RN85 La Route Napoleon
Registered in the "Nature and environment" category of the philatelic program for the year 2023, the block "La Route Napoléon" unfolds multiple landscapes along the mythical route crossing 4 departments (Alpes-Maritimes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence , Hautes-Alpes and Isère) and 2 regions (PACA and Auvergne - Rhône-Alpes). On both sides, it offers to see natural and geological structures, fauna and flora as well as magnificent landscapes. From Golfe-Juan to Grenoble, there are so many stops to admire, observe, taste and have fun.
The three stamps highlight the particular biotope of the three geographical areas:
- Côte d'Azur: admire the pointu, this emblematic boat visible on the Mediterranean coast. Observe the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the most endangered species of vulture in the world. Taste the black and brown olives protected by a controlled designation of origin.
- Haute-Provence: Contemplate the spectacular cliffs of Sisteron. Look out for the European bee-eater (Merops apiaster), with its blue-green dress and yellow head. Smell the fragrant and protected lavender.
- Alps: Climb the foothills of the Ecrins massif, where you can meet the Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) and where the yellow gentian (Gentiana lutea), a medicinal and digestive plant, grows.
At the bottom of the block going up the road: the Centifolia rose from Grasse which has inspired many perfume creators; the Notre-Dame de Gratemoine chapel, a remnant of an 11th century Benedictine priory on the edge of the historic road in Séranon in the Alpes-Maritimes; the ammonite symbol of the geological nature reserve of Haute-Provence. Leaving the Pénitents des Mées on the left, admire the Château de Tallard, while the Zygène flies away, this butterfly with black wings spotted with red (under this name there are more than twenty sub-species).
To the west of the road, an incursion into the Dévoluy massif will take you on foot to the Bure plateau to discover this field of radio telescope antennas, the astronomical observatory renamed in 2014 NOrthern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) from a Franco-German collaboration. You will then enter the Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes region when you arrive in the town of Corps. Hop on the little Mure train for a journey through the mining history of the area. Starting from the village of La Mure, it crosses several tunnels, takes viaducts (here the Vaulx viaduct), its journey ends at the Grand balcon overlooking the lake of Commières. The magnificent Sautet dam lake and its environment conducive to a pleasant stay is the limit of Isère and the Hautes-Alpes. There are beavers and many birds such as the Least Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), the smallest heron in Europe.
Finally, the Parc des Ecrins draws its high peaks, a kingdom for hikers, while you can observe the Isabelle (Graellsia isabellae), this superb daytime butterfly, the largest in Europe, a protected species once again.