Built on the side of a hill in the Verdon Regional Nature Park in the Var, Moissac-Bellevue makes for a pleasant stop in the heart of gentle landscapes and pine forests, not far from the Sainte-Croix Lake and the famous gorges.
Bearing the name Moissac since the XIIIe siècle, the “Bellevue” part was added in 1932 to avoid confusion with the village of the same name in the Tarn-et-Garonne department. And, at nearly 600 metres above sea level, Moissac-Bellevue lives up to its name. Like a belvedere, the village offers impressive views that stretch from the rich farmlands at its feet over to the Massifs des Maures and the Estérel and all the way to the Massif de la Saint Baume.
With a population of barely more than 300 residents, you don't come to Moissac-Bellevue for its animation but for the peace, the sunshine and for the authenticity. A well-preserved authenticity that you can see in its steep lanes, cobbled stairways, vaulted passageways and the ochre houses with golden brown roof tiles. Strolling through the village is like travelling back in time. In the middle stands the Clock Tower with its wrought-iron campanile built in 1816. The Notre-Dame de la Roche Church was built in the 16th century and has a cool octagonal bell tower.
Panoramic view from the village of Moissac-Bellevue
At the bottom of the village, you will see a big fountain with superimposed basins. It began supplying the village with water in 1875 but the cost of construction nearly bankrupted the town.
Also at the foot of the village stands the Château de Moissac-Bellevue, believed to have been built in 1650, in the same period as the palace of Versailles. Painstakingly restored, it is private property and you'll have to content yourself with admiring it from the outside. However, it can be rented, the magnificent interiors as well, for photo shoots, receptions and seminars.
Dating from the same period as the town's origins, which would be about the 11th/12th century, the Notre-Dame de la Roque Chapel stands alone on a promontory a bit outside the village. In Cistercian style, the little chapel seems completely dominated by its flat bell tower. The site offers you terrific panoramic views and an orientation table there will help you identify the sights.
And if all the beautiful natural surroundings tempt you, there are marked walking trails and mountain-biking and horseback riding circuits that let you explore a landscape of vineyards and truffle oaks as well as the Forest of Pelenc. Without forgetting the Verdon area.