The village of Rougon, perched on its rocky outcrop, was the place where Isidore Blanc taught at the beginning of the 20th century.
Coming from Castellane, the village of Rougon is located about ten kilometers before La Pallud, on the D952. An Eagle’s nest perched at an altitude of 930 m. Allow approximately 5 km to drive above Point Sublime, the majestic gate of the Grand Canyon. Be careful, some portions do not allow two vehicles to pass each other.
The village appears in a writing in 814. However, the stone remains which dominate the village attest to the human presence for several centuries before. Even millennia.
Today, Rougon is no longer a passage, the road that leads there is no way out. Formerly, a Roman road relayed Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to Castellane via Chasteuil. Indeed, the Romans preferred to build in height, which gave more safety to the users.
The castle spur, a listed site, dominates the village. No one can say if a castle was ever built there. Maybe just a watchtower. A legend tells that a lord of Rougon undertook work to actually build a castle there. With each progress of the work, lightning invited itself, wiping out the last walls. The work was finally abandoned.
The St Christophe chapel which is located at the entrance of the village was restored with great taste and attention in 2010. This chapel, whose origins date back to the 12th-13th century, was already rebuilt between the 16th and 17th centuries.
Some 110 inhabitants currently populate the village. A population which never exceeded 600 souls even in the golden age of the village, in the middle of the 18th century. The rural exoduses which occurred after each world war were fateful in the village. Indeed, the population went from 331 inhabitants in 1906 to 180 inhabitants came years later. Then from 93 inhabitants in 1946 to 41 inhabitants in 1968. The population emigrated mainly to the cities of Provence (Nice, Cannes, Fréjus, Toulon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence …) to find a better life. Thus many Provencal descendants of Rougonais today populate the remains of their ancestors during the summer period and weekends.
There is a crêperie-stopover; The Bee Wall which offers a magnificent view from its terrace. There is also a grocery store-bar-restaurant; La Terrasse at the entrance to the village is open all year round. From this small square where you can also play pétanque, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Samson Corridor. As for the town hall, it also acts as a Post Office. Stroll through the alleys of the village, you will meet the resident artists. Sculptors, potters and painters.
“The manager of the Gorges” as he liked to call himself. A teacher in Rougon in the 1900s, this man was one of the first explorers of the Gorges. Martel having heard of him, invited him to go and see to organize the famous 1905 expedition which crossed the whole of the Gorges. Later, he was appointed official delegate of the Touring Club de France and participated very actively in the tourism development of the Verdon. For example, we owe him the first arrangements such as that of point Sublime as we still know it today. He also worked a lot at the opening of the Blanc-Martel road which runs the 15 km of canyon that connects Point-Sublime to the Maline chalet.
The Touring Club de France was the main financier of tourism development in the Verdon in the years 1920-1930. A plaque affixed by the TCF at the end of the Baou footbridge down to the Samson corridor pays homage to Isidore Blanc. A man in multiple hats who died in a sidecar accident in 1933, on his birthday.
The redevelopment of Point-Sublime will be completed in 2021. Visitors will be able to discover in the reception area, a permanent exhibition on the manager of the Gorges. Isidore Blanc will remain the key and emblematic character of the village for a long time to come.