At L’inattendu you can live and experience culture both through past practises and in a refreshingly contemporary way.

An elephant at L’Inattendu, how surprising! Has Hannibal stopped by recently? We have Napoleon I’s personal physician, who came from Le Vernet, and his nephew to thank for turning medicine into a science. Historical periods and geological eras collide and interact in the Haute-Provence region, and this interaction continues to inspire contemporary artists.
You will find traces of this history on your hikes and rambles if you keep your eyes open for rock matter or human aspects of the lost villages in the Galèbre valley or in the hills of La Javie.



Several works of art have been erected near L’Inattendu in recent years.


  • As part of the ‘Contemporary Art Trail’ (VIAPAC for short) from Digne to Cuneo in Italy, an artwork has been installed immediately opposite L’Inattendu. ‘L’éléphant de Tievolo’ (2014), an elephant with mouse ears and his keeper, is displayed in a glass pavilion. Created by South African artist Trevor Gould, this piece evokes both Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps and transhumance, while also casting an ironic glance at modern society.


  • ‘Les mille plateaux-repas’ by Stéphane Bérard (2011): The three larch wood picnic tables are designed to form a permanent sculpture that enables the viewer to experience the gradient at first hand, get a real feeling for the landscape and become one with the wider vista.
    Located behind the L’Inattendu guest house.


  • The ‘Solar Orb’ is a work by the German artist Jürgen Batscheider to remember the 149 victims of the Airbus A320 crash. The memorial sculpture is located at the site of the crash and can be viewed from a platform constructed on the other side of the Col de Mariaud. The sculpture is a golden orb measuring 5m in diameter and composed of 149 individual elements. The ball encompasses a crystal-shaped cylinder containing wooden spheres with the personal mementos of the victims’ relatives.


Numerous pieces by Andy Goldsworthy and Herman de Vriessont can be found in the Bléone and Bès valleys.

Documents and publications about artistic works in the Haute-Provence UNESCO Geopark are available in our library.


For more information, visit: /strong>


A footpath leads from L’Inattendu to Bas-Vernet village, where you will also find the house of doctors Gaspard and Antoine Bayle. You can then make the climb and experience Haute-Vernet, with its bread oven and St Pancratius Chapel.

Experienced walkers can take the hiking trail on the Col de Mariaud before ascending to the abandoned village of Pié Fourcha. From here, the Chemin de la Cabane de Val Pousane leads on to Chemin de L’Imerée, which runs above the Galèbre mountain stream or to the Chemin de Vière below the Galèbre.


For more information, visit:

Summer camp and civic meeting at the abandoned village of Pié Fourcha

Le Vernet and the Haute-Provence UNESCO Geopark

The Haute-Bléone region in pictures

Discovering the Bès valley by bike, by the Association des Vallées du Bès