Sainte-Anne du Castellet - La Roche Redonne - The Kilns

A nice tour from Sainte-Anne passing by different juniper kilns producing lime and pitch.

Technical sheet No. 4098653

A Le Castellet (Var) walk posted on 10/02/16 by LB_Neil. Last update : 09/05/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h40 ?
Distance Distance : 9.83 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 305 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 305 m
Highest point Highest point : 427 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 180 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Le Castellet (Var) (83330)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.231621° / E 5.75268°
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To park, you have to fully pass through the small village of Sainte-Anne to Caday heading north, take Chemin du Font de Mars to the right. There is space to park where the tracks cross at the last houses.

(S/F) From the parking area, take head into the Font de Mars valley, heading north, and back towards the Roche Redonne. Along the way you will find on your right a spring (often dry) and two paths that take you to different kilns (signposted). These round trips are not on the route of the hike. Pay attention on the day of the hike.

After each kiln return to the trail in the valley and head north to reach a fork. NB These return journeys are not on the route map of the hike.

(1) At about 1 km, take the path left that goes quietly into the valley without any real difficulty and pass by Roche Redonne on your right. Stay on this path by maintaining generally westerly direction and ignoring several departures to the left or right. Continue until you are walking along a cliff on the right.

(2) At the end of the cliff, take a steep path to the left which is about 100 m from a pretty severe climb - take it easy if you are not used to steep climbs.

(3) Once at the top, do not miss the cairn that indicates a little path on the left which goes along the cliff and bowers. You can picnic there.

Continue on this path that leads to a larger trail that winds though a pleasant wooded valley. Leave the path on the right to proceed to a track that you take left as far as a branch.

(4) Turn left and go south on the trail and follow straight ahead for about 500 m to find a wide track.

(5) Head down gently to the left towards Sainte-Anne overlooking the Cannet valley. Keep your orientation generally south-east and ignore several paths heading off on both sides to reach a branch at marker 307 after about 1.8 km.

(6) Turn right, this will avoid an abrupt and unpleasant descent. Reach a new crossroads of paths.

(7) Continue opposite and back onto the route at the end the track on the left used previously to get to the parking area.

(S/F) Turn right headed east to reach the Sainte-Anne chapel, visible on the right.

(8) Head down the same path to return to your vehicle (S/F).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 189 m
1 : km 0.76 - alt. 219 m - Junction, turn left
2 : km 2.67 - alt. 351 m - Cliff, first crossroads, turn left
3 : km 2.77 - alt. 358 m - Cliff, second crossroads, cairn, turn left
4 : km 4.29 - alt. 427 m - Crossroads of the paths, turn left
5 : km 4.8 - alt. 413 m - Crossroads of the trails, turn left
6 : km 6.62 - alt. 305 m - Marker 307, crossroads, turn right
7 : km 7.48 - alt. 203 m - Crossroads of the trails, go straight ahead
8 : km 8.92 - alt. 189 m - Sainte-Anne chapel
D/A : km 9.83 - alt. 189 m

Useful Information

The bower forms a natural shelter where, in the first part, you can picnic in the sun (winter). Continuing, a second part is shaded (for summer).

(7) At this crossroads, you can cut to the left to return to the parking area (S/F) but the descent is steep (not recommended).

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The juniper kiln is a dry stone building used to produce cade oil by incomplete combustion of cade juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus).
The extraction of cade oil is used in, among others, medicine, cosmetics, animal husbandry, veterinary care etc.
The pitch kiln is composed of a double room, protected by a fence.
The pitch was obtained by smothering burning pine logs after two days of cooking.
It was widely used to seal the caulking of wooden boats.
The lime kiln Crushed limestone is arranged above the fireplace and heated to 1000°C, the quick lime obtained is then transformed into slaked lime by sprinkling or immersion.
It was used as a soil additive, whitewash or to sanitise stables, or to make mortar for construction.

The chapel of Sainte-Anne: Its origin comes from a miracle whose beneficiary was Bartoumiou the lumberjack. He was wounded in the leg: having invoked Saint Anne, she appeared to him and healed him. However, she ordered him to build a chapel in that place in her honour. Bartoumiou presented himself to the Consuls of Castellet to get permission to build the chapel and they asked him for proof of his vision. The saint appeared to him a second time and gave him a token of his mission in the form of a rich gold chain (the Cadeno), the first contribution to the sum needed to build the chapel. This chain is now owned by a family from Cuges. The chapel was built in 1672. The two side chapels were built in 1883 and it was then that the foundation stone of the bell tower was laid. The head is flat, the building is covered by a cap.

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