Gap Tourist Attractions
The busy Département town of Gap is an important traffic junction on the Route Napoléon; it lies on the River Luye in the north of Provence and in about the same latitude as Montélimar. Gap has a charming situation, with a backdrop of the Alps to the north of the town. Its pleasant climate has led to its becoming a popular health resort and it has a good reputation as a base for winter sports.The place was already populated when the Romans penetrated into this region. Almost every trace of the Roman settlement of Vapincum disappeared during the succeeding centuries, especially as the place lay on the crossing of important north-south and east-west routes and was always much sought after and consequently fought over. In the 558 the Lombards sacked the town; in 1650 plague removed two-thirds of the population, and in 1692 Savoy troops burned down almost all the houses. In March 1815 Napoleon arrived on his way back from Elba and passed through Gap on his march to Paris.
The Cathedral in the town center of Gap has a tower 77m/253ft high; occupying the site of several previous buildings, it was constructed between 1866 and 1898 according to Romanesque and Gothic models. The decoration is in Byzantine style and is noteworthy for the use of local black, red and gray stone.
Gap Musée Départmental
In the Avenue du Maréchal Foch, a little to the east of the town center of Gap, can be found the Musée Départmental which houses Gallo-Roman antiquities, ceramics from Moustiers, furnishings from the Queyrasa and exhibits illustrating the history of the town and its surroundings. Its principal attraction is the mausoleum of François de Bonne, Duke of Lesdiguières, constructed from black marble from Campsaur with an alabaster statue by Jacob Richier (1585-1640).
Serre-Ponçon Driving Tour
By driving east from Gap for about 20km/12mi on road N94 or on D900 B in a south-easterly direction we come to the Lac de Serre-Ponçon with its 120m/394ft high barrage, built in 1955-1961, which dams the River Durance and creates a large lake covering some 2,700ha/6,672 acres.The best excursion is a circular drive: from Gap take the above road as far as Chorges then turn right on to the D3 which winds its way south, with beautiful viewpoints, to the dam; the best general view of the dam is from the Belvédère a little way north on the road. The D3 continues to the junction of the D900 B. Take this road, cross the Durance and then, at varying distances from the water, follow the southern bank of the reservoir. In about 20km/12mi turn west on the the D954.A little way]from the road can be seen the Demoiselles Coiffées (ladies with head-dresses) a group of earth pyramids. Still following the bank of the lake we reach the N94 near Savines-le-Lac and once again cross the lake and return to Gap via Chorges.