The Serre de l'Aigle
This hike on the outskirts of the medieval village of Rosans is a good way to discover how landscapes and place names have evolved over time. The height gained in the first part of the route makes it possible to better appreciate the position and the history of the village in this open valley.
Water in the valley of Estang?
Around the Estang valley, there are many names of places that are linked to water. "L'estang" (étang means pond in French) lets you guess the presence of a pond that probably used to be landscaped, but that has long since dried up. The "font du Roure" reminds us that, in Provençal, "font" means "source" and not fountain. And "roure" means “oak”. The "Grand Raille" is the river at the bottom of the valley, while the "Esserennes" designates a remote place (from the village) where there would be water.
The "Pagus Rossanensis", the land of Rosans
Colonized by the Romans in 118 BC., Provence was divided into cities. For the Baronnies, Vaison and Luc-en-Diois were the two capitals of the Voconces city which dominated the region. Within these, there were divisions called "pagus" (lands). This latin term lasted for a long time and, in 988, a donation charter to the abbey of Cluny of Saint-André de Rosans, evoked the "Pagus Rosanensis". Some names of places were already mentioned, such as Rosans, Chapaïsses, Sironne or Roussieux.
A sheep pasture of proximity
On this side of the Serre de l'Aigle exposed to the adret, the forest is held back by an ovine pasture allowing to keep open environments. The fence along the trail testifies that the herds of sheep that graze in this moor are not here in summer, but that the breeder probably leads them all year round, as long as there is grass: The challenge is that the animals feed well but that the grass resource also persists.
Toponymy of the surroundings of Rosans
Mentioned since 988, Rosans and its church of Saint-Arey certainly look different today, but their antiquity is real. To the west of the village is the Oche district, which is a Gallic name for a cleared area on the outskirts of the village. A "large meadow" and an "orchard", to the west and east show what type of agricultural valuation existed in the Middle Ages. To the east of the village, the clayey hillock of Saint Esteve seems to indicate Saint-Etienne, a long-forgotten church.
The square tower of Rosans
The square tower, located in the center of the medieval village of Rosans, dates from the 12th century. The walls are made of diamond-cut stone blocks, four meters thick, and each face looks at one of the four cardinal points, so that when three of its sides are in the shade, it marks the hour of noon. This tower, wrongly called "Tour Sarrasine" is not an example of the Moorish architecture in the South of France. The building is listed as a historical monument since 1932.
Rosans, a fortified village
It is estimated that the village of Rosans was founded in the 8th century after the passage of the Lombards and the Sarasins. From the top of its small hill, the village has a good monitoring capacity and a defensive advantage. A rampart that we still use to reach the heart of Rosans, surrounded the village. In the 14th century, the village was invaded by the Provençaux but resisted thanks to its garrison and its ramparts.
From the village square, climb the small road on the right of the church towards the Lastic. At the hangars of the hamlet, leave the road and climb to the left the drivable trail. Continue this trail for 2km up to Estang.
1- Leave the trail that leads to the place and continue climbing. Enter a pine plantation 500m further. Shortly after the beginning of the wood, do not miss an old path that goes right.
2- Turn right and go down the path, on the side of the valley of Estang. Cross the creek (flooded area!) and go up to a trail. Take the ascending false-flat, on the right. After the ridge, locate in the next pin the path that goes to the right.
3- Turn right onto the ridge trail of the Serre de l'Aigle. Further down, cross the straddle and continue down the east side of the hillock. Follow the fence on the right to reach the other side of the hillock where you must cross. Arrive at a thematic terminal "Toponymy trail of Rosanais". Turn right and follow a fence for 700m. Descend the trail and cross a rocky slab (be careful not to slip!).
4- Find a trail and take a right. At the trail crossroad, turn right, pass 2 curves and join the road (D25). Continue straight ahead past the playground and reach the center of Rosans.
After point 2: a ford.
Under point 3: respect the fences erected along the trail and pay attention to the slab.
Upstream of point 4: caution on the slab especially in wet weather or after a storm.
Access and parking
14km west of Rémuzat on the D94 or 23km east of Serres, on the D994.
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