by taking the path of the ridges, so-called "stars", we arrive at the observatory the highest in France to 2930 m. Many cultural events are planned.
The activities to do in winter:
Alpine skiing: The field is connected with the neighboring Molines en Queyras. It stretches over 38 kilometers with an elevation of 1050 meters for 14 lifts, a chairlift. 31 runs: 7 green, 7 blue, 14 red, 3 black. During downhill skiing.
Cross country skiing: Meeting an outstanding site and maximum sunlight Saint-Véran makes a unique and original for the practice of quality skiing. The 55 miles of trails and routes, and tracks are groomed for skating and diagonal skiing. The two hundred kilometers of cross country skiing across the Queyras are the first area of northern Southern Alps. Courses for all levels (classic, skating) cross-country rides and half day or full day.
Footpaths snowshoeing. There are tracks secured, marked and groomed trails for hiking and snowshoeing. Snowshoe walks in ½ day or full day.
Ski touring: For lovers of nature and beautiful landscapes covered with snow and pure virgin Saint-Véran is a little paradise and great escape. Alpine walks: beginners or experts. ½ day trips or day.
Each year, on July 16, runs the pilgrimage to the chapel of Clausis: Mass at 11am and lunch bags from the inhabitants of the Italian Val Varaite (Sampeyre) arrive on foot through the border passes to perpetuate the traditions of old games Franco-Italian. In the evening, from 7:30 p.m. in the school yard, grill, bar and dance organized by the Youth center in partnership with the Tourist Office.
Each summer festivals are held two bread (one in July and August): in the morning, open the oven in the area "The City": manufacturing, baking of bread as before, selling bread.
Every year in July (usually the Sunday nearest the day of St. Anne), Feast of St. Anne at Le Raux in the morning: Mass, opening oven manufacturing, baking and selling bread.
In July the festival takes place Saint-Véran nature of the program: geology, archeology and astronomy.
In August, festival traditions with artisans and Italian saint véranais (wood carvers, blacksmith, spinner of wool ...).
ATTRACTIONS, LEISURES AND ACTIVITES AROUND
In close neighborhood of Saint-Véran, many other activities are offered: water sports, paragliding, tobogganing, via ferrata, leisure center, carriage rides, miniature golf and swin ... the summer walks with dog sledding, ice climbing ... the winter.