Céreste is a municipality in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region, 20 km north-west of Manosque, on the edge of Vaucluse.
The commune belongs to the natural region of Luberon, and if the village is at 370 m altitude, the highest point of its territory is 971 m.
Forming the link between low and high Provence, the town is crossed by a Roman road, the Via Domitia, which connected the Italian Alps to the Iberian Peninsula.
In the Middle Ages, the establishment of a priory then a stronghold contribute to the development of the village. High place of the Resistance during the Second World War (the poet René Char had established the command post of the maquis he led), the heart of this historic town has been preserved, and if the economy remained essentially agricultural (livestock Sheep, polyculture, olive cultivation), the pleasant living environment has made it possible to counter the rural exodus, the development of tourism in the heart of the Luberon Regional Natural Park has also contributed to the vitality of the town.
Céreste is now a popular holiday resort and is well worth a visit for those who visit this region with postcard appearances.
The old village is typical of the region and is an ideal starting point to discover the heritage of the locality, with its narrow streets, fountains, small high houses.
In addition to the remains of the medieval castle, including some sections of the ramparts and a Renaissance style door (XVth), several old houses (16th, 17th) line the village slightly perched, and we will linger at the level of a house of the 13th century, classified.
To see also, the church Saint-Michel, remodeled in the XVIIIth century, but which has elements of XVe. It houses a polychrome and gilded statue of Saint Michael slaying the dragon by more than a meter. Note also the belfry surmounted by a Provençal campanile.
In terms of religious heritage, away from the village, in addition to the Chapel of St. George, a place called Calavon, and the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy (XV), the jewel of Céreste is located 3 km from the village, the Priory of Carluc, in the direction of Reillanne. The set dates from the 11th and 12th centuries. The chapel is classified, and the site is especially famous for its astonishing rock necropolis, an underground gallery connecting it to the chapel. Guided tours possible by contacting +33 4 90 74 03 18.
On the territory of Céreste, two old Roman bridges remodeled over the centuries still deserve a glance: the one that allows you to cross the Aiguebelle east of the village (only the central pier and the ramps are vintage) and the Baou Bridge, built on the road to Carluc.
All these sites and many small heritage items (dovecotes, shepherds' shelters) can be included in many hiking and cycling routes. Along the way, we will take the opportunity to discover the fauna and flora typical of the Luberon.
Documentation and information at +33 4 90 74 03 18 or from the house of the PNR for excursions focused on the environment and the ecological wealth of the territory, at +33 4 90 04 42 00.
Another form of recreation, in the summer, we can combine relaxation and swimming at the municipal outdoor pool, open in July and August. Price: 2.70 and 3.70 euros. Information on +33 4 92 79 00 47.
Always for the sportsmen, one can reserve a tennis court in +33 6 64 23 94 22 or opt for an equestrian walk by joining the +33 4 92 79 05 64.
On the cultural level, the media library of the commune regularly offers activities on the theme of reading and exhibitions. In addition, artistic exhibitions are scheduled at the Salvador House, a communal association area. Information on +33 4 92 79 00 15.
May 8, plant market.
The third weekend of July, votive festival, with the program entertaining and musical animations, and fireworks on Saturday evening.
Every Thursday, finally, the market allows to dive in the savory flavors of the Provençal soil.