Small towns of character : Serres et Garde-Colombe

Since July the 1st, the communities of Serres and Garde Colombe are labeled "Small towns of character", these are the first communes of the Region Sud that obtained this national label: a pride for our territory Sisteron Buëch!
Being a Petite Cité de Caractère® (Small towns of character "), means sharing the discovery of a remarkable valued and vibrant heritage, together with an approach based on visitor welcoming quality. This quality initiative, created in 1975, is reserved for municipalities of less than 6000 inhabitants.
Serres and Garde-Colombe meet the precise and demanding commitments of this quality charter, and heartily want to show and sustain their heritage, through tourist hosting and local facilitation.
 
Our villages often inherited their appearance from the Middle Ages with little hilltop buildings; some of them have kept this typical shape and profile like Lagrand, for instance; some others, like Eyguians, spread in the valley, near a road, along a river.
Our Provencal Baronnies are a land of contrasts where green stretches of grass mingle with black marl and limestone hills: landscapes dotted with scattered typical villages and little towns of character abounding in rich Cultural Heritage !
No sumptuous monuments, nor mass tourism here... You will seldom have to queue to visit... take some lazy moments and discover real treasures on a village square, at the end of an alley or at the or or along a path... Our mission is simple: safeguarding our heritage, show you all its beauty and showcase it! That's what our little towns of character offer you!

 

I discover with images

 

Serres, the medieval town

The 1300 inhabitants of this small town are all very proud of being one of the Small Towns of character! We can say that they take it to heart to raise awareness about their town. Living in it and making it alive is obvious! The different associations pool their resources to offer you throughout the year various activities.
- Les Amis du village touristique aim to safeguard the historic architectural heritage, to preserve the environment and the setting of the village of Serres, while promoting tourism. They offer diverse animations:
- During Summer the guided tour of the village,
- "Les Belles Heures de Serres": a festival of crafts and art heritage during a weekend in August with demonstrations and animations in the old shops that are opened for the occasion.
- A self guided tour through the village along a route marked out with old photos - in December, the Christmas cribs’ path, where visitors in search of the scattered Nativity scenes are guided along the streets by signs with Christmas crib figures. (Nocturnal opening of the event with music).
 
- The Association Serres Lez'Arts presents a cultural and visual arts event during 3 days in September, with open air exhibitions, artist meetings, and school activities on Friday. About twenty artists with different artistic disciplines, selected by the association invade unexpected places in the heart of the historic village; street theater and music are also present. An opportunity to discover the village and its heritage through various artistic forms!
 
- The Tourist Office offers thematic tours in the form of a treasure hunt: a recreational activity for families for exploring the heritage and the history of the village by introducing children in a fun way to the observation of small details essential to access the treasures!
 

FOCUS ON...
« Small towns of heritage interest » ?

170 towns in France with remarkable heritage wish to enhance and preserve it! Find the list of the « Petites cités de caractère ® on: www.petitescitesdecaractere.com

 

Garde-Colombe

The new community of Garde Colombe proudly sports its label of Petite Cité de caractère. It includes the villages of Lagrand, Eyguians, and Saint Genis, almost 600 inhabitants. This label is also a recognition for all the people who invest themselves daily to make their community more attractive, to make known its history, its patrimony, to make the villages more lively with their trade, their associations ...).
It is a small community where people know each other and where you will be welcomed with open arms: you will be invited to go back in time in the rebuilt former school of the village of Lagrand. You will be advised to taste the cheese produced on site, or to hike to the old Eygians. Here you are at home!

An association volunteer of the Amis du patrimoine will accompany you as a friend along the stone-paths of the hilltop village for its visit every Monday in Summer. The members of the association will guide you in the church, the ecomuseum, and the former school restored in the priory... They took advantage of the privileged situation of their old hilltop village to highlight its natural and built heritage laying at its feet and install an orientation table in the village of Lagrand.

In Eyguians, the association "Autour d’un relais de Poste"(around the post-house) created "La Poste Musée" on the edge of the RD1075, open Monday to Friday from 9 am to noon. This former Post Office is located in its very premises and offers visitors and users all of today’s modern services beside its museum side. You can see there items and documents about Post history and philately. Every year in the fall and during one week, the Post-Museum organizes an exhibition on a particular theme, with conferences and events. This brings life in the village together with a multitude of services to the customers!

The association "Entraide pour l’égise de Saint-Genis" worked a lot on the renovation project of the church of Saint Genis, the Saint Louis church, renovation just finished in May 2019 after more than 2 years of works. It was built by the abbot Blanchard who offered it to the town on July 4, 1882. At the request of the Heritage Foundation to which the town hall belongs, the interior of the church has been restored exactly as it was, building and furniture, by local craftsmen.

The associations and several shops and craftsmen contribute to the village life.
- Every spring the Home Deco Fair (Salon de la Déco maison) is organized by the association "le chat de l’artisan" and the mattress maker installed on the village square; During a weekend, the craftsmen present on 3 exhibition rooms, workshops, demonstrations and sales around their core business.
The festival committees offer traditional entertainment such as the Saint-Jean fire on the 21st of June in Lagrand, the feast of Garde-Colombe with fireworks at the Riou lake, the votive festival in Saint-Genis or a hike to the old village of St-Genis in September which gathers all generations.

But the most famous event of the village is the turkey fair! A beautiful agricultural fair that takes place every 9th of September for almost 800 years!

There is plenty of entertainment... The Riou lake, tennis courts, quadbike and donkey rides, farm visits but also library activities, sports and leisure association and Yoga. Many hiking trails cover the territory; on foot, mountain bike or bike you will discover the old Eyguians and its botanical trail or the gorges of Riou! The Tourist Office will guide your choice with pleasure...

Did you know ?

Did you know that the "Petites Cités de Caractère®" showcase their specificities. They value an alternative and personalized welcome and thereby contribute to unifying and invigorating this network. Everyone sets oneself on the missions of safeguarding, restoring, maintaining, highlighting animating and promoting the heritage amongst residents and visitors in order to participate in the economic development of the territories and to make out of the “Petites Cités de Caractère®” an attractive touristic quality brand”.

(Cf. Jean-Bernard Vighetti, creator of the « Petites Cités de caractère ® »).

 

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