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The Rock of Roquebrune

The famous Rock of Roquebrune-sur-Argens

The Rock is one of the most visited Sensitive Natural Areas of the Department, located on an isolated mountain range which towers over the plain of Argens, covering 6 km² and culminating at an altitude of 376 m. The breathtaking panoramic lookouts on the ridge of the Rock will leave you with an unforgettable memory. The Rock is ideal for hiking. A long-distance hiking trail, the GR51, allows you to go around the Rock and follow various loop trails. The position of this Rock and its impact on the landscape led to its classification by Ministerial Decree on 6th July 1989. The biological wealth of the Rock has resulted in its inclusion in the Natura 2000 sites. The town of Roquebrune-sur-Argens has just begun the process to obtain its UNESCO World Heritage designation.

The Three Crosses

The presence of Three Crosses at the summit of the Rock seems to have been attested from time immemorial, as according to local legend, their origin dates back to the death of Christ. At the start of the nineties, the sculptor Bernard Venet, who lives in Le Muy and created his Foundation there, met the town council (on which the current Mayor, Jean-Paul Ollivier, was assigned to Culture), in order to suggest the creation of three giant crosses at the top of the Rock. The work was inaugurated on July 11, 1991. For each of these crosses, the sculptor decided to pay tribute to three major figures in the history of art, and took inspiration from famous “crucifixion” works of art painted during the 14th, 15th and 16th century by Giotto, Grunewald and El Greco.

Giotto

(1266-1337) “The Crucifixion” (1304-1306) Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Italy.

Grunewald

(1475-1528) “Christ on the Cross” (1511) Issenheim Altarpiece Unterlinden Museum. Colmar, France

El Greco

(1541-1614) “Christ on the Cross” (1590-1600) Prado Museum. Madrid, Spain.

Plants and Wildlife

The forests are composed of holm oaks, chestnut trees, cork oaks, umbrella pines, holly, broom and Montpellier rockrose. Its inhabitants are the badger, the snake-eagle, the wild boar, the hedgehog, the nightjar and the two-tailed Pasha butterfly. The rivers are home to tortoises, dragonflies, frogs and hawks, with trees and vegetation including alder, white poplar, ferns and orchids.