The Route Napoléon passes in Castellane

Nestled in the heart of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Castellane is a picturesque town dominated by majestic rock. Known for its spectacular gorges and rich historical heritage, the town is also a point of passage for a mythical road: the Route Napoléon.

Covering 325 kilometers between Golfe-Juan and Grenoble, this imperial route retraces the steps of Napoleon Bonaparte on his return from Elba in 1815. Passing through grandiose landscapes and charming villages, the Route Napoléon offers a unique experience for lovers of history and nature.

Castellane, gateway to the Route Napoléon

Your journey along the Route Napoléon passes through Castellane, a medieval town with the “Village et Cité de caractère” label. Admire its historic center with its steep streets, dominated by the Roc and the Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Roc. Don’t miss a visit to the Museum of History and Archaeology, which traces the history of the region from prehistory to the present day.

In the footsteps of the Emperor

Leaving Castellane, the Route Napoléon climbs to the Col des Lecques. Enjoy the view of the valley from the terrace of the Sirènes bistro. You can also visit the Sirènes site.

Continue on to Digne-les-Bains, a spa town renowned for its healing waters. Visit the 12th-century Romanesque Notre-Dame-du-Bourg cathedral and stroll through the lively streets of the town center.

Between charming villages and sublime landscapes

The Route Napoléon then passes through charming Provencal villages such as Barrême and Malijai, where you can discover local crafts and taste local produce.

Don’t miss the fortified town of Sisteron, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Durance River. Visit its medieval citadel, listed as a historic monument, and enjoy a breathtaking view over the valley.

The Route Napoléon, an itinerary for everyone

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover or simply looking for an unforgettable road trip, the Route Napoléon has something for everyone. With its spectacular landscapes, picturesque villages and historic sites, this itinerary promises a journey rich in discovery and emotion.

Practical tips

-The Route Napoléon is accessible all year round, but the ideal time to visit is between April and October.

-The route is well signposted and can be taken by car, motorcycle or bicycle.

-Numerous stopping points and accommodation are available along the way.

-Don’t forget to bring a road map and a tourist guide to make the most of your trip.

The Route Napoléon around Castellane is an invitation to an extraordinary journey through time and landscapes. Following in the Emperor’s footsteps, you’ll discover an exceptional heritage and breathtaking panoramas. Don’t wait any longer for your adventure!

Napoleon’s program at Castellane

March 3rd, 1815

Napoleon arrived in Castellane from Digne-les-Bains at around 3pm. Welcomed by the local authorities and a jubilant population, he descended to the former prefecture of Castellane, currently under restoration, where he took up quarters for the night.

March 4th 1815

In the morning, Napoleon reviews the troops accompanying him on his return to Paris. He then met the mayors of the surrounding communes and addressed them in a speech expressing his confidence in victory and his attachment to France.

In the early afternoon, Napoleon left Castellane and continued on to Sisteron.

What we don’t know about Napoleon’s program

There are no detailed historical sources to trace Napoleon’s precise program in Castellane.

We do know that he met the local authorities and population, reviewed his troops and gave a speech. It’s also likely that he visited some of the town’s remarkable sites, such as the Roc and the Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Roc.

La Route Napoléon – The impact of Napoleon’s visit to Castellane

Napoleon’s visit to Castellane was a landmark event for the town. The Emperor left a lasting impression.

Napoleon’s return in 1815 also had a major impact on French history. After leaving Castellane, the Emperor marched on to Grenoble, where he was joined by new troops. He then marched on Paris, where he was acclaimed by the population. However, his reign lasted only a few months. He was defeated by the Allies at the Battle of Waterloo and forced into exile.

To find out more

To find out more about Napoleon’s time in Castellane, you can consult the town’s municipal archives or the Museum of History and Archaeology.

You can also read historical works on the First Empire, such as “Napoléon” by Jean Tulard or “Le retour de Napoléon” by Bernard Marchand.

Napoleon’s passage through Castellane was a brief but important episode in the history of the town and of France. This event continues to fascinate visitors and historians alike, and is an integral part of Castellane’s history.