Champtercier is a village in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region in the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d'Azur region of France.
The commune is bordering on Digne-les-Bains, to the east, but from the small village to the center of the prefecture town of the department, it is necessary to travel about ten kilometers.
The village of Champtercier is on average mountain of Provence, at 700 m of altitude, but its highlight is the peak of Oise (1,140 m). It is on this summit that a first village community was established in the Middle Ages around a defensive castrum, and then the population descended into the valley to enjoy more fertile farmland.
Agriculture, a few craft and service establishments and henceforth tourism, are the dominant poles of the village economy, which has nearly 800 inhabitants.
Its authentic character, its environment and its cultural vitality (around the tradition of the art of the santon) make Champtercier a welcome step.
In terms of heritage, a visit to the Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption church is advised. Fragile by an earthquake in 1887, it was rebuilt in the following years. You will notice its nave ceiling and a decor of a great sobriety. However, a picture representing the Holy Family of the seventeenth century and a cross of procession were noted. The bell-tower in the shape of a square tower next to the building, on the level of the choir, dates from the previous church (XVIIth).
Another object classified but preserved this time in town hall, a copper cauldron of the seventeenth century or the eighteenth which was used to cook the beans distributed to the faithful on the day of Pentecost. Information on +33 4 92 31 10 37.
We will continue with a short walk through the narrow streets (sometimes staircases) of this Provencal village where the climate can be rough in winter, we will appreciate the charm of blue-washed houses, covered passages connecting houses, and some elements of Small heritage (wash house, fountain).
In the gardens and fields, fig trees and olive trees testify to the cultures of yesteryear, but the vine has disappeared since the Second World War.
For hiking enthusiasts, the village (with a panoramic view of the neighboring mountains), its territory (mostly covered by forests) and its surroundings, are rich in paths and trails allowing to apprehend a preserved fauna and flora.
On Champtercier itself, an ATV circuit was built. Information: +33 (0) 4 92 31 10 37. For hiking, many possibilities are offered, including Mount Chiran that the trails of Gassendi (4.5 km long), allow to discover. They are thus baptized in homage to Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), born in the village, historian, physicist and astronomer who appreciated the quality of the night sky in this region...
For other routes, brochures and information, call +33 4 92 31 10 37 or +33 4 92 36 62 62. It is prudent in this mountainous area to find out about the weather forecast and terrain.
In another area, symbolic of the local cultural tradition, a visit to the workshop of one of the last clay sculptors and master craftsmen santonniers seems inescapable. For further information, please call +33 4 92 31 43 28.
On the first Saturday of July, the Rencontres Musicales program several concerts (rock, variety) in a convivial atmosphere. Free entry. For further information, please call +33 6 52 10 35 61.
The second weekend of August, the village festival takes place over three days and offers fun and musical entertainment, traditional meals and fireworks. Information on +33 6 62 04 96 67.
But the biggest annual meeting of the commune is its fair to the Santons of the Haut Pays Provençal which is held every year from the last Saturday of November and lasts a ten days. Offering exhibitions of santons of yesteryear or today, traditional crèches or elsewhere but also fairy tales and concerts, the fair has more than 30 years of existence...