The restanques of Saint-Clair are exceptional, a preserved heritage full of history.
Saint-Clair terraces – A little history…
Dry stone walls known as terraces or ‘restanques’ in Provence, are an integral part of Le Lavandou‘s history. At the end of the 20th century, Piedmontese earthworkers built the Saint-Clair restanques for growing early crops and flowers.
In March 2017, the Saint-Clair terrace project was launched.
The Saint-Clair restanques cover 6 hectares.
The project objective is to preserve this exceptional site. And to use the plots for cultivation once again, to bring back the soul of the place.
The renovation of the old waterwheel was launched in June 2018. This old hydraulic structure will be fully restored to working order.
The waterwheel, which dates from 1850, is a hydraulic machine allowing water to be raised using mechanical energy through a current.
A unique heritage
The gardeners of the town’s Green Spaces department maintain the restanques of Saint-Clair all year round. Over the course of the seasons, they cultivate different fruit and vegetables in an organic permaculture garden used for making meals in the communal restaurant.
There you will find all kinds of fruit and veg; varieties of tomatoes such as “pineapple”, “beefsteak”, “Black Krim”, as well as courgettes, aubergines and peppers, olive and almond trees.
Flowers are also used locally. During the “corso fleuri” (flower parade), marigolds from the terraces are pinned on the city’s float, and in the summer, sunflowers are given to the elderly, along with their home delivered meals.
Want to explore this exceptional place?
Every year, during the “Rendez-vous aux jardins” (garden visits event), Le Lavandou Tourist Office organises guided tours of the Saint-Clair restanques in order to share this local site. Explanations on how the waterwheel works, and more generally on the irrigation system of the site, which has several underground galleries, a description of the crops and know-how in the vegetable garden, a chance to admire the panorama over the bay of Saint-Clair, all allow nature lovers to rediscover Le Lavandou from another angle.