St. Mark's Chapel
This walk is an opportunity to explore buildings full of history including: the castle of Allemagne-en-Provence, St. Mark's chapel, around which, every spring, the villagers meet for a festive day. Along the way, you'll come across the tomb of a former baron ... The one of Allemagne-en-Provence, who died here during the French Wars of Religion.
Set in the middle of the Colostre valley, the castle of Germany looks great. It is one of the few Renaissance castles in the area. The highest square dungeon is the oldest part of the complex. It may date from the 12th or 13th century, when the fief of Germany belonged to the family of Castellane, one of the most powerful families of Haute Provence.
The name of Allemagne-en-Provence is surprising. Its origin remains obscure. Until the beginning of the last century, in a wish to privilege a Latin origin, this toponym was explained by the expression "area magna": The large areas. It is more likely that the village derives its name from the Germanic people of the Alamans, some of whom may have settled in the valley in a remote period. Then, the name of the village was modified after the war of 1945 by adding "in Provence".
The orchid Bouc stinks like a billy goat
Another small miracle of nature of the wooded and yet sunny path of the chapel of Saint-Marcla – the small flower of a blooming orchid: ophrys bouc The Orchis bouc (Himantoglossum hircinum) is characteristic by its smell ... that gave it its name.
The Battle of Germany
A tombstone recalls the memory of Nicholas of Castellane, Baron of Germany and the date of his death: 5 September 1586. It was on that day that an important battle of the religious wars which took place in the valley dominated by the chapel. Catholics and Protestants clashed in a fight in which -it is said- several hundred men were killed. While the Catholic troops were retreating, Nicolas de Castellane, leader of the Protestants, accidentally died.
The Chapel of Saint Mark
The parish church of Allemagne-en-Provence, is composed of several building parts, some relatively recent. In the course of its history, this building has undergone several rearrangements and enlargements. Its eastern part and the overhanging wall of the Romanesque tradition constitute an architectural complex that is particularly interesting, as aesthetic as it is rare, which must be protected and promoted.
Mark, evangelist, is celebrated on April 25 in the liturgical calendar. But throughout France, Saint-Marc is above all, revered for the protection of the crops and fruits, especially of the vine. This protection sometimes extends to transhumant herds. In Allemagne-en-Provence, an old tradition has made Saint-Marc the protector of all the agricultural activity and the patron saint of the village.
From the Place du 16 Juin 1944 (square), at the foot of the castle of Allemagne, follow the D952 towards Riez. Immediately after the bridge of the Tartavel valley, take the small path on the right, marked in yellow.
1- Go up by the footpath, under the oaks, amidst the thyme, boxwood and broom. Halfway up, pass at the foot of a column and continue in the woods until the chapel (equipped picnic area).
2- From the top, go back down through Allemagne-en-Provence by a wider path behind the chapel until the Route de Riez. The end of the trail follows the D952 for 500m (watch out for cars, walk to the right of the road!). Go past the old mill village, now converted into a hotel and restaurant. Reach the car park of the starting point.
We recommend bringing water, a hat and proper hiking shoes. Avoid high summer temperatures, leave early.
House of the Verdon Regional Nature Park
Domaine de Valx, 04360 Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
+33 (0)4 92 74 68 00
House of the Verdon Regional Nature Park
Allées Louis Gardiol, 04500 Riez
+33 (0)4 92 77 99 09
Access and parking
At 8.5km Southwest of Riez, through the D952.
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