Site of a Roman garrison, and a written history that dates back to the 5th century, today's Allemagne-en-Provence is a small and friendly stopping place on the road between Gréoux-les-Bains and Riez.
The few village streets are worth a wander, where you'll discover the village lavoir. The base of the bell tower (just mentioned) is the 13th-15th century church, the same era as the chateau.
Allemagne-en-Provence's chateau was a fortified castle in the 13th century. In the 16th century, it was restored and enlarged as a 5-level Renaissance chateau, complete with donjon tower.
The Name of the Game
The village name, Allemagne-en-Provence, translates exactly to Germany in Provence. The etymology is said to be either (A) from an ethnic German source or (B) from a Gaulois root. We've noticed that the root given in our History (below) indicates a third possibility.
A. Perpetuate an ethnic German colony installed before the "Great Invasions", formed from Alamannia (1182). Following mentions are Armagnia (13th-c), Allemanis, Castrum Allemanicum.
B. The Gaulois theory is that the name is from the Gaul goddess of fertility Alemona, venerated by a Roman garrison that was located at the site of the current chateau.
The main nearby lavender fields are just a few km north of Allemagne-en-Provence. On the D15 road to Valensole, there's a "sea" of lavender about 8 km up the road.
History of Allemagne-en-Provence
First record, 429 in the chronology of the Lérins; 13th-c Armagna, derived from area magna, meaning large plain of gravel.
• GPS: 43.781075, 6.007839
IGN (1/25,000) #3342 ET "Plateau de Valensole"
The GR04 hiking trail passes along the edge of the plateau just north of the village (2 km by road). To the southwest, the GR4 follows along the edge of the plateau, through St Martin-de-Brômes and Gréoux-les-Bains. To the northeast, the GR4 goes to Riez and on to Roumoules.
Short, marked (PR) loop hikes are available in different directions from Allemagne-en-Provence.
Allemagne-en-Provence Chateau - Château d'Allemagne-en-Provence
Guided visits of the chateau, inside, outside and the park; about 1 hour.
Open: July to mid-Sept; 16h, 17h, daily except Monday.
Easter to end June and mid-Sept to beginning Nov: 16h, 17h; Sat, Sun, holidays.
Entry: 7 €; 12-18 years 3 €; under 12 free.
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).
Manosque - Riez Bus
- The Riez - Manosque bus line has several buses a day; 50 minutes trip. Schedule available via the Riez town website (see Beyond's Riez page). Stops: Riez, Allemagne-en-Provence, St Martin-de-Brômes, Esparron-de-Verdon (intersection), Gréoux-les-Bains, Manosque (Gare SNCF, Gare routière).
Marseille - Gréoux - Riez - Castellane Bus FH-27
- LER line 27 (part A): 3 buses/day, between Marseille and Riez, trip time 2 hrs. Stops: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Venelles, Meyrargues, Peyrolles, Pont Mirabeau, St Paul-lez-Durance, Vinon, Gréoux-les-Bains, St Martin-de-Bromes, Allemagne-en-Provence, Riez.
LER line 27 (part B): 1 bus a day between Riez and Castellane (via the Gorges-de-Verdon), trip time 1h30. Stops: Riez, Roumoules, Moustiers-Ste-Marie, Lapalud, Rougon, Pont de Soleil, Castellane.
On the LER website (http://www.info-ler.fr/fr/lignes-horaires/carte-et-fiches-horaires-n287. , select Ligne 27: Marseille / Greoux / Castellane to display the bus schedule PDF.