Place : Volonne (Alpes de Haute Provence)
Sheltered by its rocky outcrop, the village of Volonne offers a maze of medieval alleys that are gradually recovering their original pavement, the calade, whose construction technique consists of covering the ground with small stones planted very tightly on a bed of sand. You will learn the "art of the cobbled path" and discover the numerous surrounding villages, the green gorges of the Verdon, the tumultuous Durance and all the geological curiosities of the region.
Building technique : Laying river cobble sets in lime mortar
Event during the workcamp: Large medieval festival in the heart of the village. A full weekend to discover life in the Middle Ages.
Accommodation: In dormitories in the municipal pre-school, with access to toilets/showers and changing rooms. The school is just 10 minutes’ walk away from the workcamp. You can bring your own mattress or camp bed.
Workcamp life:You will take care of daily life tasks (preparation of meals, cleaning) in turn.
Building work in the mornings, Mon-Fri. Free time in afternoons and weekends, with a choice of group excursions and activities.
Some ideas for excursions: The world-famous ammonite slab, a magnet for Geologists and sight-seers, the Roman monastery Ganagobie, the Priory, museum and garden of Salagon, the Citadel at Sisteron, the towering Pénitents des Mées rock formations, hiking in the foot slopes of the Alps and the Luberon, swimming in the Verdon Gorges and nearby lakes.
A bit of history:
The name, Volonne, is thought to come from the Celtic word “Vel Aon”, which means “to the water”. This fits well as the town sits at the confluence of the mighty Durance and the smaller, La Grave river. Volonne’s main feature is its two 13th and 16th century towers that cast their gaze down over the village nestled below at the foot of a sun-drenched rocky outcrop, earning it the name of “Petit Nice” of the Alps.
The municipal council has especially committed to safeguarding its heritage and has been enhancing the old village with help from Union APARE-CME volunteers, since 2016.
The name, Chareirasse, may come from the Occitan word, “carrièra”, meaning road. It then became “charrèira” to refer to a rural lane for horse-drawn carts.