It doesn’t matter which path you take to come to Castellane the first time. We will always remember the appearance of the Roc in the landscape. For my part, I came from Digne-les-bain. Once the bus arrived at the top, in Col des Lèques, I saw below this enormous block of limestone. Le Roc; surmounted by its small chapel, rising above the village of Castellane. This memory comes back to me every time I take this road more than twenty years later …
The Roc de Castellane
It peaks at 930 meters, this limestone formation rises more than two hundred meters above the village. The ideal place to shelter from the floods of the Verdon and invaders. Indeed, during the Middle Ages, the habitat moved to the top of the Roc to protect itself from Moorish invasions before descending a little on a small plateau with easier access. Some traces of this site called Sinaca are still visible during the ascent.
The site has been classified since 1933 and climbing is prohibited there mainly to avoid rockfall on the village. When the summers are not too dry, we fire the fireworks of July 14 from the Roc.
Go up to the Notre Dame chapel
The Notre Dame du Roc chapel dominates this complex. This building dates from the 12th century. Only the south-eastern facade remains from this period, the rest of the building was restored in the 18th and 19th centuries. The chapel remains permanently open, the walls are covered with votive offerings; These plaques affixed by believers who have seen their requests come true.
It is not possible to go by car to the Roc because no road leads there. However, there is also no need to go by helicopter, a 30-minute path will take you there. Go to the Place de l’Eglise then go around the Church of the Sacred Heart and you will come across the famous Way of the Cross. Ideal to complete a half day of Rafting!