•Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04330) • Population: 121 • Altitude: 780 m
Senez is a very tiny little village, off to the side of the road between Castellane and Barrème, and you're likely to miss it if you're not paying attention. A small turn-off from the Route Napoleon, only 5 km south of Barrème, takes you over a lovely 17th-century stone hump-back bridge [photo-2] and down a short road to the village.
The center-piece of the village is the Romanesque Notre-Dame-de-l'assomption cathedral from the beginning of the 13th century. Our main photo (left) shows the side of the cathedral, looking across the vegetable gardens. photo-5 shows the front with its gothic doorway, from across the shady square.
Shady squares is what this little village is all about, and games of petanque, strolling on country lanes, hiking through gentle hills and relaxation. This obviously isn't a major tourist destination, but if your in the area, take a few minutes to stop here - - you'll leave happier than when you arrive.
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History of Senez
Senez was a very ancient town, founded by the Gaulois. In Roman times, it was the chief town of the district, and numerous signs of Roman occupation have been found.
Medieval: Senez was declared a bishopric in the 5th century, and was perpetually one of the poorest bishoprics in France. The bishop resisted attempts to attach Senez to Castellane or Vence, maintaining his independence until the Revolution. There was once a Templiers establishment at Senez,.
Stage 17 of the 2015 cycling Tour de France passed through Senez.
• GPS: 43.915207, 6.404343
IGN (1/25,000) #3441 OT "Barreme, Vallee de l'Asse, Verdon"
IGN (1/25,000) #3542 OT "Castellane, Lac de Castillon"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #19 "Haute Provence Verdon"
Northeast of the village is a short loop hike, going aloing a small road, then branching right through the little hamlet of Le Riou-d'Ourgeas and coming back alongside the river.
A longer loop hike goes out the little road and continues west about 6 km to a junction with a hiking/riding trail at Barre de la Melle; turn right (northeast) to the Sommet de Tourrap (1240 m); at the junction of the forestry roads, follow the northeast road that loops back past Le Riou-d'Ourgeas and along the river to Senez.
To the south a trail goes past the Colle de Blieux (1313 m), then joins trails to the east, towards the Lac de Castillon.
To the north, after crossing the arched stone bridge, a trail goes up the little road on the other side of the N85, and across the hills towards St-André-les-Alpes.
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).