Moustiers – its lucky star and gourmet food
The other symbol of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a star which originates in a legend adapted by Frédéric Mistral. During the 10th century invasions by the Saracens, the Chevalier de Blacas was captured and imprisoned in the East. During his captivity, he prayed to be able to return safe and sound to his native village vowing that, once there, he would hang an ex voto (in thanks to the Virgin Mary) between the two rocks overlooking the village.
The star which shines in the Moustiers sky today is fifty years old and owes its gold coating to an unfortunate fall ten years ago : worn by the elements, the chain suddenly broke and, several hours later, the star was found misshapen but intact at the bottom of a ravine. It was gilded with 24-carat gold and re-hung a month later amid much celebration.
20,000 olive trees give a green or silver look to the countryside around Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, depending on the time of year. The village is home to the ‘Maison du Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon’ on the banks of the Sainte-Croix Reservoir, completed in 1973, the second largest man-made reservoir in France covering 2,200 hectares. Along with the other artificial ‘Lacs du Verdon’, it has three functions : to produce electricity, to provide water for drinking and agricultural use and to cater for the many holidaymakers attracted by its blue waters and numerous watersports. A signposted footpath-mountain bike track leads to the first beaches beside the turquoise lake, just a stone’s throw from the village. Nowadays, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is synonymous with a relaxed way of life and it is not surprising that the great Michelin-starred chef, Alain Ducasse, chose this unspoilt area to open one of his best-known restaurants, La Bastide de Moustiers, drawn by the wealth of speciality foods, truffles, olive oil and lavender honey of Alpes de Haute-Provence…
"" What I love doing at Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, is watching the sun set over the lake from the Chapelle Notre-Dame de Beauvoir, perched on a little ledge above the village "". A visitor.
How to get to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie :
By road : autoroute A51 to Manosque then RD952.
By bus : regular services