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  Villages /  Bauduen

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• Var (83630)   • Population: 240  • Altitude: 500 m

Gallery of 8 photos for Bauduen

Bauduen is a very lovely little village perched on the side of a hill at the edge of the Lac de Sainte. Croix. The village is located on the southern edge of the 719m-high forested hill La Défens that overlooks the southern part of the lake. Bauduen sits in a gorgeous location, on a rocky peninsula extending into the azure-blue waters of the Lac de Sainte Croix.

The buildings are grouped tightly together, with the old roofs of the houses, chateau and the ancient towers reflected on the waters of the lake that half surrounds them. Many of the buildings, including the Romanesque-style church St-Pierre-et-St-Paul and the clock tower date from the 16th or 17th century. There is an 18th-century oil mill in the center of the village, behind the very interesting old "lavoir" and "grande fontaine". We couldn't tell if the mill is ever open to visitors.

The facades of many of the village houses are smooth, and finished in the soft Provencal colors, although muted. The sides of the house, though, and most of the houses further back in the village, are still natural stone. Towards the back, and higher, parts of Bauduen, the stone houses tend to blend in to the stone of the hillside.

It's a picturesqe little place but doesn't have much of an active village life except during the summer season. The lack of local activity is unfortunate for such an old an pretty village. When we were there last, early 2005, the village was fighting to save its post office [photo-4], with the controversial national program to become more efficient by doing away with post offices in many of the country's more remote villages.

There's not much village commerce open all year. In February we found one café-bar open on a Saturday, and nothing else. The summer is another story, with several pizzerias, restaurants, artisanal shops and, of course, water-sport rentals.

In the heart of the village is a very nice, early 19th-century sundial (cadran solaire), and the motto "NEC PLURIBUS IMPAR". This was the proud slogan of Louis XIV, the Sun King, meaning "Au-dessus de tous les hommes" ("Above all men"). This is obviously an ancient and rare sundial, yet we haven't found any reference to it in any of our France sundial books, or on the net.

Grande Fontaine. The fountain was the source of many disputes between the lord of the village and the town's people. The lord was using the fountain's water for irrigation, and not leaving enough for the people's needs, such as drinking. They eventually came to compromise agreement, without violence. The location of the fountain today is in the facade of a building [photo-8], with a long, low trough-style basin in front. Just to the left is a stone "lavoir" building with the "lavoir".

L'Escourancho - Slide to Wed. Next to a small street near the edge of the village is this large, smooth stone [photo-7 ], with a very interesting information plaque beside it. The stone, according to oral history, is polished on top because of an ancient tradition of village girls to slide across it in order to get married that year. The rite is, or was, called "Faire l'escourancho".

The Observatoire Astronomique de Bauduen is located across the inlet just south of the village, on the D71 road. Boat rental and other water sports activities are available in the village and at nearby locations.

For the kids there's the Musée L'Art en Jouet, a small museum with miniature countryside layout made with Playmobil, located in the old presbytery beside the church; the doorway is marked "1694".

Camping. There are several campsites and "gîtes" very close to the village.

History of Bauduen


First record, 11th century Balbuinum

Prehistoric: A neolithic funeral tomb was discovered near the source of the Fontaine l'Evêque.

Gallo-Roman: A number of Roman artifacts have been discovered in the area, including the milliaires: milage markers from the Roman roads, and there's a Roman bridge abutment at the village.


Apr - Fête de la village
Aug - Fête Saint Barthelemy


• GPS: 43.732488, 6.177308


IGN (1/25,000) #3442 OT "Gorges su Verdon, Moustiers-Ste-Marie"

Didier Richard (1/50,000) #19 "Haute Provence Verdon"

The grande randonnée GR99 (Grande Randonnée) goes through Bauduen as it passes through the low hills along the southeast side of the Lac de Ste. Croix. To the south and west, the trails pass through forests and villages.

To the northwest, the GR99 and associated trails, including the GR4, follow along the top of, and even down inside, the Grand Canyon du Verdon. This is a savagely beautiful place, and you can find rock climbing as well as hiking here. As a natural result of its beauty, the Grand Canyon du Verdon is one of the major natural tourist sites in the south of France, so it gets crowded during July and August.

Camping. There are several campsites and "gîtes" very close to the village.

Transportation Bauduen

Department 83, Var Buses

  • See Beyond's Var Department Bus Schedules for downloading the Var bus-lines map [Plan du Reseau] and bus-line schedules [Horaires] (link for PDF files).
  • Schedules for the Var bus lines are on the VarLib Horaires-Ligne page (") - type the line number in the Numéro ... ligne box to access the bus schedule PDF link. (Type a couple of digits in the box to get a list of route numbers.)

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