Culture and heritage

Les Orres heritage       ► The Serre-Ponçon valley 



Les Orres heritage

Les Orres chef lieuIn Les Orres, explore the 16th century Sainte Marie-Madeleine church in the main town, with its Lombard bell tower, plus the museum where traditional crafts are on display. In the hamlet of Le Mélézet, look out for Notre Dame de la Présentation church, built in the 19th century on the site of an ancient chapel dating from 1546. On its Southern facade, there is a sundial from 1853, signed by the famous Italian sundial maker Zarbula. Guided tours of the village of Les Orres, the church and the museum, are organised in july and august.




Municipal museum

Open everyday except on saturday from 2.00pm to 6.00pm in july and august.

Free access



The Serre-Ponçon valley

Serre-Ponçon lake, in the Southern Alps, was created to regulate the flow of the Durance river. Following devastating floods in 1843 and 1856, followed by water shortages, particularly in 1895, the idea was put forward to build a large water reservoir. The construction of a dam over the Durance became a feasible possibility in 1948, given the progress of technological advance. In 1955, EDF was commissioned to carry out a project involving the production of electricity and the irrigation of the agricultural land in Provence. Construction on the dam commenced in 1955, and lasted for 54 months. The filling of the reservoir with water began on 16 November 1959 and was completed on 18 May 1961. The maximum capacity is 780m. Constructed from alluvial materials extracted from the river bed, Serre-Ponçon is the largest earth dam in Europe. In order to build it, some populations were forced to move and the villages of Savines and Ubaye were destroyed. Only Savines was rebuilt and is now known as Savines Le Lac.

Our region has a unique heritage, spread over 16 towns

Le lac de Serre-Ponçon - Chapelle St Michel

Regional markets


  • Les Orres : RETAILERS' STREET MARKET: every Thursday in July and August
  • Baratier (approx. 8km - 10 mn): Thursday evening in July and August.
  • Embrun (approx. 15km - 15mn): Wednesday and Saturday morning
  • Savines le Lac (approx. 18km - 20mn): Tuesday and Friday morning.
  • Chorges (approx. 29km - 30mn): Sunday morning all year round, Wednesday evening in July and August.
  • Guillestre (approx. 31km - 40 mn): Monday morning
  • Gap (approx. 47km - 50mn): Wednesday and Saturday morning all year round
  • Briançon (approx. 59km - 1h): Wednesday morning and Sunday morning
  • Barcelonnette (approx. 60 km - 1hrs15): Wednesday and Saturday morning
  • Cuneo (Italian border - approx. 163km - 3hrs): Tuesday all year round.


Les Ecrins National Park

Le Parc National des EcrinsLes Orres resort is only 20 or so kilometres from Les Ecrins National Park, a popular centre for hiking during the summer season. The park is a nature reserve, which is protected by specific legislation, and the area it covers is defined in a charter agreed by the local town councils. Evaluated and revised every 15 years, this project demonstrates the ecological solidarity and commitment shared by the park and the surrounding areas, focusing on the area's economic assets and the sustainable development of the towns involved.