Natural and cultural treasures
A transition zone between the Alps and Provence, Pays Dignois is blessed with a wide range of landscapes and exceptional weather
From natural heritage...
- The area’s fantastic landscapes, flora, and fauna reflect the conscious effort to maintain a well preserved natural setting.
Gateway to the Alps, Pays Dignois contains several mid-altitude summits that offer the feel of their more lofty alpine cousins through a generous snowpack and considerable vertical gain.
This specificity did not escape explorer Alexandra David-Neel who chose, after years of traveling around the world, to settle down in Digne. Fascinated by the Orient, her frequent trips allowed her to expand her knowledge of Asian rituals and customs, and to immerse herself in Buddhist philosophy.
These natural and geological treasures are now hallowed ground through a series of environmental protection systems:
- The Haute-Provence Geological Reserve is in charge of regulating and protecting the area’s geological heritage (18 designated sites and a protection zone around each site).
...To cultural heritage
From this fabulous natural heritage flows an amazing cultural legacy. Humankind’s hands have shaped these landscapes, bearing witness of human activity that dates back to antiquity: architectural heritage, agricultural heritage (orchards, pastures, replanted forests, etc.), oral traditions, etc. Locals learned to use natural resources for construction (gypsum and lime). Several relics maintain a strong connection to the past. The area also counts several religious and communal heritage sites: chapels, oratories, wash basins, etc. Our ancestors’ way of life has also been handed down by word of mouth through cultural events and festivals.
This culture, inherited from the past, constitutes the foundation for an art considered to be “contemporary”. The Gassendi Museum and the Haute-Provence Geological Reserve fall into this category.