CHATEAUVIEUX / LE POËT / UPAIX / VENTAVON / MONÊTIER-ALLEMONT
In the afternoon of 5 March 1815, after Châteauvieux, Napoleon went through the first four villages in the Hautes-Alpes département (Le Poët, Upaix, Ventavon and Monêtier-Allemont), relieved to leave the Citadel of Sisteron behind him… The welcome was warmer in Dauphiné. At Le Poët, the burgher Amat Laplaine offered him an apple and a glass of wine. He said to the Mayor of Upaix: “I know the people of Dauphiné. I feel better after having set foot in the
Hautes-Alpes.” After crossing Pont du Beynon, the bridge he tried unsuccessfully to destroy, Napoleon headed for Monêtier-Allemont before reaching Gap at night. He stopped at the Post House (relais-postal) of Monêtier-Allemont to change horses and rest by the fireside.
• Commemorative plaque near the small bench by the church, where Napoleon allegedly sat down – Le Poët
• Pont du Beynon, the old bridge between Upaix and Ventavon, crossed by Napoleon, under the new bridge
Today, Le Poët is a quiet village overlooking the Durance River, whose main sights are the 11th-century church tower and the sundial. Upaix is one of France’s most beautiful perched villages. At the top of the mediaeval tower, an orientation table offers a panoramic view over the 120 peaks of Les Écrins Massif (some towering over 4,000m above sea level). Just before Ventavon, above Pont du Beynon, it is possible to canoe down the Durance River, in the opposite direction
from Napoleon! Finally, at Monêtier-Allemont, you can meet Maurice Noyer, Meilleur ouvrier de France (Best craftsman in France), who restores and creates superb stained-glass windows.
• Le Beausoleil Restaurant (Napoleon menu) – Upaix: for the Bicentenary of Napoleon’s visit, the restaurateur will offer an apple and a glass of wine, just as the Mayor of the village welcomed Napoleonin 1815: +33 (0)4 92 24 25 72
• Gîtes d’Éliane*** – Upaix: Guests following Route Napoléon will receive a privileged welcome at Font Pouillouse: an apple and a glass of wine!