Sprucing up the Chemin de la Charreirasse

20 Jul 2024 au 9 Aug 2024

Place : Volonne (Alpes de Haute Provence)

Participant: Adults

Workcamp description:

Sheltered by its rocky outcrop, the medieval village of Volonne offers a maze of alleyways which, little by little and thanks to construction work, are being restored to their original state, "la calade", the Oc language term for both a stone-paved roadway and the stone-paving technique, which consists of planting stones vertically and tightly together on a bed of sand and lime to create a traditional, environmentally-friendly pavement. You'll learn the "art of calade" and discover the many surrounding villages, the green gorges of the Verdon, the tumultuous Durance and all the geological curiosities of the region.

Workcamp programme:

  • Layout
  • Laying the bed
  • Laying 48 m2 of stone calade
  • Filling the joints

Building technique : Stone cobble on a dry lime mortar bed

Special bonus :  At the foot of the Alps, between Luberon and Verdon, if you need water and greenery, this site is for you.

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 tents at the local football (soccer) stadium, with access to sanitary facilities and changing rooms. The stadium is a 15 minute drive from the workcamp. You can bring your own tent, cot or mattress.

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.

Conditions of participation

Participation fee: €170

Registration fees: see the website www.rempart.com