Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04700) Population: 320 Altitude: 612 m
This is a very attractive and very picturesque village, perched on a narrow butte overlooking the Durance valley. Lurs (you pronounce the "s") is a tourist village, but not too well known and not too crowded. There's no real commerce in the village, but one good hotel-restaurant and one great restaurant.
The village is built along the top of a ridge high above the surrounding countryside. The view from here is fabulous, down over the Durance river and the hills stretching away to the east, and across the sunflower and lavender fields to the southwest. While wandering here, and while dining at the Bello Visto, we watched a golden eagle soaring nearby, a bit below us.
The village is well restored, with cobblestone streets and stone buildings [photo-2]. One summer-time attraction is an outdoor theater, with the encircling seats rising above the stage.
The Tour de l'Horloge [photo-4] has a simple campanile, and the modern-looking clock was built in 1499, one of the oldest in the department. The village has the remains of a feudal chateau and the bishop's palace. The village church is from the 10th century, with a bit of restauration over the centuries since then.
History of Lurs
First record, 9th century Lurs
Gallo-Roman: The site of Lurs has been inhabited since Antiquity, with the Roman Via Domitia passing along the Durance at the foot of the hill.
Medieval: Lurs was the property of the Bishops of Sisteron, who took the title Princes of Lurs. Their residence was in Lurs, along with a chateau-fort. The chateau was beseiged and taken three times in the 16th century, during the Wars of Religion.
July (Last weekend) - Fête patronale du Village
Dec - Ancient Crèches (Santons), Pays de Forcalquier - from the 19th-c.
• GPS: 43.968849, 5.89005
IGN (1/25,000) #3341 ouest "Forcalquier"
IGN (1/25,000) #3342 OT "Manosque, Forcalquier"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #28 "Montagne de Lure, Val de Durance"
There's no swimming pool at Lurs, but there's better. Along the D116 road between Lurs and Sigonce, at a bend in the road beside the bridge that crosses Lauzon to the olive oil mill, is a popular swimming hole [photo-6]. The water is clean and clear, with deep pools, a small waterfall and rocks for sun bathing.
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).
Marseille - Gap - Briancon Bus
- The Marseille - Gap - Briancon bus route is: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Meyrargues, Peyrolles, Mirabeau, Corbières, Sainte Tulle, Manosque, Volx, Villeneuve, La Brillanne, Lurs, Peyruis, Saint Auban, Chateau-Arnoux, Volonne, Peipin, Les Bons Enfants, Sisteron, Le Poet, Rourebeau, Le Beynon, Valenty, Monetier-Allemont, Le Vivas, La Saulce, Tallard, Chateauvieux, La Tourronde, Gap; La Batie Neuve, Chorges, Savines, Embrun, Chateauroux, Guillestre, Mont-Dauphin, L'Argentière, Briançon.
Trip time Marseille - Gap is 3h15 (Marseille - Manosque 1h20; Manosque - Sisteron 0h50; Sisteron - Gap 1hr). The separate bus between Gap and Briançon is just under 2 hours.
(Schedule link http://www.scal-amv-voyages.com/horaires/circuit7.htm) The routes and schedules are available on the SCAL-Autocars website (link below); select Marseille / Briançon and click on one symbol to view the route map, click on the other symbol for the schedule.
- Web: www.scal-amv-voyages.com/ligne.htm