Originally located on the ridge, Séranon was later rebuilt on the plain at the foot of a massive cliff forged by erosion.
Today, the village is a place of peaceful, gentle tranquility.
You can admire the beautiful countryside, the washhouse, the 1898 fountain, and a boules court typical of the South of France. There are also majestic chestnut trees and sloping lanes leading to a small square, where farm machinery of yesteryear is on display for curious visitors!
- Notre Dame de Gratemoine chapel. The enigmatic name of this Romanesque chapel is born of the progressive distortion of the Latin gradiva, meaning “degree” or “step,” and caminus, meaning “path” or “way.” These terms allude to the structure’s location, as it was built on the only high point of the plain, beneath which a Roman communications road was once traced. The Notre Dame de Gratemoine chapel, given by Lord Pons Arbert to the priest Isnard d’Auriol, was first mentioned in 1060 in a Lérins Abbey charter. The chapel was originally the parish church, before becoming the priory of the Lérins Abbey in the late 11th century. In the early 12th century, the monks rebuilt the church, flanked to the south with a baptismal chapel, whose remodeled remains are now the Notre-Dame de Gratemoine chapel as it appears today. After the Middle Ages, the nave would be abridged to the first bay by construction of a new façade wall.
- Ruins of Vieux Séranon. The village of Séranon was originally perched on the ridge, at the top of the mountain, for fear of invasions. Once such attacks were no longer a concern, the inhabitants settled upon the plain, a more hospitable environment that made agricultural work easier. Clinging to the ridge above the original village of Séranon are the still-impressive ruins of the Saint Michel church. These remnants seem to defy time, standing as testament to the town’s ancient past. The church was built in the early14th century by Louis de Villeneuve, Lord of Séranon, whose lands were designated a marquisate in 1506.
THINGS TO DO & SIGHTS TO SEE:
On the night of March 2, 1815, Emperor Napoleon I, returning from the island of Elba, stopped in Séranon for a few short hours of rest. Upon his arrival at Séranon, the Emperor encountered the Sieur Blaise Rebuffel, steward to the Marquis de Gourdon, Mayor of Grasse, who made his country château, the Bastide du Broundet, available to the ruler. The Emperor settled in the castle and spent the night fully dressed, in an armchair, near which he left a bottle of eau de cologne, forgotten upon his departure. The battalion bivouacked around the Bastide and burned the Marquis’s supply of wood all through the night. In the early hours of the morning, the Emperor set off again in the direction of Castellane, heading for Paris. This country house, now in ruins, can easily be visited on a stroll through the countryside.
KEY ANNUAL EVENTS:
August: Saint-Louis patron saint festival
September: Notre-Dame patron saint festival