pronunciation: [alp.də.ot.pʁɔ.vɑ̃s]; Occitan: Aups d'Auta
Provença) is a French department in the south of France, it was
formerly part of the province of Provence.
Its inhabitants are called the Bas-Alpins or Bas-Alpines referring to
the department of Basses-Alpes which was the former name of the
department until 13 April 1970.
2 Arrondissements and cantons
3.1 A departmental resort
3.2 A very dense and very uneven settlement
5 Administrative division
5.1 Current Status
5.2 Ancient communes and changes to the administrative divisions of
6.1 Primary Sector
8 Local media
8.1 Print Media
8.2 Local radio
8.3 Local TV
9.1 Road network
9.2 Rail network
10 Notable People associated with the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
10.3 Other historical figures
11 Learned societies and associations
12 Movies and TV films made in the department
13 See also
15 External links
Map of the Department
Bounded in the east by Italy, the Alpes-de-Haute-
is surrounded by the departments of Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Vaucluse,
Drôme, and Hautes-Alpes. It can be divided into three zones depending
on the terrain, climate, population, and economy:
the plateaux, hills and valleys of Haute-Provence, which comprise
one-third of the area but two thirds of the population and the most
important cities of the department with almost all of the economic
activity apart from mountain tourism. The valley of the Durance, the
artery of the department, cuts the rest of the department into two
the Lower Alps: an intermediate mountain area with valleys and very
the High Alps: including the valleys of Ubaye, Blanche, and the high
Verdon (upstream of Colmars-les-Alpes) where the economy is built
around mountain tourism (skiing). In the Haute-Ubaye, the mountain
peaks exceed 3000 m above sea level and all the passes are close to or
above 2000 m in altitude. In this part of the department is one of the
highest roads in Europe: the main road D64 reaches an altitude of 2802
m near the
Col de la Bonette
Col de la Bonette (2715 m) and connects the region of
Barcelonnette to the
The relief of the land compartmentalises the region: the enclosed
valleys are difficult to access so dividing the country into as many
local areas which communicate very little with the outside. In 1877,
55 communes only had access to trails or mule paths.
The seismic hazard is moderate (zone 3) to medium (zone 4) with
different faults such as the
Durance located in the department.
The main cities are Manosque, Digne-les-Bains, Sisteron,
Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, Oraison, Forcalquier, Les Mées,
Pierrevert, Villeneuve, Sainte-Tulle, Gréoux-les-Bains,
Barcelonnette, and Castellane.
Hydrology and Topography
The main river is the
Durance which runs in the west of the
department. It is in the
Durance valley that the most important
traffic routes are found: the A51 highway and the railway main line.
Almost all of the department is in the watershed of the
for the extreme south-east (the cantons of Annot and Entrevaux) which
are drained by the Var.
The main tributaries of the
Durance in the department are the Ubaye,
the Bléone, the Asse, the Verdon on the left bank, the Buëch, the
Jabron, and the Largue on the right bank.
Durance and its tributaries have a torrential character, with a
transition between the snow regime of the high valleys and the
mediterranean rainfall regime in the lower mountains and below. The
summer low water levels are severe and violent floods occur when heavy
rains fall which is often in autumn. The Durance, Verdon, Bléone, and
Buëch have had the construction of several dams and the diversion of
parts of the river for irrigation and power generation in the 20th
The climate of the Alpes-de-Haute-
Provence department is a
Mediterranean climate degrading by altitude and latitude. In fact,
while in the lower valleys and flat lands of Haute-
Provence an inland
Mediterranean climate prevails, by contrast in the hills it is more
mixed with the valley of the
Ubaye characteristic of the inner Alps,
with a marked continentality: winters are very harsh with stormy
summers. In between, the two influences mingle in the area of the
Lower Alps. The characteristics of both climate trends are found
throughout the department to a greater or lesser extent:
dry air and little fog (less than 20 days per year)
infrequent rainfall (less than 90 days per year) but heavy (650 to
1500 mm per year)
frequent thunderstorms in the mountains in summer
High sunshine hours in all seasons (2550 to 2850 hours per year)
high thermal amplitudes, diurnal (over 10 °C) and annual
fresh and bright winters
very hot summers barely tempered by altitude.
Provence is therefore very interesting for European astronomers
looking for a partly cloudy night sky and untouched by light
pollution. Many amateur observatories have been built and the
Observatoire de Haute-
Provence is one of the largest observatories in
continental Europe. It is an active astronomy research centre.
Comparison of local Meteorological data with other cities in France
Climate data for Saint Auban
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source: Meteorological data for Saint Auban - 461m altitude, from 1981
to 2010 January 2015 (in French)
Arrondissements and cantons
Provence is subdivided into 4 arrondissements, 15
cantons and 198 communes.
# of communes
See also: Communes of the Alpes-de-Haute-
The population was once fairly evenly distributed in the territory,
including in the mountainous areas where mountain agriculture was well
developed. From the middle of the 19th century, however, it began to
decline due to a strong rural exodus. There were more than 150,000
inhabitants in 1850 but it fell to less than 100,000 after the First
World War. It was not until 1960 that the trend changed upwards quite
strongly from less than 90,000 in 1954 to nearly 140,000 in 1999 and
153,000 in 2005. However, if this figure is close to the number of
inhabitants had department 150 years earlier, the distribution and
activity of the population are very different. The population is now
concentrated in the valley of the
Durance and the South West of the
department, and agriculture employs less than ever before. Services,
mainly tourism and local services, is now the main industry.
The department has never really developed: in 1870 there were 27 small
mines (one lead, four oil shale and 22 lignite).
A departmental resort
According to the general census of the population, 32.8% of available
housing in the department are second homes.
A very dense and very uneven settlement
The department of Alpes-de-Haute-
Provence is one of the least densely
populated of France with barely more than 20 inhabitants per km2. The
population is concentrated mainly in the valleys of the Durance, the
Bléone (up to Digne) and the nearby flat lands. The rest of the
department is sparsely populated (less than 10 inhabitants per km2
over most of the territory).
Half of the Communes have less than 200 inhabitants, 17 communes have
less than 50 and many villages have been abandoned. The towns are
Manosque approach or exceed 20,000
people. The arrondissements of
Castellane are the
two least populated arrondissements in France and the only ones in
France with less than 10,000 inhabitants. The city of
the smallest sub-prefecture in France.
Among the 15 cantons in the department, 5 have a resident population
of less than 10,000 inhabitants: Barcelonnette, Castellane, Riez,
Seyne, and Valensole.
The ten most populous communes are (figures for 2010 and population
change from 2009):
In contrast, the two towns with less than 20 inhabitants according to
the latest census:
Archail (17 inhabitants) and
Majastres are isolated
from main roads.
Provence was one of the 83 original departments created during
French Revolution on 4 March 1790 under the Act of 22 December
1789. It was renamed Haute-
Provence then Basses-Alpes.
On 12 August 1793, the department of
Vaucluse was created from parts
of the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme, and Basses-Alpes.
Basses-Alpes lost the canton of Sault to
Vaucluse at this point.
Seventeen years later, in 1810, the canton of Barcillonnette was
transferred over to Hautes-Alpes.
The department of Basses-Alpes was occupied by fascist Italy from
November 1942 to September 1943.
On 13 April 1970, the department of Basses-Alpes was renamed
Here is an unflattering excerpt from an article called "Basse Alpes"
from the Atlas Larousse published at the beginning of the 20th
"Scattered whitish rocks stand out like bones, a thin topsoil where
bushes languish, some mountain flowers and stunted trees ... these
mountains form almost everywhere a dreadful desert which will not have
more inhabitants: this is the
Sahara without the sun of Africa, with
the snows of Siberia." (P. Joanne).
On these steep slopes deforestation and flooding have resulted in a
lack of fertile soil and agriculture has been the most miserable.
There is a small harvest of wheat, wine in small quantities (but
good), and truffles in large numbers. In the southern part, which has
the climate of Provence, there are olive trees, mulberry trees, and
orange trees. Aromatic plants abound, and there are 250,000 beehives.
Manosque because its location is by far the second largest city of the
department (with 5,500 inhabitants). Near
Manosque are the lignite and
gypsum mines. Despite a fairly active trade in olive oil, wine and raw
silk, this department is also one of the least populated. (Larousse
Illustrated Atlas, Printing Larousse, Paris, 1900).
Azure, a fleur de lys of Or surmounted by a Label of three points
gules all over a terrace in base argent indented of three points.
Arrondissement of Barcelonnette: 15 communes
Arrondissement of Castellane: 32 communes
Arrondissement of Digne-les-Bains: 65 communes
Arrondissement of Forcalquier: 87 communes
A total of 199 communes and 15 cantons.
Ancient communes and changes to the administrative divisions of the
The rural exodus of the 19th and 20th centuries has had a significant
impact on the population of towns: some were completely or almost
completely abandoned by their inhabitants which led to the
disappearance of fifty communes since the creation of the department.
Some villages still exist and sometimes gave their name to a new
commune created by mergers (e.g. La Mure-Argens) and others are
nothing more than a pile of stones (like Levens in the commune of
Majastres). They are sometimes listed on maps (e.g. Bédejun in the
commune of Chaudon-Norante). At its formation, the department had 270
communes (262 after changing the limits of the department) but it is
now 200. Apart from eight communes which were attached either to
Hautes-Alpes (the three communes of the Barcillonnette canton, or to
Vaucluse (the canton of Sault) many communes have di)sappeared.
In 1854, the state of communes in the department was as follows:
Arrondissement of Barcelonnette: 20 communes, 4 cantons
Arrondissement of Castellane: 48 communes, 6 cantons
Arrondissement of Digne-les-Bains: 87 communes, 9 cantons
Arrondissement of Forcalquier: 51 communes, 6 cantons
Sisteron (former): 50 communes, 5 cantons
in total 256 towns and 30 townships.
Special cases of mergers and changes in municipal boundaries
some communes have chosen a name without historical connection, e.g.
Val-de-Chalvagne formed by the merger of three communes
(Castellet-Saint-Cassian, Montblanc and Villevieille)
some communes have absorbed a large number of others - such was the
case of Digne and
Castellane with seven towns merged: Villars-Brandis,
Taloire, Eoulx, Taulane, Chasteuil, and Castillon when creating the
Also some other noteworthy atypical cases:
merger then separation:
Draix then split between
Saint-Martin-les-Eaux and Manosque
merger with one commune then another: Aurent (merged with Braux then
a first merger of two communes followed by a merger with another
Peyresq with La Colle-Saint-Michel (under the name of
Saint-Michel-Peyresq), the new entity was then merged with
merged communes but not adjacent: Le Poil merged with Senez.
There are still some cases of communal associations since 1973 (some
have also gone more or less quickly in favour of a "simple
aggregation"). For example,
La Mure-Argens with Argens enjoying this
status (with the Mayor delegated specifically for Argens, a city hall
annex and an electoral district).
The department has an electoral tradition markedly old left. There are
strong republican traditions such as the number of Political clubs
French Revolution and the resistance to the coup of
Napoleon III in 1851. The tradition of the left is also manifested in
rural areas since all cantons devoted to agriculture very early showed
an inclination to vote for Republican candidates. The installation of
the large chemical plant at
Saint-Auban also had a favorable effect on
the vote for the left (see below) and has been a breeding ground for
the political organization of the left in the department by the trade
union movement. The power station at
Sainte-Tulle also supplied many
activists to leftist organizations.
Exceptions in the department: the alpine areas of
the upper valley of the Verdon, both territories of emigration but
also with a garrison of
Chasseurs Alpins in the first. These areas,
deeply Catholic, have long opted for elected conservatives - one of
the most famous being the former Minister of the Third Republic, Paul
Reynaud. A definition of the political choices of the county
population is often translated as: the higher the altitude rises, the
more the popular vote looks to the right.
Since the end of the
First World War
First World War the department has been most
often depicted, both by the Senate and the National Assembly, as an
electoral issue of either the PCF or, especially, the socialist
movement - the SFIO or the PS, or by the radical left.
A landmark of the Resistance during the Second World War, at
Liberation the department deeply changed is roots to the left, a
change that has not really been challenged since. A change, which may
be temporary however, was recorded in 2007 when, for the first time in
local political history, a right-wing deputy elected in the previous
election (in 2002) was re-elected to the National Assembly.
The other seat is occupied by the President of the General Council,
Jean-Louis Bianco, a former Minister with François Mitterrand.
In the Senate, the Department is represented by Claude Domeizel, a
former Socialist mayor of Volx.
François Mitterrand won the majority of votes of the inhabitants of
the department in 1974, 1981, and 1988 although in the last two cases
it was 53% of the vote. In 1995,
Jacques Chirac was leading the second
round of the presidential election with just over 52% but less than
the national score. In 2002 it was
Jean Marie Le Pen
Jean Marie Le Pen who topped the
first round. Finally, in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy, who reached the top in
the first round, with nearly 30% of the votes, gained 53.2% in the
In European referendums, the department has voted "No" during the
consultation on the
Maastricht Treaty at 51.6% (majority of 2238
votes) and "No" during the consultation on the European Constitutional
Treaty at 60.3% (majority 16,575 votes).
The President of the General Council is the Socialist Jean-Louis
French Communist Party
Citizen and Republican Movement
Union for a Popular Movement
The department has, by its own characteristics (mountainous and low
population), a character marked by a relatively weak industrial base
and a move towards the creation of jobs in the areas of trades and
Thus, according to the survey on labour needs by ASSEDIC, most of the
jobs available are now from the professions of sociocultural and
sports activities (1031 offers listed out of 4752 total in the
department), hotel (968 offers), cleaning (438 offers), catering (345
Of all these offers at least three quarters were for seasonal jobs.
However, significant changes in the sociological situation of the
department are to be expected from the implementation of the ITER
project at the mouth of the
In the Alpes-de-Haute-
Provence department agriculture has had a very
important place in the economy but the food-producing polyculture has
given way to a much more specialized agriculture oriented around
fruit, cereals and high value added products (honey, perfumes, and
essential oils, cosmetics, olives, and wine).
The cultivated species are temperate species, especially those at
higher altitude, and Mediterranean species at low altitude. The
production is of a wide variety. In recent years, an increase in the
cultivation of lavender has emerged, particularly in the area of
The utilised agricultural area is 165,809 hectares mostly devoted to
farming activities such as grass meadows for over 96,000 hectares.
According to the agricultural census of 2000, the department has 2,947
farms, more than the 1,500 farms under the previous census carried out
twelve years previously. The average farm size has increased from 32
to 56 hectares.
This is an area of arboriculture particularly along the Durance, which
is the main farming area in terms of number of farms (829 in total).
It is followed by the crop sector (mostly grain) with 740 farms with
the rest in the livestock sector.
One of the characteristics of the department is that there are 614
farms devoted to breeding animals other than cattle. These are for the
breeding of sheep and goats, including the production of milk used for
cheese making under
Appellation d'origine contrôlée
Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for Banon
The winemakers of
Pierrevert also have an appellation d'origine
contrôlée (AOC) ranking for their production.
The Alpes de Hautes-
Provence department is a region where 49.1% of the
area is forested or 343,691 hectares, with an average rate of 39.4%
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. The National Office of
Forests (ONF) manages 86,000 hectares. The main species exploited are
Scots pine, black pine, larch, pubescent oak (or white oak), and
Fir and spruce are less common. The
2003 heat wave
2003 heat wave caused
the decline of many species of trees, consequently accelerating the
return of Mediterranean oaks, alders and linden.
Industry is relatively small in terms of business establishments but
has several relatively large companies.
At the end of 2004 the department had 937 establishments with 17
exceeding fifty employees.
This is particularly the case of the historic plant at Saint-Auban
Arkema factory formerly Elf-Atochem), the
Sanofi of Sisteron
factory (north of Saint-Auban), and
Manosque (L'Occitane factory).
Some more specialized factories (olive oil, perfumes, wines) produce
products with high added value.
At the end of 2006, according to
ASSEDIC data, the industrial sector
employed 4,261 employees in the department, or a little over 14% of
private sector employees.
In the Chemistry sub-sector there are 1,761 employees and agribusiness
has 1,205 employees: these are the two main divisions.
The chemical sector includes segments of: pharmacy (
cited above, with more than 650 employees), basic chemistry (Arkema
factory, with more than 500 employees), and cosmetics with more than
The industrial sector has lost nearly 400 jobs since 2001 particularly
from downsizing at
Arkema and despite the good financial health of
Total S.A. which owns it. This may change with the implementation of
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).
The Building sector and public works account for 1,387 active
establishments with more than half (758) institutions without any
employees (artisans established their behalf). In late 2006, the
sector employed more than 3,900 employees including nearly 1,500 in
the public works sector particularly driven by the completion of major
infrastructure (motorway A51 and others).
After the depopulation caused by the rural exodus, the department
pioneered agritourism in the 1950s although it is no longer the leader
in France in this field. Approximately 120 farms offer tourist
activities (accommodation, catering or leisure), with 70
The tertiary sector includes very different enterpriises.
Commercial activities have undergone considerable change, and had in
2004 2,473 establishments but with 1,396 (over 56%) with no employees.
In late 2006, however, this sector employed 6,478 people in more than
1,000 establishments. Employee headcounts have risen sharply since
2001 as there have been a total of 627 additional jobs (more than 10%
of the workforce) since that date.
The number of employees is about 22% of the workforce employed in the
This has resulted from the development, particularly in the cities of
Manosque and Digne, of major retail shopping areas. Nearly 1,600
employees in the services sector are employed there.
Service activities cover a total of 7,322 institutions in late 2004
with 4,323 (over 59%) with no employees.
It is this sector, however which has the largest number of
establishments with more than 50 employees - 96 establishments.
At the end of 2006, this sector employed, among others, 1,141
employees in the transport sector, 3,425 employeees in business
services, and more than 4,000 in the field of services to individuals.
These sectors are evolving and increasing their activities.
The positive migration flow for the department often originates from
the arrival of retired households, due in particular to the
significant increase in numbers of elderly and home care services.
The transport sector created sixty additional jobs but it was
especially the service sector enterprises and service to individuals
(e.g. health and social activity) experienced a dramatic and
The health sector has substantially increased its importance in the
economy with over a thousand more jobs, especially in the segments of
short-term caregiving and maintenance, with nearly 850 related jobs.
This is largely explained by the fact that the major industrial
companies in the department, such as companies in the construction
sector, use temporary workers, instead of hiring full-time.
In the canton of Volonne, where
Saint-Auban is, the reduction in
industrial jobs (160 jobs lost on the
Arkema work site) is partially
offset by the increase in temporary employment (100 additional jobs ).
Similarly, in Manosque, the first city of the department in terms of
employment, and sustainable development (2,000 more jobs in five
years), the increase in temporary jobs has been spectacular - reaching
400 jobs. These jobs are in, among other things, the cosmetics
industry, the construction industry and public works, and retail.
Large retail chains in the city prefer this mode of hiring to
In the field of health and social activities, there has been
significant job creation also with 760 more jobs, bringing to 13% the
share of employees in the sector in terms of total private employment.
This increase is particularly in hospitality and accommodation with
nearly a thousand employees, an increase of about 150 jobs since 2001,
while the area of home care now employs 741 employees instead of 457
five years earlier.
Finally, note that voluntary work, with nearly 1,000 jobs offered, is
also present in the department.
The beautiful scenery provides the background to many activities and
sights. Eleven villages have been classified as having special
architectural character. In particular there are:
The town of
Sisteron with its ancient citadel and narrow streets
The Gorge of Verdon (Europe's Grand Canyon)
Digne-les-Bains Hot-spa town
In summer many aerial sports use the surrounding mountains such as
gliding, hang gliding and paragliding. In winter there is extensive
skiing at eleven ski resorts.
Rocher de La Baume
Aiguille de Chambeyron
Aiguille de Chambeyron and the Marinet Lake in the
Famous dishes from the commune:
Black Pudding traditionally cooked with leeks
Scrambled eggs with truffles from Riez
Pattes a la main de Fours
Pierrevert wine (AOC since 1997)
Génépi from the
Pieds paquets from Sisteron
Henri Bardouin de
Daily newspapers: La Provence, le Dauphine Libere, and La
Marseillaise. All three have a local edition.
Weekly Newspaper: Haute
Free Newspapers: J'y Vais Provence, a bimonthly journal. Cultural
information and portraits of artists of the department.
Alpes 1 (based at Gap, Hautes-Alpes), transmits to the regions of
Barcelonnette and Allos
Durance FM (based at Reillane), transmits in the regions of Manosque,
Digne-les-Bains, and Sisteron
Fréquence Mistral (based in Manosque), transmits in the regions of
Manosque, Digne-les-Bains, Sisteron, and Castellane
Grimaldi FM (based in
Puget-Théniers (Alpes-Maritimes)) transmits to
the cantons of Annot and Entrevaux
Là la radio (based at Gap (Hautes-Alpes)) transmits to the regions of
Allos, Barcelonnette, and Colmars-les-Alpes
Radio Oxygène (based in
Fréjus (Var)), transmits in the regions of
Barcelonnette and Val d'Allos;
Radio Star (based in
Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône)), transmits in the
regions of Manosque, Digne-les-Bains, and Sisteron
Radio Verdon (based in
Saint-Julien-le-Montagnier (Var)), transmits to
the regions of
Manosque and Castellane
Radio Zinzine (based at Limans), funded by the Longo Maï cooperative,
transmits to the areas of Manosque, Digne-les-Bains, Sisteron, and
Provence (TLP) is available through TNT channel 30
in the area of
Manosque and Val de Durance, by satellite in the
FRANSAT package, by Internet on ADSL Orange, SFR/Neuf, Numéricâble
in Avignon and its region (soon to be Free)
jy: This free cultural news site was launched in January 2011. There
are more than 200 cultural events in the department every week.
A free bimonthly magazine is associated with the website providing
close-ups of artists and events in the region. Distributed to 4,000
copies in town halls, tourist offices and shops, it is to this day the
strongest support media for the department.
Verdon Info: Information on the area Pays Asses-Verdon-Vaïre-Var
Arrondissement of Castellane).
Many roads in Alpes-de-Haute-
Provence are narrow and winding due to
terrain. These natural conditions make access to certain parts of the
department rather difficult, especially in winter, and particularly
the communes in the Arrondissements of
Barcelonnette and Castellane.
They are therefore quite isolated from the rest of the department and
National Highway N85 between
through several narrow gorges including that of Taulanne which is
There are several railway lines in Alpes de Haute-Provence. These are:
the Chemins de Fer de
Provence line (known as the Train des pignes)
Nice - Digne
two lines of the SNCF:
the Lyon-Perrache - Marseille-Saint-Charles (via Grenoble) line
Saint-Auban - Digne line (service provided by coaches) is now
abandoned. It formed the junction between the Train des Pignes and the
Marseille lines. A project to reopen the line is being studied
and included in the planning between the State and Region.
Old abandoned lines:
Volx - Cavaillon line
the Chorges -
Barcelonnette line (never opened)
Notable People associated with the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Pierre Gassendi (1592 at
Champtercier - 1655), mathematician,
philosopher, theologian and astronomer.
Jean Solome (1674-1752), historian from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Prior Laurensi (1719-1808), historian.
Jean Marc Gaspard Itard
Jean Marc Gaspard Itard (1774 at
Oraison - 1838), a famous doctor for
his work on the case of the Feral child, Victor of Aveyron, and
pioneer of the ear, nose and throat speciality
Jean Aimé Édouard de Laplane (1774-1870), historian from Sisteron
Simon-Jude Honnorat (1783 at
Allos - 1852), physician, naturalist,
Elzéard Gras-Bourget (1788-1860) Judge and historian
Father Jean-Joseph-Maxime Feraud (1810 at
Riez - 1897), historian
Alphonse Eugene Beau called Beau de Rochas (1815 at
1893) thermodynamics engineer, inventor of the four-stroke engine, and
Dr. Antoine Ollivier (1823 - ?), a medical doctor and
archaeologist from Ubaye
Jean-Esprit Pellissier (1831 at
Allos - 1905), historian
François Arnaud (1843-1908), mountaineer, politician, lawyer,
geographer and linguist from Ubaye.
Raymond Collier (1921-2000), director of the Departmental Archives of
Lucienne Roubin (1924 in Upper Verdon - 1999), sociologist and
Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (1932-2007), Nobel prize in physics in 1991.
Spent his childhood in Barcelonnette
Eugene Martel (1869 at
Revest-du-Bion - 1947)
Raoul Dufy (1877-1953 at Forcalquier)
Serge Fiorio (1911-2011), born in Switzerland, died at Viens,
Vaucluse, he settled in the Alpes-de-Haute-
Provence in 1947
Paul Martin (1830-1903) and his son Étienne Martin (1856-1945).
Naturalist painters and botanists
Singers / Musicians
Sisteron (1194-1221), troubadour
Jean-Philippe Argento (1972 at
Digne-les-Bains - )
Damien Saez (1977- )
Joseph Olérys, Faiencer of the 18th century
Jean Daviot (1962 at
Digne-les-Bains - ), visual artist
Bernar Venet (1941 at Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban), visual artist
Elzéard Bouffier, the shepherd in The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean
Other historical figures
Joseph de Richery
Joseph de Richery (1757 at Allons - 1798 at Eoulx) Rear Admiral who
distinguished himself during the wars of the Revolution
Pierre Charles Silvestre de Villeneuve
Pierre Charles Silvestre de Villeneuve (1763 at
Valensole - 1806),
admiral of the French fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar
Louis Alexis Desmichels (1779 at Digne - 1845), an officer of the
First Empire, General
Paul Touvier (1915 at
Saint-Vincent-sur-Jabron - 1996), leader of the
Milice in Lyon, the first Frenchman condemned for crimes against
Bruno Dary (1952 at
Barcelonnette - ), Military governor of Paris
Political and financial
Jacques-Antoine Manuel (1775 at
Barcelonnette - 1827), fourth deputy
(MP) under the Bourbon Restoration
Hippolyte Fourtoul (1811 Digne - 1856), Minister of Education under
the Second Empire
The Brothers Arnaud originators of the Ubayens emigration movement to
Mexico and Louisiana in the 19th and early 20th century
André Honnorat (1868-1950), originally from
Allos and Barcelonnette,
Minister of Public Education and Fine Arts in 1920
Paul Reynaud (1878 at
Barcelonnette - 1966), former President of the
Council of Ministers (1940)
Henri Laugier (1888 at Mane - 1973), Deputy Secretary General of the
Jean-Louis Bianco (1943 - ), deputy for Alpes-de-Haute-
president of the department's general council
Jean Rolland (1935 at Digne - 1967), racing driver
Jean-Michel Bayle (1969 at
Manosque - ) motocross champion
Mickael Maschio (1973 at Digne - ), French motocross driver
René Gallice (1919 at
Forcalquier - 1999), former professional soccer
Alain Boghossian (1970 at Digne - ), former professional soccer
player, world champion in 1998, assistant coach of the French football
team since 2008.
Honoré Bonnet (1919-2005) coach of the French ski team at the 1968
Carole Merle (1964 at Sauze), the most successful French skier in the
history of the World Cup
Édouard Fachleitner, (1921-2008), racing cyclist called the Shepherd
Julien El Fares
Julien El Fares (1985 at
Manosque - ) cyclist.
Grégory Bernard, (1984 at Digne - ), second line at Auch
Philosophers, poets, writers
Alphonse Rabbe (1786 at
Riez - 1830), romantic poet in prose, Album of
Paul Arène (1843 at
Sisteron - 1896) writer and poet
Lazarine Negro (1848-1899), a poet from Manosque, a member of
Elemir Bourges (1852 at
Manosque - 1925), novelist, member of the
Alexandra David-Neel (1868-1969), explorer and Franco-Belgian writer,
a resident of Digne in 1926 until his death in 1969
Germaine Waton Ferry (1885 at
Riez - 1956), poet, member of Félibrige
Alexandre Arnoux (1884-1973), novelist, playwright
Maria Borrely (1890 at
Puimoisson - 1963), novelist
Regis Messac (1893-1945), writer
Jean Giono (1895 at
Manosque - 1970), writer
Jean Proal (1904 at Seyne-les-Alpes - 1969), writer
Pierre Magnan (1922 at
Manosque - 2012), writer
Cécile Sauvage (1883-1927), poet, lived in Digne
Felicien Champsaur (1858 at
Turriers - 1934), writer
Pierre Martel (1923-2001), founder of Alpes de Lumiere (Alpine Lights)
Pierre Bottero (1964 at
Barcelonnette - 2009), writer
Manosque (?-430), daughter of Eucherius of Lyon
Riez (408-495), bishop and theologian of free will
Mayeul de Cluny
Mayeul de Cluny (906 at
Valensole - 994). Fourth abbot of Cluny.
John of Matha
John of Matha (1160 at Faucon-de-
Barcelonnette - 1215), priest,
founder of the
Trinitarian Order to recover prisoners of the Saracens
Jacques Chastan (1803 at Marcoux - 1839), priest of Foreign Missions
People in the news
Jack Cecil Drummond
Jack Cecil Drummond (1891-1952), assassinated at
Lurs with his wife
and daughter which triggered the Dominici affair
The families Simiane, Agoult, and Ponteves, nobles of Provence
Learned societies and associations
Société scientifique et littéraire des Alpes-de-Haute-Provence,
founded in 1878 by Father Jean-Joseph-Maxime Feraud
Alpes de Lumière, a nonprofit organization founded in 1953 by Pierre
Martel and state-approved
Proserpine, a non-profit association founded in 1993 in order to
know and protect the butterflies of Haute-Provence. Manages the
butterfly garden (insects release) at Digne-les-Bains.
Sabença de la Valeia is a learned society from the
Ubaye Valley. It
researches, studies and disseminates everything about the valley.
Movies and TV films made in the department
(TV films in Italics)
1925: Les Misérables by
Henri Fescourt with
Gabriel Gabrio (in
1934: Les Misérables by
Raymond Bernard with
Harry Baur (in French)
1953: La Route Napoléon by
Jean Delannoy with
Pierre Fresnay (in
L'Eau vive by
François Villiers with
Pascale Audret (in French)
1960: Crésus by
Jean Giono with
Fernandel (in French)
1970: La Maison des bories by
Jacques Doniol-Valcroze with Marie
Dubois, Maurice Garrel, Mathieu Carrière, and Marie-Véronique Maurin
1973: L'Affaire Dominici by Claude Bernard-Aubert with Jean Gabin,
Victor Lanoux, and
Gérard Darrieu (in French)
Les Babas Cool by François Leterrier with Christian Clavier,
Marie-Anne Chazel, and
Anémone (actress) (in French)
Jean de Florette
Jean de Florette by
Claude Berri with Daniel Auteuil, Gérard
Yves Montand (in French)
1988: La Maison assassinée by
Georges Lautner with
Patrick Bruel (in
1989: Après la guerre by Jean-Loup Hubert with
Richard Bohringer (in
1995: Le Hussard sur le toit by
Jean-Paul Rappeneau with Juliette
Binoche, Olivier Martinez, and
François Cluzet (in French)
2003: L'Affaire Dominici by Pierre Boutron with
Michel Serrault and
Michel Blanc (in French)
2006: Les Courriers de la mort by Philomène Esposito with Victor
Lanoux (in French)
2007: C'est mieux la vie quand on est grand by Luc Béraud with Daniel
Russo (in French)
2010: Le Sang des Atrides by
Bruno Gantillon with
Victor Lanoux (in
Cantons of the Alpes-de-Haute-
Communes of the Alpes-de-Haute-
Arrondissements of the Alpes-de-Haute-
^ Raymond Collier, Haute-
Provence monumental and artistic, Digne,
Imprimerie Louis Jean, 1986, 559 p., p 420 (in French)
^ Decree on seismic risk in the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence,
2010 (in French)
^ Paris, Nice, Strasbourg, Brest
^ Data from the Station at Saint Auban from 1981 to 2010 (in French)
^ Irène Magnaudeix, Sitting Stone, Moving Stone: usage and
representation of stone by the inhabitants of Haut-Vançon, Mane, Les
Alpes de Lumière, Forcalquier, 2004. ISBN 978-2-906162-73-0, p
124 (in French)
^ Stéphane Simonnet, Atlas of the Libération of France, Autrement,
Paris, 1994, reprinted 2004, (ISBN 2-7467-0495-1), p 60, (in
^ Encyclopédies théologiques Dictionary of Sacred and Ecclesiastical
Geography published by M. l'abbé Jacques-Paul Migne, 1854, éditeur
de la bibliothèque universelle du clergé (in French)
^ Forest Inventory for Alpes-de-Haute-
Provence (in French)
^ Lilian Micas, Actual Changes in a forest area, Verdons, no 26-27,
December 2008, p. 117 (in French)
^ Lilian Micas, Actual Changes in a forest area, Verdons, no 26-27,
December 2008, p. 123.
^ Aurélie Volle,
Agritourism and biological productions in AHP,
indicaters of reinvigoration of campaigns?, Méditerranée, 107/2006,
p 67 (in French)
^ Aurélie Volle,
Agritourism and biological productions in AHP,
indicaters of reinvigoration of campaigns?, Méditerranée, 107/2006,
^ Jean-Robert Pitte, Alpine Delicacies, Pigs and Piglets: the quest
for pure fat, L’Alpe No. 42, Autumn 2008, p 8 (in French)
^ The Garden of Butterflies (in French)
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Provence at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
(in French) Conseil général website
Abbeys in the Alps (fr. with translator)
(in French) Prefecture website
(in English) Préfecture web-site in English
(in French) SPLAF Detailed information in French
(in French) Department of Alpes-de-Haute-
Provence (04) The accounts of
the Communes and groupings: - Individual and Consolidated data
"Principle Budget and annexes"
(in French) Website for Alpes-de-Haute-
Provence and Basses-Alpes, well
documented and illustrated (anecdotes, personalities)
(in French) Robbery in the Basses-Alpes..., by Abbot Maurel (1899).
(in French) The Plague of 1720 in the Basses-Alpes, by Abbot Maurel
(1908). Text online.
(in French) Chamber of Commerce and Industry of
(in French) Visit to the Valley of La Blanche, Seyne-les-Alpes and
(in French) The Alps of Hautes Provences, Mural Paintings from the
11th to the 16th centuries
Departments of France
90 Territoire de Belfort
973 French Guiana
Metropolis with territorial collectivity statute