Digne – Andy Goldsworthy's laboratory of the south
A UNESCO world heritage site
Set between Provence and the Alps, this is a territory of exceptional diversity. Two thirds of it consist of natural spaces, and it is of considerable geological interest. 300 million years of history have fashioned the landscape, with its limestone ridges, narrow gorges, folds and strata, ravines and black marl… Its geological distinctiveness is what led to the creation, in 1984, of the Réserve Géologique de Haute-Provence, which, with its 230,000 hectares, is the largest of its kind in Europe. In 2000, this protected territory became a European Geopark, and since 2004 has been a part of the UNESCO Global Network of National Geoparks.
A humanised landscape
When visiting this territory, one rapidly becomes aware that it is not exactly an untouched wilderness. The numerous abandoned villages recall that at one time it was inhabited – and not just the valleys.
"Few people live in the mountains, these days, but signs of former life are clearly visible. (…) In the landscape I don't just see nature, but also the people who are part of it. Paths, buildings and fields, in their own ways, indicate the presence of people, and that's what interests me." [Andy Goldsworthy]