Gap

The singind priests

It all started as an idea from Gap bishop Jean-Michel de Falco, who took inspiration from Irish band The Priests to convince three members of his clergy to make a record to fund the construction of a new church in the village of Notre Dame de Laus.

The trio recorded an album called Spiritus Dei, which became an instant best-seller and chart topper. Jean-Michel Bardet, curate in the centre of Gap, was a trained musician while Charles Troesch had sung with a famous child choir. The third man in the band, Dinh Nguyen Nguyen, is a seminarist. Royalties from the record will also be used to buy computer equipment for a school in Madagascar.

Les Prêtres sing classics of the religious repertoire like Ave Maria or Minuit Chretien but they also tackled songs by Jacques Brel or Leonard Cohen. A recent tour has been extremely successful.

Web sites

Didier Barbelivien, French lyricist and composer ©Georges BiardSleeve of Spiritus Dei album by Les Prêtres.
21 previous stages
Pop: 37,800
Hautes Alpes prefecture
Specialities: tourte du Champsaur, tomme (cheese), pâtés, tourtons (pastries), ravioles de Gap (pasta), leg of lamb, apple.
Economy: services, garrison, tourism, building.
Motto: the gentle capital.
Sport: Rapaces de Gap (ice-hockey), Gap FC (football)
Celebrities: Napoleon, Guillaume Farel, Baron de la Doucette, Gilles Grimandi (football); Sebastien Ogier (rally driver),
Festivals: folk dancing festival, Gap en Fa Mi Sol jSummer), Fête de la ville de Gap (September)
Labels: ville fleurie (3), child friendly town UNICEF, Villes des Alpes.


Timeline

  • 20 BC

    Creation of Via Cottia, linking Turin to Valence. A Roman camp is located near Gap.
  • 14th century

    The installation of popes in Avignon results in numerous travels from and to Italy and Gap thrives on wool and tannery.
  • 1626

    Death of Francois de Bonne de Lesdiguieres, the last Constable of France. His mausoleum can be found in the Gap museum.
  • 1692

    The troops of Victor-Amedee of Piedmont destroy the city and the population flees.
  • 1790

    Gap becomes the Hautes Alpes Prefecture.
  • 1802

    Baron de Ladoucette, prefect of the Hautes Alpes under Napoleon, develops the city and creates the local museum.
  • 1815

    On his return to Paris from the Elba Island, Napoleon makes a stop in Gap.
  • 1875

    Arrival of the train.
François de Bonne, Duke of Lesdiguières by Joseph Nicolas FleuryStatue of Ladoucette, former prefect of Hautes-Alpes, in Gap by Jean Marcellin, sculptor - ©Aups
21 previous stages
Pop: 37,800
Hautes Alpes prefecture
Specialities: tourte du Champsaur, tomme (cheese), pâtés, tourtons (pastries), ravioles de Gap (pasta), leg of lamb, apple.
Economy: services, garrison, tourism, building.
Motto: the gentle capital.
Sport: Rapaces de Gap (ice-hockey), Gap FC (football)
Celebrities: Napoleon, Guillaume Farel, Baron de la Doucette, Gilles Grimandi (football); Sebastien Ogier (rally driver),
Festivals: folk dancing festival, Gap en Fa Mi Sol jSummer), Fête de la ville de Gap (September)
Labels: ville fleurie (3), child friendly town UNICEF, Villes des Alpes.


Web sites

Gap and cycling

In 21 visits to Gap, the Tour saw victories by cycling greats such as Raphael Geminiani, Gastone Nencini, Jean-Francois Bernard, Erik Zabel or Alexandre Vinokourov. But the town was also the start of legendary stages towards Briancon marked by the triumphs of Louison Bobet, Fausto Coppi or Federico Bahamontes.  Since then, rirdes from Gap more frequently went to l'Alpe d'Huez, as is the case again this year. In 1991, a simialr stage went to Gianny Bugno while Frank Schleck won in 2006.

Solitary raids were also often successful in Gap and suceh was the case for Jean-Francois Bernard in 1986, Alexandre Vinokourov in 2003 or Pierrick Fedrigo in 2006. In the last stage to Gap in 2011, a bold move was again rewarded when Thor Hushovd clinched his 10th Tour vicotry at the expense of fellow-Norwegain Devald Boasson-Hagen.

Raphael Geminiani on stage Gap/Briancon, Tour de France 1950 – ©Presse SportsLouison Bobet, col de l’Izoard, stage Gap/Briancon, Tour de France 1953 - ©Presse SportsFrank Schleck, winner os stage Gap/L’Alpe d’Huez, Tour de France 2006- ©Presse Sports
21 previous stages
Pop: 37,800
Hautes Alpes prefecture
Specialities: tourte du Champsaur, tomme (cheese), pâtés, tourtons (pastries), ravioles de Gap (pasta), leg of lamb, apple.
Economy: services, garrison, tourism, building.
Motto: the gentle capital.
Sport: Rapaces de Gap (ice-hockey), Gap FC (football)
Celebrities: Napoleon, Guillaume Farel, Baron de la Doucette, Gilles Grimandi (football); Sebastien Ogier (rally driver),
Festivals: folk dancing festival, Gap en Fa Mi Sol jSummer), Fête de la ville de Gap (September)
Labels: ville fleurie (3), child friendly town UNICEF, Villes des Alpes.


Web sites

Places to see

The museum

The museum holds the mausoleum of Francois de Bonne de Lesdiguieres, the last Constable of France. It was made in black marble by sculptor Jacob Richier.

The cathedral

Built between 1866 and 1904, the neo-Gothic cathedral Notre Dame and St Arnoux replaced an older medieval building.

21 previous stages
Pop: 37,800
Hautes Alpes prefecture
Specialities: tourte du Champsaur, tomme (cheese), pâtés, tourtons (pastries), ravioles de Gap (pasta), leg of lamb, apple.
Economy: services, garrison, tourism, building.
Motto: the gentle capital.
Sport: Rapaces de Gap (ice-hockey), Gap FC (football)
Celebrities: Napoleon, Guillaume Farel, Baron de la Doucette, Gilles Grimandi (football); Sebastien Ogier (rally driver),
Festivals: folk dancing festival, Gap en Fa Mi Sol jSummer), Fête de la ville de Gap (September)
Labels: ville fleurie (3), child friendly town UNICEF, Villes des Alpes.


Web sites

The alpine garden

On the flanks of the mountain overlooking Gap, the domain of Charance stretches from 100 metres to 1,903metres in altitude, displaying an exceptional view. Since 2004, the domains hosts the National Alpine Botanic Conservatory, which studies, preserves and promotes the plants and flowers of the region.

Guided visits, lectures, training sessions and other activities are organised on site while a museum and part of the gardens are open to the public. The conservatory itself opens up in the summer to teach nature lovers about the local vegetation. The Gap municipality and environmental associations are working hand in hand to provide the most comprehensive information to tourists and students

Castle of Charance and the garden( Gap, Hautes-Alpes) - ©AupsLake of Charance (Gap, Hautes-Alpes) - ©Aups
21 previous stages
Pop: 37,800
Hautes Alpes prefecture
Specialities: tourte du Champsaur, tomme (cheese), pâtés, tourtons (pastries), ravioles de Gap (pasta), leg of lamb, apple.
Economy: services, garrison, tourism, building.
Motto: the gentle capital.
Sport: Rapaces de Gap (ice-hockey), Gap FC (football)
Celebrities: Napoleon, Guillaume Farel, Baron de la Doucette, Gilles Grimandi (football); Sebastien Ogier (rally driver),
Festivals: folk dancing festival, Gap en Fa Mi Sol jSummer), Fête de la ville de Gap (September)
Labels: ville fleurie (3), child friendly town UNICEF, Villes des Alpes.


Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 21

Classifications after the stage 21

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