Rousset and Region of Serre Ponçon

This post is available in: en English fr Français (French)

The Region of Serre-Ponçon

Nine villages and nearly 2200 inhabitants (2167 inhabitants) in 2009.
Starting from the Lac of Serre- Ponçon, first you discover: the community of Rousset, at the side of the Durance, which at the same time dominates and defines.
Then, continuing downstream, the village of Espinasses with its dam supplying the channel of the Durance thanks to its compensation basin, then continuing by Remollon, Rochebrune and the Plain of Théüs with its village on the hills; little by little the mountains give room to dry or forested hills, and the valley of the Durance with its canal, like a long blue ribbon, contrasting in spring to the white or pink orchards and the green gardens and vineyards.
After the wealth and fame of the area now irrigated without problem, you finally end up in Bréziers and Bellaffaire, straddling the Durance and its channel by the bridge of Rochebrune, towards Turriers, and finally, still at the same side of the Durance by passing Rochebrune, but this time in the direction of Tallard, Piégut  or Venterol at the bottom of the mountain of Monsérieux (1596 m) and its national forest.

The region of Serre -Ponçon is:

  • Two departments: the Hautes- Alpes and Alpes de Haute- Provence,
  • A Community of Communes, the Community of Communes of the Region of Serre- Ponçon
  • But first of all it is 9 villages, with its inhabitants, its close and unspoiled nature, its sun and its incomparable quality of life ...

(source :


The commune of Rousset has the particularity to be composed of three different levels:

  • The village at 1000 meters of altitude
  • The Belvedere , at 850 meters, overlooking the lake of Serre -Ponçon.
  • Les Celliers, 680 meters, a hamlet which today involves three quarters of the population.

The village

With about twenty houses, the quality of life is, for the moment, respected and maintained, up there on the plateau. Their activity is mainly agricultural with two families who practice mixed farming and maintain the quality of the natural environment. The main street of the village has retained its authenticity with its porches and vaults; the restored common oven becomes a privileged place in the summer season for cooking pizzas and other grills.

The castle of Rousset

Although today turned into a farm, the castle of Rousset recalls the historical wealth of this village. The ancient family of Rousset, who lived in the 12th century in the castle, had kinship with the counts of Provence and Forcalquier and wore the same weapons as those of the princes, the Cross of Toulouse.

Before evoking the gazebo, it is impossible not to mention L'Ile de Rousset, corresponding to one fifth of the territory of the municipality and which was devoured by the impoundment of the reservoir of Serre- Ponçon. This hamlet represented a true "commercial crossroad" between the Ubaye and the Durance valley. Its disappearance is an opportunity for a day of remembrance, every year, during which the expropriated families gather to talk about the past.

The Belvedere (Gazebo)

This peak, located on the right bank of the former Durance dominates the imposing dam. A mineral trade and a camping offer souvenirs and quality reception to tourists. The Muséoscope which opened recently completes the facilities already in place.
The old road runs into the lake at Bois Vieux, which allows boats to be accosted and to be launched.

Les Celliers de Rousset

Finally, the Celliers de Rousset, close to the commercial district of the hotel of Espinasses, unite the municipal services. There are many beekeepers. During the occupation, Victor Brauner , a Romanian Jewish painter belonging to the surrealist movement , fled to the Celliers de Rousset  to pass these dark years. His works are exhibited at Beaubourg.

We also note the presence of the Tourist Office of the Region of Serre -Ponçon, public park, tennis, area for playing boules.

(source :