Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04530) Population: 198 Altitude: 1470 m
The official name of this little mountain village is simply "Saint Paul". The village, located high in the Upper Ubaye valley 14 km north of Jausiers, sits on a mountain ledge overlooking the Ubaye river, surrounded by pastures and mountains [photo-1].
The old buildings are largely made of stone, and the houses have corrigated metal roofs and ancient wood-and-wrought-iron balconies. There's a stone fountain in the center engraved "1714" [photo-2]. Commerce in the village is brief but fairly complete, with post office, Mairie, alimentaion, Gites, bar-tabac (with post cards and souvenirs).
Massive stone walls surround the chuch perimeter, enclosing the cemetery. The church has a tall stone steeple, with eroded gargoyles at each corner and a unique small asymetrical clock on each side.
We also discovered two sundials (cadrans solaires) in the village: one very worn down, and this 19th-century one [photo-3]
There's a Museum of "outils et Traditions", open July-Aug, 15h-19h. We didn't want to wait around for the afternoon opening, so if you visit here, let us know what the museum is like.
Pont du Châtelet
This stone bridge was built in 1880, using a single arch to span the 100 meters across a gorge that's impressive because of its extreme depth. It is a very long drop from the bridge to the river below [photo-4][photo-5].
A pasture hilltop near the bridge is a great place for a picnic lunch, with a view of the gorge and bridge just above, and the hamlets of Seranne and Saint Paul in the lovely valley below [photo-6].
History of Saint Paul-sur-Ubaye
Gallo-Roman: There was a Roman presence in this Upper Ubaye valley, especially in the villages and hamlets of Saint Paul, Tournoux and Gleisolles.
Medieval: Saint Paul was urled by the Lords of Beaufort until the 13th c, and the Lords of Bérad until the 15th.
• GPS: 44.514832, 6.74992
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #10 "Queyras Pays du Viso"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #1 "Alpes de Provence"
Hiking trails go through pretty much all of the mountains surrounding Saint Paul. The GR6 Hiking Trail goes through the center of Saint Paul, running along the stone wall between the church and the neat gardens overlooking the river valley.
To the south, the GR6 and GR56 trails follow above the Ubaye to Tournoux, then over the mountains to the southwest. To the northeast, the GR6 and GR56 continue up the valley before splitting off and continuing into the Queyras and the Italian Alpes.
Valley Museum - Le Musée de la Vallée
- A museum of the ancient rural trades, including farming, transport and the old traditional trades that have disappeared
- Entry: 2 €; under 11 free
- Web: www.haute-ubaye.com/culture/musee-de-saint-paul
Transportation Saint Paul-sur-Ubaye
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).