Alpine Cultural Escape: Essential Museums and Monuments

At the crossroads of cultural influences, the Alps is home to famous cross-border roads, unusual museums, and legendary monuments. Between land and sea and France and Italy, its diverse landscape contributes to its constant reinvention.

From Mysteries to Legends

In the Alps, the Unexpected Comingles with the Infinite

Explore an extraordinary spiritual heritage along the Route des Bréas and in the Chapelle Notre-Dame des Fontaines in La Brigue. Its fresco-covered walls are radiant in daylight. Next, it’s time to discover some 100% natural curiosities. The Fontaine Pétrifiante fountain in Réotier looks like a dragon spitting water. The Pénitents des Mées rock formation majestically stands like hooded monks at a height of 100 metres. The Jardin de l’Apothicaire garden in Colmars-les-Alpes gives you a chance to smell the fragrant flowers and the healing, aromatic plants of Le Haut-Verdon before you leave solid ground. Departing from Puget-Théniers, overlook perched villages by train for an outing on the legendary Train des Pignes. Finish with your head in the stars at the Musée du Soleil in Saint-Véran.

The Art of Making Time Stand Still

By Way of Historical and Cultural Footprints

From Turin to Avignon, explore the crossroads of influences and eras along the Via Alta. This spiritually rich route is also a major place of pilgrimage punctuated with architectural jewels. The fingerprints of Christianity mark the heritage of Embrun in the Abbaye de Boscodon or the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Réal. In Monêtier-les-Bains, the chapel of Saint-Pierre du Musée houses a whole collection of sacred art. Roman conquests on the Via Domitia, pre-historic remains at the Musée Départemental in Gap, and the memory of the industrial era in the underground passages of the Mines d’Argent (silver mines) in Fournel. From century to century, you’ll cross mountains and wonders! Finally, reach the fortifications of Briançon, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, then explore 800 years of history at the timeless Citadelle in Sisteron.

Nature and Inspiration Awaken

Snapshots and Artistic Passions

From an art collection to a collection of trees – this is the Arboretum de Roure. Bordering the prestigious Parc National du Mercantour, the Grand Guetteur (Big Lookout), a six-metre bronze sculpture, and the travelling no-made exhibitions have built bridges between the art and the plant worlds. Staying in the Mercantour, the Vallée des Merveilles is an open-air museum in the Alps, a tribute to the enigmatic pre-historic engravings which can be seen on its colourful slabs. Some artists have also chosen to re-interpret the natural heritage. You can observe this at the Refuges d’Art (Art Shelters) of the Géoparc de Haute Provence or the artists’ trails in Crévoux. Others have decided to live in the Monastère de Saorge.

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