Mont-Dauphin A participative approach on a territorial scale
- Altitude: 1 050 m
- Number of inhabitants: 154 (recensement INSEE 2011)
- Number of inhabitants Guillestrois community of communes: 5 500
- Surface area within the walled city: 16 ha
- Administrators subscribed: Commune of Mont-Dauphin (30 ha), Centre for National Monuments (proporty of ministry for Culture: 20 ha), IGESA / property of ministry of Defence (2 ha), private owners (3,8 ha).
Interdependence with the territory
Mont-Dauphin was a new mountain town created by Vauban: the installation of the civilian population was planned at the same time as for the military personnel and the construction of the stronghold, in 1693. It was dependent on the surrounding territory to supply the stronghold (with wood, food...).
The cultural project of Mont-Dauphin, set in motion in 2007 by the commune and the community of communes, is based on this principle.
Supplying a mountain stronghold
To give weight to the project, several operations contributed to the appropriation of heritage values through the population of Guillestrois, and in particular the creation of a garden in the heart of the stronghold where the cultivation of traditional and local plants and medicinal herbs has been revived. The schools in the territory are invited to introduce their pupils to the treasures of these gardens. The inhabitants of Mont-Dauphin are also contributing to the biodiversity by growing the plants in their own gardens. The local farmers are encouraged to use the seeds produced and to develop their crops. In this way, flour from a local variety of wheat grown around Mont-Dauphin is made into “Vauban bread”, sold by a local baker.
Guided visits are offered throughout the summer as well as workshops in the mid- and off-season. Mont-Dauphin also participates in the national annual “Garden festival” event, organised by the Ministry for Culture and Communication.
Although the time required to set up such a project is long, involvement and support from local volunteers (farmers, inhabitants, schools...) is considerable, thanks to sustained awareness-raising and a strong visual identity. The sustainability of the gardener’s job is one of the major difficulties experienced.
The aim in the medium term is to constitute a veritable local seed bank. An extension to the current garden (600 m²) is planned for the cavalier 104, at the entrance to the village where an additional 1 ha could be planted.