Village of Saint Veran
Nested at the heart of the Parc naturel regional du Queyras, the village of Saint-Veran is spread along a line in the sunshine at 2040m in alitude.
Saint-Veran managed to hold on to its heritage which witnesses the cleverness of the solutions envisioned to live at such a high elevation. Everything here tells the story of the organization of a society embedded in the mountains and enduring the rigor of the seasons. After the fire of 1526, the village was divided into neighborhood to avoid the fast propagation of the flames. One can still see the beautiful fountains made of fir, in each neighborhood. Sundials decorate the facade of some houses and monuments, and attest of the particular bond between the inhabitants of the village and the sun, which representation is also found in the hand carved rosaces that decorate furniture and objects.
The inhabitants of Saint Veran have lived out of natural resources for ages : wood to hand carve and build, grass to feed cattle, snow for tourism and even copper hidden in mountain caves, that was used at the end of the neolithic era ! Mountain people were and have remained multiskilled. Tasks are suited to the season : long winters enabled the birth of artisanal skills that are still passed on to younger generations.
Discovering Saint-Veran today means walking through the door of artisans shops, visiting traditional homes where each space had a very specific function, and every object is a work of art, literally home made.
It is discovering the joy of living on the sunny side, facing the sun, among the larches and the summits. It is letting one’s natural curiosity lead, star gazing at the Chateaurenard Obsevatory, or stepping around the copper mine, amazing proof of the misknown industrial past of the village.
Discovering Saint-Veran, essentially means going on short or long trips along the hiking trails : lakes, refuges, passes, meetings with mountain goats, observing raptors, or watching marmots playing.
This small village with 260 inhabitants today (over 800 in the 19th century), is eager to pass on its unique heritage. Saint-Veran’s inhabitants greet every week their guests with songs and drinks. Tradition lives on !
Le The Soum museum : old house opened to visit by the Parc naturel regional du Queyras. We open the doors one after another and life from the old days (not that long ago) is revealed. People then cohabitated with cattle to get warmer in winter. Each room and object is the proof of mountain people’s creativity and organization skills. Information : +33(0)4 92 45 86 42 - http://www.pnr-queyras.fr.
The old traditional house : unique and authetic, this house, which was still lived in until 1976 with cattle in the same room as people, was kept untouched : tools, furniture, houseware, clothes.
Guided tour by the owner. Handicapped access and old furniture tour upstairs. Open everyday in high season, By appointment only in low season. Information : +33(0)4 92 45 82 39.
La The Copper Mine : 2 pedestrian loops allow to discover the site and walk in the minors’ footsteps. Long loop departing from Saint-Veran, short loop departing from the marble quarry. Information : visitor center of Saint-Veran : +33(0)4 92 45 82 21 - http://www.saint-veran-queyras.com.
The religious heritage : the Church can be toured everyday all year long. The Chapels Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, Sainte-Anne and Sainte-Agathe are open every Wednesday afternoonin summer. More information at http://www.saintveran.com.
The Obsevatory of Pic de Chateaurenard : the purity of the sky in Saint-Veran makes it an ideal location for star gazing. The observatory is located at an elevation of 2930m, a 3,5 hour hike from teh village. Open everyday in July and August for tours of the facility and the dome. Information : http://www.astroqueyras.com or Festi' Saint-Véran : +33(0)4 92 51 04 23 or +33(0)7 60 64 80 30.