Located on the edge of the pre-Alps of Digne, on the edge and east of the Durance, this town in the Alpes de Haute Provence was once a stopover for navigation, Escalo in Provençal.
In Gallo-Roman times, when the Durance was relatively navigable, l'Escale was an important river port. The site of Bourguet, located 1 km north of the village was at that time a major residential center. Excavations in 1960-1961 before the flooding under the waters of the Escale reservoir revealed the largest series of antique bronzes (statuettes and busts) discovered in Haute-Provence.
The village of l'Escale develops in the Middle Ages simultaneously on the hillside of Vière and in the "hamlet of the host".
Place of obligatory passage between Sisteron and Digne, it then swarmed into small hamlets closer to agricultural realities.
To the south of the village, the dovecote dating from the middle of the XNUMXth century was recently restored to the original thanks to the “Alpes et Lumière” association.
In 2017, the village has 1397 inhabitants. An orientation course in the village allows the discovery of the built heritage of the town. Maps available at the town hall or at the tourist office.
The artificial Escale lake located on the Durance was created in the early 1960s with the construction of the hydroelectric dam-bridge.
Sedimentation was strong until the 2000s and favored the establishment of the reedbed, which is now stabilizing.
Four major types of environments have been listed: wetlands and aquatic environments, forest environments, open environments, anthropogenic environments. This reservoir now concentrates a biodiversity of a richness almost equivalent to that recorded in the Camargue.
Ornithology enthusiasts can observe nearly 140 species of birds on the shores of the lake, often hidden in the reeds or gravel banks, others are easily visible on the stretches of water.
Around the lake, a two-hour walking path allows you to discover this important ornithological site.
A document listing the different species is available at the tourist office.
- Special Information: Hikers
- Special information: mountain bikers
Labels & accessibility
- Napoleonic places Route napoleon
Comfort / services
- Motorhome parking area
- Coach parking
- Toll parking
- Show room
- Public toilets