Known as the "Pearl of Upper Provence", the town of Sisteron is located on the Napoleon Road (Route Napoléon) on the banks of the Durance river opposite Baume rock and is dominated by its imposing hilltop citadel. The historic centre of this Provençal medieval fortified town is very picturesque and contains much built heritage of interest to walkers, including the Romanesque Notre-Dame-des-Pommiers cathedral, fortification towers, narrow streets lined with old houses and little squares decorated with charming fountains. The interesting Musée Terre et Temps (Earth and Time Museum), housed in the former Visitandines chapel near the cathedral, explores the history of time telling and measuring the passing of time in nature through a magnificent collection of rare and unusual objects. This museum is also the departure point for the Route du Temps, a fantastic waymarked time trail across the Haute-Provence geological reserve.
Towering above the Durance valley on top of a rocky spur is the citadel of Sisteron. Built in the 11th century and remodelled in the 13th, 16th and 19th centuries, it enjoys a strategic location between the Alps and the Mediterranean. This listed historic monument and former stronghold of the Counts of Provence today houses a museum devoted to Napoleon and an exhibition of horse-drawn carriages. Sisteron citadel also offers a superb view of Baume rock, the town rooftops, the river banks and surrounding mountains.
From mid-July to mid-August, the Nuits de la Citadelle festival offers a programme of culture, music, theatre and dance against the imposing backdrop of the fortress ramparts. Also not to be missed is Sisteron's Fête de l'Agneau (lamb festival), held every Ascension weekend.