•Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04530) • Population: 48 • Altitude: 1500 m
The commune of Meyronnes includes the village of Meyronnes [photo-1] on the edge of the Ubayette river, and the village of Saint Ours perched on the mountain side directly above [photo-2, left]. Between the two, there's a population of 38, making each village rather on the small side.
The Upper Ubaye river flows south from Saint Paul-sur-Ubaye to Jausiers. About half way down, the Ubayette Torrent flows in along a deep mountain valley to the east, where the Meyronnes and Saint Ours villages are located. The mountains and valleys here are magnificent, with small streams flowing down the mountain sides and thick forests.
Saint Ours has a few little farms, and is a good place for visitors to start hikes. The short loop we took starts out on a path to a little chapel, with stations of the cross along the way.
A bit above Saint Ours is the Fort du Saint Ours, an impressive military pillbox type installation sunk in the rocks. The modern design has borrowed from the middle ages, with a small moat and an entrance with a steel draw bridge [photo-4].
In May of 1995, 20 bouquetin were released here to help repopulate what was a diminishing breed. This region also has an ancient history of the Transhumance, with flocks passing up and down this valley between "France" and the Pidemont (Italy) for centuries. While we were far above Saint Ours, we saw two large transhumance trucks unloading, with the sheep dogs gathering the flocks together for the start of their summer pasturing [photo-5].
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History of Meyronnes
First record, First mentioned in 1200.
The word "ours" is French for bear, and the 1773 church in the village, we're told, is the "personification of the mythical bear of Chandeleur".
• GPS: 44.474856, 6.800578
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #1 "Alpes de Provence"
Department 04, Alpes-de-Haute Provence Buses
- See Beyond's Alpes-de-Haute Provence (04) Bus Schedules for downloading Alpes-de-Haute Provence bus-lines map and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).