The village of Authon

The village of Authon

The village of Authon has a traditional, modest architecture. Its church, destroyed by an earthquake in 1887, was rebuilt a few years later in a simple neo-classical style.

At the crossroads of the Thoard and Feissal roads leading to Sisteron, Authon was for centuries the last stop for sheep-livestock drives on foot before reaching the mountain pastures. As early as the 11th century, the monks of Saint Victor practised livestock farming on these high grounds. In the following centuries, the Knights of the Templar and then the Knights of Malta (The Order of Saint John) became the ruling Lords of the area. After the plague of 1347 and the great depopulation that followed, sheep-farming developed exceptionally well. In the 19th century, the large wealthier family pastoral estates could reach 3,000 to 4,000 hectares, while the farms surrounding the village rarely exceeded 10 hectares. In 1836, 70% of the working population was made up of "brassiers" or hired-help, who rented their labour and oxen to wealthy owners. However, less than 1% of the Municipal District territory was cultivated land; more than 85% was pasture, scrubland or barren land. The rural exodus was therefore very significant. The population fell from 285 inhabitants in 1850 to 131 in 1912, then to 21 in 1988. Today, about forty inhabitants live in the Municipal District of Authon.



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