Perching at an altitude of 2,042 m in the heart of Queyras Regional Nature Park, the mountain village of Saint-Véran, designated one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France, is also the highest village in Europe. Enjoying a unique natural setting, this magnificent village has preserved a remarkable built heritage from its past that bears witness to the rural life of old.
Picturesque chalets with fustes (the fuste is the upper part of a chalet with walls made of stacked-up tree trunks, where harvested forage was dried and stored over winter), a listed church and old houses topped with larch shingle or lauze roofs characterise the different hamlets of Saint-Véran. Walking around you will also discover charming wooden fountains, chapels, sundials, wayside crosses, communal ovens and an old fire engine.
Worth visiting: La Vieille Maison Traditionnelle (traditional old house) and Soum museum, located in the oldest house in Saint-Véran.
In winter, the village of Saint-Véran turns into a pleasant winter sports resort, ideal for a family holiday.
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.
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.