The Region of Embrun

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At 4 km from Embrun and nearby the ski resorts of Les Orres and Crévoux, Baratier has retained its look of former days. The warmth and conviviality of its inhabitants offered to visitors illustrates the currency of Baratier "poor but proud and good heart."
Baratier sprawls from 780 to 2898 m (top of Pouzenc). The old village is located at 870 m, along the torrent Vachères. Quartiers have emerged over the past twenty years, at the west side of the village. Its inhabitants are called Baratons and Baratonnes.

A little bit of history

The era of feudalism is surely the page that founded our contemporary history. At that time, there were two fiefs: Baratier and Verdun. Administratively and judicially, Baratier depended of Embrun. It is the Bayle family of Baratier which gave its name to the village which she had in fief. Their coat of arms "silvered greyhound attached by mouths" is now belonging to the municipality.
Another noble family possessed the fief of Verdun. The site is a little bit outside the village which it dominates, the district is still called "Verdun ", of the house remains a square tower which seems to go back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, it is encompassed in the "modern constructions". The property is private and cannot be visited.
The primitive "Baratiers" rest in the village church, in the chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph. Referring to the ecclesiastical state, the parish of Baratier was and remains today under the patronage of Saint Chaffrey.
The discovery of a dagger blade on the slopes of Pouzenc confirms human occupation of the Baraton land at the end of the Bronze Age. This relic is exposed in the regional museum of GAP.
Very interesting recent excavations took place at Clapier des Monges in the district of la Mure. Students of Boston came to Baratier this summer to deepen this research. A strange device has been discovered, it could be an ancient system of floor heating made of refractory bricks.

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Nested in the heart of Parpaillon massif at 1600 m of altitude, Crévoux, one of the oldest ski resorts in the Hautes-Alpes, has retained the authenticity of a mountain village. This wealth is the living memory of the village, composed of four hamlets Champrond, Praveyral, Chalp and Crévoux.
This village resort benefits of an incomparable natural setting where traditions and know-how are still alive. In the bends of the alleys and paths we can feel that soul which animates the town and the meetings with the villagers do not miss interest. Crévoux has been able to preserve and enhance the natural and cultural patrimony.
At the heart of the massif Parpaillon, Crévoux is a village and mountain resort whose domain ranges from 1550 m to 2400 m of altitude.

The domain has a character with a human face. Its last lift takes you up to 2400 m and offers a descent through the larches.
As it is a family resort, the departure of the slopes remains convenient to learning for young and old. Crévoux offers all the other pleasures of gliding in alpine skiing and snowboarding with its fitted out domain: 5 ski lifts and 17 km of marked out slopes and of all difficulties from 1550 m to 2400 m.

We do not choose Crévoux as ski resort by chance. People come here for its human dimension and they come back to find other pleasures of gliding. Far away from queuing at the lifts, the resort will satisfy the families that come before all "to take a vacation." Far away from stress, the amateur of powder will find improvised routes between the larches and will take an unequalled pleasure to tumble down 800 m of difference in altitude. The beginner will find the departure of the station at his level to take his first steps on skis. Very soon he will reach the top of the domain to take a blue slope of 8 km long.

Activities and attractions to visit...

  • The church of the fifteenth century with a dome tower and a sundial, hamlets, and an incomparable natural setting ... and the ski resort of 1550 m to 2 400 m !
  • The route of the fairies, where contemporary art are exposed along a path, accessible to all, providing access to the cascade of Razis.
  • Walks on the many hiking trails for all levels.
  • Must-do: a visit to the rural museum "Time Regained". Housed in the vaults of an old barn, it takes us into the history of mountain life and invites us to explore the trades of yesteryear, immortalized by old tools ...

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Crots is a village that has a rich geological, natural and built patrimony. For geology it is impossible not to mention the famous torrent of Boscodon with its redoubtable floods manifesting by torrential lava flows. Genuine European reference this torrent draws from its small watershed, side of Bragousse or Infernet, one of the largest alluvial cones of Europe!

A brief history ...

Because of its location, Crots , formerly called "Les Crottes" (the "caves" in Provençal) was a popular place of transition. The original village was located along the forest in Saint-Jean, until the Middle Ages. It was not until the thirteenth century that Les Crottes appears and, over time, a patrimony is being built. At first there is the prestigious Abbey of Boscodon in the twelfth century, then the castle of Picomtal, thirteenth century and in the fourteenth century, a Romanesque church is dedicated to St. Laurent. Crots is one of the few cities which have two churches and two cemeteries. This is explained by the fact that in the past, Saint-Jean and Crottes were two independent administrative communities. It was not until 1970 they fused, giving birth to the present name of the village.

Nature and culture ...

Concerning nature, we can dwell in the forest Boscodon, a natural site with the site of the Fountain of the Bear and its gazebo of the Bragousse. This is one of the most beautiful pine forests of France. A total absence of pollution was observed in this forest, which enables it to constantly enrich and affirm that we breathe the purest air of France. There are more than 134 different plant species, of which some of them are protected. And do not forget the beautiful circus of Morgon ( 2326 m). As for the built patrimony, it has nothing to envy to the natural patrimony ... the Abbey of Boscodon is classified as historical monument, the Castle of Picomtal and the church of St. Laurent are listed in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments.

Life at Crots

Despite its proximity to Embrun (less than 5 km), Crots remains a rural municipality. It has a beautiful waterside position with the Lake of Serre- Ponçon. It is divided into 28 hamlets which are extended from Crots in four main axes. Its population is increasing. In the village are installed: a bakery, a grocery store, a restaurant- pizzeria, a bar, a garage, a workshop for processed meat and the service of the Post is always present. A 3-star hotel restaurant welcomes you near the highway leading to Embrun. The hamlet of Moulins installed a craft area where the building trades are well represented. A municipal camping, a private camping, shops are located at the side of the lake in the summer and a supervised beach allows guests to swim safely. In the hamlets, other campsites are also available. In the mountains, many facilities in the forest (forest roads, trails, picnic areas) allow to taste the calm and charm of tall trees (larch or pine). There are about fifteen farmers at Crots, who practice the breeding of cattle and sheep. Every summer, the herds are grazing in the pastures of Crots. The right to cut trees is granted to permanent residents and a draw takes place in early summer to award the lots.
The craftsmanship is represented by two potters, a sculptor and a creator of textile art. The majority of the population works in Embrun, but there are many multi–actives which work in winter in Les Orres and in summer on the lake.

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In addition to the charm of the old town, the "Nice of the Alps" offers a unique patrimony: the most important monument of the French Alps with the Notre- Dame- du- Réal (XII and XIII), the House of Chanonges, a roman monument of the XlIIth, the Brown Tower (XIII ), former archbishops dungeon ...

A rich city with an important history...

Former capital of the Alps Cautiennes, Embrun comes from Ebr : water and Dunum : elevation. Indeed, its strategic position above the cliffs of the Roc allows it to survey the course of the Durance. The history of the town of Embrun, long and tumultuous has influenced the architecture of the city which is full of clues and details, as a reminder of the past importance of the city.

Originally, the first Roman emperors gave it the status of allied city. Bishopric from the fourth century, it became a famous ecclesiastical metropolis in the Middle- Ages. Its archbishopric, extremely large and powerful, diffused its influence until the valley of the Ubaye and Barcelonnette, which keeps for a long time close connections with the city of Embrun. Spiritual metropolis, Embrun was also a town fortified by the famous military architect and Vauban strategist, who strengthened in the seventeenth century, its natural protective fortress town perched on a rock. The remains of the former military fortress that was Embrun, emerge in some places where the walls and niches that surrounded the city can still be seen.

It’s in the heart of the old city that the story of Embrun is told, between the maze of alleyways, ancient doors, pink marble fountains and details decorating numberous facades in the city. Just nearby, we find a mix of Gothic forms of the Cathedral of Notre Dame du Réal, the medieval austerity of the Brown Tower, changed into the House of the Ecrins National Park and the House of Chanonges, a beautiful Romanesque building with striking sculptures.

The city knows a new development thanks to the colossal construction of the dam site Serre Ponçon in the late 1950s and the creation of the lake. From the beginning of the project, Embrun and the surrounding municipalities are subject to revitalize their economy, initiating a switch towards tourism and the reception of new residents. Many things to contribute to the revival of a city which was literally emptied of its population after the two World Wars.

Life in Embrun nowadays

Embrun is the most populous city of the region of Embrun. With 6,700 inhabitants, it provides the majority of shops and services in the township. Also called "at little Nice of the Alps" for the quality of its climate with a time record on sunshine, Embrun offers the look of a friendly and colored town, known for its art of living and the charm of its old center.

The municipality of Embrun has worked hard to build this image by focusing its effort on several priorities: first of all housing for all. Many projects of social housing should soon been finished. Even if one this moment, the results are not so clear, with a population that stagnated from 1999 to 2005, the population growth will be confirmed in the coming years, thanks to a stronger rental market.

Embrun seeks to establish its social policy to provide quality health services at proximity. The CCAS plays a strong role of listening and of information towards the population. There is also a care unit for Alzheimer, for long stays, and a hospital strongly sustained by the municipality and which develops telehealth.

Among the major achievements of recent years we find the engagement of a strong policy in favor of renewable energies, with the Delaroche space which hosts the first network of wood-heating of the city. The municipality has decided to engage in a approach to promote the sector “energy wood”. In parallel to the creation of an activity zone (Pra Long) dedicated to the craftsmen, a wood boiler will soon be installed by the municipality at the retirement home for the elderly.

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Les Orres

Les Orres is both a family as a sport resort, between 1650 and 2720m of altitude, with the label "Kid" and "Mountain kids ". It offers 10,300 tourist beds, 24 lifts (including 2 lifts which also operate in summer and a sledge run for "all seasons"), and 64km of ski slopes and 40km of slopes for cross - country skiing. It is also a village with a church of the sixteenth century, a Patrimony Museum, the Church of Notre Dame de la Présentation in Mélezet with its original sundial ... Do not miss the last Saturday of June: the feast of the ' Amontagnage .

Les Orres, its history ...

The Valley of Les Orres previously represented considerable reserves of wheat to the town of Embrun. This explains in particular why the town could be the country residence of the bishops of Embrun and Gap.
The creation of Les Orres was in November 1970. The opening day of the first ski lift was difficult. Indeed, there was a heavy snowfall and the road was difficult. Nevertheless, at -15 ° C, the ceremony was respected; a bottle of champagne was broken on the supports of the lift.
The ski resort of Les Orres is born and everyone thinks that this bad weather could be the forerunner of a bright future ...
Some key dates since 1970

  • Christmas 1970: Chairlift “Gué” (Prébois)- Chairlift “Bois long” - Slope lift “Perescuelle 1”
  • 1971: Chairlift “Fountaines” – Slope lift “Green Peak” – Reception of new residences : Mazelière - Silhourais - Epervière
  • 1972: Slope lift “Prévieux” – Slope lift “Portette” – Making of the first 2 tennis courts - Reception residences: Sunny Snow - Horizon - The Residence Hotel (now Escale Blanche)
  • 10th of July 1973 : Etape du Tour de France Meribel - Les Orres
  •   Reception residences: Cembros - Carlines – The shopping arcade Les Soldanelles
  • 1974: Chairlift “Prélongis” – Slope lift “Boussolenc” – Slope lift “Galopins 1” - Reception residences: Orrianes des Neiges – Les Mélèzes - Lou Miarze - Hotel Les Arolles
  • 1975: Development of the pool - Reception residences: Boussolenc - Le Cabri - Les Ecrins - Perce -Neige - Pérescuelle
  • 1976 : Reception residences: Orrianes des blés – La Seille – L’Eterlou
  • 1977 : Chairlift “Pousterle” - slope lift  “Marmot” - Creation of the snowpark for children - Reception residences: Belvedere et Tavaillons
  • 1978 Slope lift “Riou Sec” - Reception residences: Orrianes des Sources - Oustal – Pic Vert - Hotel Korn arc’ Hoat (currently Les Trappeurs ) – La Bulle
  • 1979 : Slope lift “Bambi” in  the kid’s snowpark - Reception residences: Chalet des Orres - Flocons - Gradins – Roche Blanche - Hotel Boussolenc (currently l’Ancolie ) – International ratification “man of the slope downhill from the Pousterle”
  • 1980 : Reception residences: Orrianes des Forêts - Pouzenc
  • 1981 : Development of Champ Lacas – Start-up of the first artificial snow installation over 3 ha - Reception residences: Chamoisière – Méale. 1982: Chairlift “Grand Clos” – Slope lift “Perescuelle 2” – Slope lift “Bergerie” - Reception residences: Aupillon - Cairn
  • 1st  of  December 1983 : Reception residences Balcon des Orres – Orrianes des Cimes
  • 1984 : Commissioning of  the rope lift in the kid’s snowpark
  • 6th July, 1986 : the first edition of the international motor racing hill climb Embrun - Les Orres - Saint Sauveur
  • 1987 : Chairlift “Champ Lacas” – Slope lift “Galopins 2”
  • 1988 : Reception of: Hotel Vitahotel (now Hotel les Ecrins )
  • 17th of July 1989 : Start of the Tour de France female cycling
  • Christmas 1990: Inauguration of an automatic snowmaking system on 20 ha
  • 13th of July, 1996 : Inauguration of the summer sledging
  • 20th of July 1999 : opening of the rural museum in the village
  • December 1999 : First detachable 6-seats chairlift “Prélongis”
  • 2002 : Second detachable 6-seats chairlift “Pousterle”
  • July 2004: Creation of the Bike Park
  • December 2006 : Opening of the first tourist residence "Le Bois Mean " Les Orres 1800
  • December 2007: Third detachable 6-seats chairlift “Fontaines”, opening of the residences in Les Orres 1800: "Les Mélèzes d’Or", " Les Monts du Bois d’or", "Les Parcs des Airelles"
  • July 2008: Official opening of the ice rink, the tearoom and the Meeting and Culture Space
  • 1st of November, 2008 : Inauguration of the pedestrian promenade and the central square of Bois Mean Jean Rippert
  • December 2008: Opening of the kindergarten La Farandole and the kid’s snowpark of Bois méan Les Orres 1800 as well as the residences : " La Combe d'Or ", " Le Balcon des Airelles ", " Les Terrasses du soleil d’Or "
  • 28th of November 2009 : Opening of the House of weather
  • 12th of December 2009 : Opening of the new Sledge run " L’Orrian Express "

Les Orres and the region of Serre- Ponçon, treasures to discover!

  • In les Orres: the Church of Sainte Marie Madeleine (XVI century )in the village with its Lombard bell tower and its museum where ancient trades are exposed
  • In the hamlet of Mélézet :the church of Notre Dame de la Presentation , built in the nineteenth century on the site of an ancient chapel built in 1546. It has on its south side a sundial of 1853, signed by the famous Italian sundial maker Zarbula

Guided Tours to discover Les Orres village, the church and the museum are held 1or 2 times per week during school holidays.

Les Orres offer you a wide range of activities from 1550m other than hiking or mountain biking. The lifts take you up to 2,530 m of altitude to enjoy an exceptional view of the valley of Serre -Ponçon.

From sport to play, the mountains and nature open their doors, something for everyone : swimming, tennis, archery, mountain biking, horse riding, climbing, via ferrata, jungle adventure, paragliding, ice skating , quads, massages, and the great summer novelty: panoramic SLEDGE named "the Orrian Express" ...

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