Place : Volonne (Alpes de Haute Provence)
You’ll help restore an old lane in the centre of a timelessly-typical village in Haute Provence, where you’ll learn a local technique to build lanes, with cobblestone sets with a seasoned professional heritage expert. Your ultimate aim is to reinstate this lane which provides access to many private gardens. In addition to laying cobblestones, you’ll have the chance to try out your masonry skills on the adjoining walls too.
Building technique : Laying river cobble sets in lime mortar
Accommodation: In a kindergarten, with access to toilets/showers and changing rooms. The school is just 10 minutes’ walk away from the workcamp.
Help out, in turn, with daily tasks (cooking, cleaning). Building work in the mornings, Mon-Fri. Free time in afternoons and weekends, with a choice of group excursions and activities.
Some ideas for excursions: The world-famous ammonite slab, a magnet for Geologists and sight-seers, the Roman monastery Ganagobie, the Citadel at Sisteron, the towering Pénitents des Mées rock formations, hiking in the foot slopes of the Alps and the Luberon, swimming in the Verdon Gorges and nearby lakes.
A bit of history:
The name, Volonne, is thought to come from the Celtic word “Vel Aon”, which means “to the water”. This fits well as the town sits at the confluence of the mighty Durance and the smaller, La Grave river. Volonne’s main feature is its two 13th and 16th century towers that cast their gaze down over the village nestled below at the foot of a sun-drenched rocky outcrop, earning it the name of “Petit Nice” of the Alps.
The municipal council has especially committed to safeguarding its heritage and has been enhancing the old village with help from Union APARE-CME volunteers, since 2016.
The name, Chareirasse, may come from the Occitan word, “carrièra”, meaning road. It then became “charrèira” to refer to a rural lane for horse-drawn carts and the lane you’ll be working on to restore the cobble sets, is thought to mean “lane of lanes”.