SAINT REMY DE PROVENCE - Between valley and plateau
« The forest is a heritage, mixed with history and architecture. It is also useful, playing the role of lungs, where villagers cross each other at the corner of a path, the difference can no longer be told amidst the boundary between construction and nature. True playground for naturalists as for residents, it is above all, a familiar forest, to which each generation of the residents of the Alpilles has gotten attached to deeply. » Jonathan Baudel, Assignment Manager responsible for the sustainable management of the forest at the Alpilles RNP.
These two monuments called "Les Antiques", marked the entrance to the town of Glanum: Mausoleum of the Jules and the Arc de Triomphe. The funerary Mausoleum dates from the years 30-20 BC.. It owes its fame to its unique structure in Roman architecture: Around 20 A.C, the arch lost the pediment which surmounted the vault. It is decorated with beautiful reliefs illustrating the conquest of Gaul by Caesar and fruits and foliage, symbols of abundance, carved under the vault.
The Saint-Paul cloister
The Saint Paul cloister is a former monastery of the 11th-12th century. This building, built in true Roman style has lost its original purpose to be transformed into a cultural and tourist centre with Van Gogh as the main attraction and who was a patient here. Indeed, the Dutch artist stayed here between May 1889 and May 1890. You will find between these walls a museum about his stay, but also a reproduction of some 20 paintings of his. To be seen alone or with family!
The site of Glanum
The archaeological site of Glanum is one of the "must see" sites of the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, the result of over a century of excavations. This site, dating back to the 6th century BC, is a Celtic site which suffered from the Greek and Roman influences over the past centuries. After becoming a trading and religious centre in the Alpilles, it was destroyed in the 3rd century AD during the barbarian invasions. The survivors abandoned the area to build the foundations of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and to settle there.
Protecting the biodiversity
A Prefectural Decree for biotope protection is a defined geographical area that preserves the ideal conditions for the development of certain plant and animal species. These biotopes are natural areas which are environments with a very fragile balance. On the Plateau de la Caume, this decree primarily concerns the Bonelli's eagle. Other protection areas, such as Nature Reserves exist to protect this rich biodiversity.
Mont Gaussier is one of the peaks of the Alpilles with an archaeological interest. This limestone mount rising to 306m above sea level, was indeed a living environment. The oldest traces date back to protohistory (period between prehistory and history). This occupation lasted until the Middle Ages. In fact, archaeological researches have found indications leading to what may have been foundations for walls or dwellings.
A trail to discover the flora
You will have the opportunity on the first part of the trail to come across small milestones. Each one has a small drawing of a branch, the shape of its leaves, and its name in French and Latin. They mark out a nature trail set up by the Association of hikers La Draille, along with the tourist office of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It allows visitors of all ages to recognize the surrounding flora.
Plateau de la Caume
Plateau de la Caume is "must see" site of the Alpilles. WIth a peak at 378m above sea level, this limestone feature is a crossing point of the GR6, the perfect route to discover the ridges of the Alpilles. This area hosts a rich ornithological biodiversity with the Bonelli's eagle, the Egyptian vulture, but also the Western jackdaw. Combined with human activity (passing of hikers, telecommunication towers), the site illustrates the Alpilles, which combines nature and civilization.
The Valrugues valley
This is the perfect place to observe raptors and other birds (Bonelli's eagle, Egyptian vulture, Alpine swift), which have made it hunting ground. You can also see the Rocher des Deux Trous, to the west of the valley. This geomorphological phenomenon is the result of wind erosion, which dug into the limestone as to form two holes, hence the name. To the east, you will notice the steepness of the cliffs, true natural walls.
At the Antiques car park, go along the D5 towards Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and turn right to reach the Saint-PaulCloister at the end of the path surrounded by trees.
1 – Opposite of the Cloister, follow the road on the right to bypass it and take the path on the right at the RIS panel (Relais Information Service) of the Alpilles Regional Park. Therefore, follow the RP marked trail (yellow), which runs through the valley and forest.
2 At the crossroads with the small paved road, turn left and follow it. Continue on the road at the next junction before the next crossroads.
3 – Continue straight on the road that rises towards the plateau of Caume. At the telecommunication tower, go left towards the GR6 for about 400m.
4 – The return begins from this point, by the same route.
The Cloisterof Saint Paul and the Glanum site are paid sites.
Come rather early in the morning (7.00 / 7am) or late afternoon (18.00 / 6pm) to enjoy the tranquillity of the area and to see and hear the birds sing.
Bring a pair of binoculars.
Bivouacs and dogs (even on leash) are prohibited in the prefectural decree of the biotope protection.
House of the Alpilles Regional Nature Park
2, boulevard Marceau, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
+33 (0)4 90 90 44 00
Located in the heart of the city centre of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, the House of the Alpilles Nature Park welcomes you to its completely renovated premises. This new vibrant place is multifunctional: it accommodates the Park's engineering team but also has a public reception space and showrooms. A true resource centre of the Park's heritage, it aims to support and promote locals, visitors and tourists on all 16 municipalities of the Park.
Open Monday to Friday, from 9 am at 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 5 pm.
Search for the public transport timetables on the website www.lepilote.com in the municipality of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
Access and parking
From Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, take the D5 towards Maussane-les-Alpilles. The starting point is on the right, 800m before entrance of the Glanum site.
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