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Route Napoléon

Tourist route, from the Côte d'Azur to the Alps, via Digne les Bains.


Exiled to the Island of Elba in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte decided to return to the forefront of French political life. A year later, on March 1, he disembarked at Golfe Juan and left with his infantry to regain his title. He chose to go to Lyon by the mountains and thus avoid the resistance of the royalist cities.

The Route Napoléon is therefore the section that connects Golfe Juan to Grenoble, via Grasse, Digne and Gap. Napoleon managed to cover 324 km in 6 days and on March 20 he returned to the Tuileries, in accordance with his predictions.

Napoleon at Digne

Approaching Digne on March 4, he stopped at the hamlet of La Clappe (current D 20) and wanted to eat. His servants prepared an omelet that Napoleon found very expensive: “So eggs are so rare here? he wondered. "No, not the eggs, but the emperors!" replied the innkeeper.

Resuming its route towards Digne, a mule laden with gold fell into a precipice and dropped its boxes. The soldiers picked up what they could and the rest was recovered after a forceful search by the inhabitants of the valley.

A tourist route

The Route Napoléon (RN 85), 314 km long, was baptized in 1932. It was previously called the Route des Alpes d'hiver, then became Route Napoléon, and remains one of the best accesses to discover particularly natural landscapes. endearing.

This mythical route, a historic link between the Côte d'Azur, Haute-Provence and the Alps, invites you to discover activities around the Route, in an exceptional environment, with very diverse heritage, off the beaten track.

The Napoleon Route crosses protected and preserved areas such as the Verdon Regional Nature Park, the Haute Provence Geological Nature Reserve, a place of transition between the Alps and Provence.

The Route Napoléon is also dotted with a renowned architectural heritage, such as the Notre Dame du Bourg cathedral with its archaeological crypt in Digne les Bains.

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