The area of Forcalquier is incorporated in this unit that celebrates it geographer Raoul Blanchard names Préalpes of the South.
Inserted between the chains of Luberon (1.100 Mr.), Lure (1.827 m.) and of Ventoux (1.912 Mr.), it has an average altitude from 400 to 600 Mr. in the steps of Forcalquier and 700 to 1.000 Mr. in the Country of Albion.
It is in this zone that is carried out to the maximum " the common element, most tyrannical, that which marks best Préalpes of the South of its influence, we want to say the climate ".
This climate is strongly marked by the mode of the winds the mistral, the seguin, the sailor and the tramontana. The influence of the dry winds is dominating, from where a true sweeping of the atmosphere supporting the intensity of the sunning, the luminosity of the atmosphere and the small relative humidity of the air; from where an intense dryness, still accentuated by the porosity of the grounds limestones.
Figures could illustrate this general information, now allowed of all. One will be able to find these figures in the reports of the made meteorological observations with Forcalquier or the Observatory of St-Michel, and in particular in a report/ratio of Mr. Danjon, member of the Institute, Directeur of the Observatory of Paris, published in " Astronomy " in April 1929.
We still should mention two significant elements:si the absence of factories or of railways, the scarcity of the vehicles make that there is initially no foul air dust nor in the air. But it is another element which I believe essential: it is the multitude of these beneficial plants which, according to the expression of Leon Binet, member of the Institute, " make the life longer and better ". They abound on our premises, and everywhere. The " harmas " are the kingdom of the lavender, thyme, sage, the savory, mint and many others labiées.
A mysterious association of the arid ground and burning sun, provide these gasolines which embaument the air and give him balsamic properties that one does not find nowhere elsewhere.
It is the same for all that comes on this ground privileged from High-Provence: honey, wine, olives, fruits, game: all headier or is refined. The air itself is richer in oxygen, lighter than elsewhere " It us gray ", says those which come here for the first time. After a sometimes sharp " reaction ", the organization is regenerated by it. Its dryness makes it bearable even under strongest heats.
The Administration recognized exceptional qualities of this climate, by the establishment with St-Michel of the National Observatory of High-Provence, which today one of is best equipped with the world and by insertion in the directives with the Plan with significant measurements in favour of social tourism and the climatism. We could better finish only by quoting the J 0. from January 14, 1961, stopping the Plan of economic and social development for Provence and the Riviera:
" the concentration on this area (of the Alps de Lumière), which must become a Park of French health, investments of national nature is justified by the exceptional quality of sunning, dryness of the air and altitude... Thus the area of Forcalquier has a vocation of health resort for children... "
Eva Raspail (1963)