Bonneval Sur Arc Hiver L Ecot Vue Plongeante Ecot 03 HmvtBonneval Sur Arc Hiver L Ecot Vue Plongeante Ecot 03 Hmvt
©Bonneval Sur Arc Hiver L Ecot Vue Plongeante Ecot 03 Hmvt

The Ecot

This hamlet perches at an altitude of 2000 metres, 4 km from Bonneval sur Arc upstream on the River Arc. It is a lovely place to walk. The stone chalets of Ecot with their stone-slate roofs overlook the lower part of the valley. You’ll be amazed by the simpl:e, austere architecture of this hamlet standing at the ends of the earth and reflecting the harshness of human life at high altitude!

Authenticity and simplicity

Steeped in history since the Middle Ages, this hamlet has been completely restored and protected since 1971. It was chosen as the village of Sebastian and his endearing grandfather, César. Time appears to stand still in this hamlet where we can admire traditional stone houses grouped huddled together under the benevolent eye of the Sainte-Marguerite Chapel.

This unique character was beautifully captured by the film crews who shot the adventures of Belle and Sebastian here.

In summer, a 4-km hiking trail takes families from Bonneval sur Arc to follow in the footsteps of Sebastian and discover the treasures of this hamlet.

It is also the starting point for walks to the mountain refuges of Carro and Evettes and the sources of the Arc, a natural glacial cirque wilderness, as well as for a canyoning descent of the Arc.

“With its old stones and slate roofs, it is a completely preserved cultural and architectural heritage”.

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The chapel Sainte Marguerite

The beautiful Romanesque chapel of Sainte Marguerite (frescoes from the Middle Ages) dominates the houses squeezed below around the alley. Cupules engraved on the rocks polished by the glaciers bear witness to the prehistoric imprint of the place.

Piedmontese shepherds then settled here with their herds around the 5th century, surviving the harsh and frugal conditions of the altitude.

Inhabited all year round until 1960, then abandoned in winter, the Ecot is now home to several young families from Bonneval sur Arc.

Some history…

Romanesque art is an essentially architectural artistic style that originated in Western Europe at the end of the 10th century and ceased with the appearance of Gothic art (beginning of the 12th century). Its technical characteristics consist of a basilica plan, barrel vaults with double slats, groin vaults, domes, spans and buttresses. The decoration is influenced by Antiquity, Oriental art and Celtic traditions. Two periods can be distinguished: the first Romanesque art (950-1070) and the second Romanesque art (1060-1130), an evolution and culmination of the first.

The hamlet of Ecot fitted the script exactly, the shooting took place in 2012, the film was released in 2013 and “made” 3 million tickets. Christian Duguy directed a sequel to this story in 2014 entitled  Belle et Sébastien, l’aventure continue.

L’Ecot is obviously the main setting, the film was released in December 2015. Belle et Sébastien 3 was released in February 2018. This episode was also filmed in Bonneval and the hamlet of Ecot.