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Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
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Famous all over the world for its faience earthenware, the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, one of France's "Most Beautiful Villages", forms a remarkable group of buildings. Typically Provençal and looking rather like a nativity scene with the big gold star hanging above it, the village is full of charm with narrow streets and little squares to wander through, refreshing fountains, faience workshops and boutiques, and smartly-fronted houses dominated by the imposing Lombard Romanesque bell tower of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption church.

Ceramics fans should make a point of visiting the faience museum for its fantastic collection of fine glazed earthenware dating from the 17th century to today produced by master potters from Moustiers.

Above the village, built into the high limestone cliffs, stands Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir chapel. This beautiful Romanesque-Gothic building is only accessible on foot and takes 20 minutes to reach via a steep footpath consisting of 262 stone steps and lined with stations of the cross. At the top, walkers are rewarded with a fantastic view over the village rooftops, the Maire valley and Valensole plateau.

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Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Nestled in the hollow of the mountain, this village of the 5th century, built in amphitheater, has developed in trades such as tannery, stationery, pottery or mills thanks to water, an abundant and omnipresent resource.

Moustiers, classified among the most beautiful villages of France, is famous today for having preserved some of its ancestral know-how whose earthenware, world famous...

Famous for the finesse of its faience, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is the village nestled at the gates of Verdon not to be missed. There is no shortage of laudatory qualifications to describe it. It is part of the villages and cities of character, the most beautiful villages of France and the Natural Regional Park of Verdon. Its strengths are multiple and its international fame. What seizes you when the village is drawn between the two rocky spurs that form its boundaries, is the picture of life-size Provencal manger. And to support this scene of the nativity, a star floats above the village, a gilded gold star of 1.25 meters suspended from a 135-meter chain and 150 kilos. Over the centuries, the most diverse theories have come to enrich the local folklore about the origin of the star. Eleven falls punctuated his life since his first suspension. However, it was restored and put back in its place each time.

The history of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie begins in Prehistory. Cro-Magnon's men already lived there. But it was only after the Middle Ages that the art of faience made the fame of the village after Pierre Clérissy collects the secret of white ceramics from an Italian monk passing through.

Things to see and do

At Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, earthenware is at the heart of your discovery. You will discover the stages of manufacture, can admire splendid pieces and even participate in workshops initiations in the workshops. To be unbleached on earthenware, the visit continues through the Earthenware Museum. Depending on the time of your visit, the opening hours vary. The annual closure is from January until early February and the weekly closure is on Tuesday. Finally, you can bring back a souvenir of the many earthenware shops that dot the village.

Besides the earthenware, you can take time to admire the magnificent parish church of the XIIth and XIVth century, classified Historical Monument. Its Lombard bell tower dates from the twelfth century. The walk continues through the Notre-Dame de Beauvoir chapel. But you will have to arm yourself with courage to visit it, as it is perched above the village and is accessible by a staircase carved out of the hill of 262 steps. It is also classified as a Historic Monument and is best known for its excitement. The other must-see chapel is Sainte-Anne. Dating from the sixteenth century, it adjoins the cemetery. On the other hand, the aqueduct spanning the Adou is still in place, even though it no longer feeds the mills, and the medieval walls still encircle the village. Finally, many fountains pigment the commune.

Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the boating on Lake St. Croix. Canoeing, kayaking, electric or pedal boats... all means are good to discover the coves of the lake. You can also practice sailing in all its forms. Back on the mainland, put on your hiking shoes and go on the trails to discover a preserved nature. Finally, you can diversify the sensations by trying to climb, paraglide or mountain biking.

Places of interest

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Events and festivities

Every Friday morning, the market takes place on the town hall square. It is an opportunity to discover local products. And in August, you can go to the night market where craftsmen await you.

Fireworks and ball on July 13th.

Ball on August 15th.

At the end of August-beginning of September, the patron saint of Notre-Dame de Beauvoir is in full swing. For several days, you can follow the festivities day and night.

At the beginning of September, go to the Ball at the end of the season to dance throughout the night.

In September always come to the festival Moustiers coince la Bulle. The comic strip is honored throughout the day, with meetings of authors and dedications.

Photos

Chemin de la Chapelle (© Tourist Office of Moustiers)
Chemin de la Chapelle (© Tourist Office of Moustiers)
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Overview of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in two-seater tandem paraglider
Overview of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in two-seater tandem paraglider
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Panorama from Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir
Panorama from Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir
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Panorama from Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir
Panorama from Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir
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Panorama (© Jean Espirat)
Panorama (© Jean Espirat)
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Panorama (© Jean Espirat)
Panorama (© Jean Espirat)
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Panorama on the lake of Sainte-Croix (© Jean Espirat)
Panorama on the lake of Sainte-Croix (© Jean Espirat)
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The village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
The village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
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View of the roofs of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, winter sun
View of the roofs of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, winter sun
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The enclosure of the Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir chapel
The enclosure of the Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir chapel
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The Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir chapel
The Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir chapel
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The roofs of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
The roofs of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
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Interior of Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir (© Jean Espirat)
Interior of Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir (© Jean Espirat)
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