The path of the Monks meanders along the hillside below the chapel; it is supported by dry stone retaining walls and has a stone-covered walkway, known as a calade in south-eastern France. One of the retaining walls of the path, located under the chapel, is partly deteriorated due to lack of maintenance. You will participate in the restoration of this wall which is essential to put the chapel back in its place in the landscape by redrawing the flatness of the wall leading to it. The following work will be undertaken: dismantling and sorting of the stones, earthworks and reconstruction of the wall according to the very precise technique of dry stone construction (theoretical and practical input). You can also discover the technique of restoration of the dry stone path: punctual recovery of the damaged parts of the path, realization of stone steps.
The workcamp will be supervised by a professional in dry stone construction techniques. A daily work of 6 hours is planned, the organization of the days will be discussed and decided by the group of participants. The pedagogical objective is to discover a traditional construction technique which does not require any material, except stones from the stoning of fields intended for agriculture or recovered from old buildings. Theoretical, historical and practical contributions will be disseminated.
It should be noted that this workcamp is part of a more global action to enhance the site of the chapel. The population of the village is invited to take part in the work of clearing the brush and creating a calade on the chapel square.
You will be accommodated in tents at the Barillons campsite located in Serres. An animation team will be present to help you in the organization of the collective life: planning of household chores, elaboration of menus and preparation of meals in turn, organization of leisure activities and outings. The purchase of local products is widely favoured.
Location: Serres is a small town in the South of France, nestled between the Alps and Haute Provence (30 km North of Sisteron, 140 km South of Grenoble). It has several services: train station, shops, Provencal market…
Leisure activities: Land of light, scents and flavours, the Baronnies Provençal is a land where the sweetness of life is combined with the practice of outdoor sports like idleness! Rich in natural and agricultural heritages adapted to the Mediterranean climate under alpine influence, the Provencal Baronnies are marked by fragrant, aromatic and medicinal plants: wild thyme, rosemary, lavender. Near Serres, you can discover many major sites in the south of the Hautes-Alpes: Aujour mountain and Clausonne abbey, Saint-Genis mountain, the Méouge gorges, Orpierre site, the Riou lake where you can practice many sports activities (climbing, mountain biking, hiking, swimming in lakes and rivers).
Come and discover one of the small perched towns in the South of France, Serres in the Alpes, which offers a magnificent panorama of the medium mountain range of the Baronnies Provençales! The town, leaning against the Pignolette rock, is made up of small shady medieval streets and covered and sloping passages in which it is good to stroll.
At the top of this village and at the bend in the monks’ path, is the chapel of Notre Dame de Bon Secours, which overlooks the Buëch valley. This building was erected in 1730 and blessed in 1732. Partly dug into the rock, it marries the hillside, on the presumed site of the former chapel of the castle of Serres. The Baronnies Provençales Regional Nature Park, in partnership with the association Les Villages des Jeunes and a hiking organization, launched an operation to raise awareness and promote the dry-stone building technique in 2018. Elected officials and inhabitants will be mobilized for this operation through restoration actions and discoveries of the dry-stone built heritage (conference, visit).