Moustiers Saint-Marie, gorges du Verdon

The village Heritage

guided tour of Moustiers

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Parish church

Listed as an historic monument in 1913, the church proudly carries its old Lombard bell tower, with its very unusual structure, one of the most beautiful in Provence. The square tower in tuff stands twenty-two metres high, divided in four floors with dual openings. Dating from the XIIth century, it is one of the rare moving bell towers listed in Europe. The Romanesque nave of the same era is divided in five spans with corbelled vaults. The pilasters flare out at the top, which is a rather current phenomenon in Romanesque churches. The walls with external spurs counteract this movement. Three later chapels with semicircular vaults open onto this nave.

Pierre de Pratis, commendatory prior, ordered the church to be enlarged in 1336 ; the axis of the nave was not respected and it is not known if the prior wanted to incline the choir in the direction of Jerusalem or to remind of the position of the head of Christ on the cross. The current altar is a IVth century sarcophagus in white marble that depicts the Red Sea crossing.

The Chapel Notre-Dame de Beauvoir

After climbing the 262 steps of a stone stairway on the flank of the hill, you reach the chapel that overlooks the village. The seven oratories which in the past marked the path were replaced in 1860 by the fourteen Stations of the Cross, much later decorated with ceramics made by Simone Garnier.

The small chapel was built in the late XIIth century on the vestiges of a Marial temple erected in the Vth century, and knew Romanesque and Gothic influences until the XVIth century. Like other Alpine chapels, the vocation of the sanctuary of Notre Dame de Beauvoir is the "suscitation". In the XVIIth century, stillborn babies came back to life for the duration of their baptism. Their souls could then go to Paradise. The Chapel Notre-Dame de Beauvoir was listed as a historic monument in 1921.

Sainte-Anne chapel

Built in the XVIth century with stones from the towers and walls that protected the area of the Paillerols, it will later adjoin the village cemetery.

The aqueduct

Straddling the Adou to distribute water from the spring to the mills located lower, this vestige now only has the role of a witness to past times.

The walls

The cliffs that dominate the village formed a natural line of defence, but Moustiers also protected itself behind walls like many other medieval villages.

The fountains

Like in any other typical Provencal village, the narrow streets of Moustiers are fitted with drinking water fountains accessible to all. The small squares have magnificent wash-houses where the washerwomen used to go in the past.

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Office de Tourisme - Moustiers Sainte-Marie
Tél. : 04 92 74 67 84