The surprises of Haute-Provence

Dear scientific apprentices,

It's me, Emilie, chief guide at the UNESCO Global Geopark in Percé. Spring is upon us and I am happy to announce good news to you, Agathe is back!

Our Bonaventure reader resumes her world tour to tell us about her wonderful adventures. A break was well deserved for this Percean geologist, an important figure in the UNESCO Global Geopark in Percé. She shares her travel memories with me, so I can share them with you. So ! LET'S GO !

Guess where our Agathe puts her luggage this time ?!  At the moment, she is on the European continent at the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence, located in the South-East of France, in the French Alps.



It is the extraordinary history of this geopark that first attracted Agathe to these places. Indeed, the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence is the premier geoparks to have been created worldwide. Imagine ! The first !

The adventure began in the 70s. For young geologists, what should have been a quest for a geological inventory, turned rather into a desire to protect the sites and the geological heritage of the place. This idea paid off, because many years later, in 2000, the first UNESCO Geopark was created.

Robine terre noire


A sea full of life

At the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence, Agathe discovers a fascinating geology that relates 300 million years of Earth history. To give you an idea of ​​its age, this geopark began to shape at the same time as theBonaventure Island, here in Percé. The geological history of the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence begins to be written from the Carboniferous era, when the climate favors the creation of swamps in which plants get bogged down.

Subsequently, the movements of the earth's crust come to modify the surface of the earth, so that in the Jurassic era, Haute Provence found itself engulfed by a sea teeming with life. It is during this period of history that the most beautiful attractions of this Geopark were formed. The Amonites slab below is a good example.

The lower Jurassic (Lias) The beginnings of the sea_The slab with amonites



In the Cretaceous, deposits of limestone are deposited in the seabed which covers Haute-Provence, thus reducing the level of the water. And guess what ? It was also at this time that the formation of the Alps began. The movement of the tectonic plates initiates the displacement of Africa towards the northeast. Then, in the Cenozoic era, the movement of the African plates continues and brings up the layers of Cretaceous limestone to the surface, the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence being therefore emerged from the waters that cover it.

Fossilized bird footprints (c) Haute-Provence Geological Reserve



Did you know that it is possible to explore the history of the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence? And yes ! There are five routes to take to visit the 1989 km2 of the Geopark, each with its own particularity.

The first one, The route of art prints in the memory of the earth allows you to discover the northern landscape of the geopark while crossing works of art in situ that local and renowned artists have created from the materials of nature.

Andy Goldsworthy _ Refuge d'art des Bains-Thermaux


The second, The road of mountains and men offers hikers to walk in the mountains but also to learn a little more about the locals by visiting the economuseum of Javie.

BEAUJEU Arigeol and Pleat


The third, The road of pebbles, flavors and lavenders is located in the south of the Geopark. It allows you to see beautiful lavender fields, olive groves and pass through the magnificent village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

Valenso_camion_puimoisson tray


The fourth route, The road of stories, words and stones is in fact a road which passes from village to village showing the visitor several historical places including the Church of Our Lady of Bethem, dating from the XNUMXth century and some unique places including the turnstiles of Astoin (road which winds on the side of Mountain).


The fifth and last, The road of time, is characterized by its rock engraving dating from the 5th century, from the chapel of Dromon, and from the village of Thoard.


Interesting isn't it?

Amazed by the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence, Agathe continues its journey to another unique place in Europe. Stay tuned dear readers, new adventures await our reader of Bonaventure.

In the meantime, if you are interested in knowing a little more about the UNESCO Global Geopark of Haute-Provence, consult their website:

See you next time !


psst: If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write to me: