Very informative 32 page booklet put out by the Tourrettes-sur-Loup Historical Society about the history of Pont-du-Loup and the Gorges-du-Loup. I’ve translated it into English.
I’ve been in love with the the Gorges-du-Loup since I first cycled through them almost 15 years ago. Pont-du-Loup is the tiny hamlet that sits at the entrance to the Gorges on the road between Vence and Grasse. This little booklet has a lot of information about both the village and the gorges, along with tons of old photos and reproductions of postcards from the early 1900s.
They might not be the most beautiful gorges in the Alpes-Maritimes department (that would be the dazzling Gorges du Cians) but they are still quite impressive and lovely. They only run for about six kilometers but the sites along the way are superb, especially when the Loup River is running full. The Cascade de Courmes (Courmes Waterfall) and the Saut-du-Loup (Leap of the Wolf) are just two of the popular sites to see along the way.
The Gorges-du-Loup were at the height of their popularity in the early 1900s. The train line which ran from Nice, through Vence, to Grasse made it easy for ordinary people in Nice, Cannes, Antibes and other cities along the Côte d’Azur to visit for a day’s outing. Their reputation is attested to by the numerous old postcards that were produced during those years. I’ve got almost 150 of these postcards myself and they are simply divine.
You can drive or cycle up through the Gorges and tunnels and bridges will meet you all along the road. High cliffs seem to close in on both sides the further up you go. Other popular activities include hiking, canyoning, climbing and spelunking. Once through the Gorges you can make your way to Gourdon, Cipières, Gréolières and numerous other villages.
The book is divided into the following sections:
The Hamlet of Patarast
The Legend of the Loup
About the Loup
Le Saut du Loup
Wolf, Are You There?
The Grand Works: 1888 – 1892
The Gorge Road: 1905 – 1980
The Catastrophe of 1907
The Prosperous Times of Pont-du-Loup
The Hermitage of Saint Arnoux
The Courmes Waterfall
I’ve translated the entire booklet (with help form ChatGPT) and created an English version that is identical in every way to the orginal.
[click on any image to see sample pages]