The name of mountain village of Chabestan comes from the Latin «Caput Stagn» or «tête de l'étang», which means «headed by pond». It is likely the village was built near the old pond. The road that leads west from the village, still called «Prés d'Estang».
In the Middle Ages the village was owned by a rich family of Chabestan. Guillaume Chabestan, Honorary Dauphin Knight and the owner of the land died in the Battle of Verneuil (la bataille de Verneuil), the battles between the English and French-Scottish armies in 1424 year, which is one of the most bitter and bloody battles of the Hundred Years’ War. In the Middle Ages the village belonged to Baron of Val d'Oze (la baronnie de Val d'Oze), whose in 1726 Ruffo family (la famille de Roux) appointed to manage the county for good services to Charles of Anjou (Charles d'Aujou), king of Sicily, Naples, Count of Provence. In 1793, the village was called Chabestau, and only at the beginning of the XIX century it got its present name.
At the emblem of Chabestan is depicted the golden lion, symbolizing Chabestan dynasty, and six gold stars.
Priory of Chabestan called the Saint-Sauveur or Virgin Val-d'Oze (Saint-Sauveur ou de Notre-Dame de la Val-d'Oze) existed in 1247 and belonged to the monastic order of Romette (de Romette). It lasted until the XVII century, after which the parish was merged with its neighbors. The parish church of Saint-Cassien (l'église de Saint-Cassien) was built in the village. However, during the religious wars it was burned by Protestants and parish was transferred to the priory chapel, which was built in 1670 by Lord Chabestan in honor of St. Anthony of Padua (à saint Antoine de Padoue). In 1708 the church was rebuilt and was given the name of St. Bartholomew (l'église de saint Barthélemy), and the chapel – Virgin of Chantrousse (Notre-Dame de Chantrousse).
The village has two castles, one of which is taking the children's camp in the summer. The second castle is privately owned now. This is Chateau de Laric, an old castle of XIV century. Here are situated the apartments for visitors. Among the historical monuments there is a stone tower of Champcrose (Tour de Champcrose), dating from the XV-XVI centuries. Previously, it was a castle, consisting of four such towers. By medieval village buildings one can include the old mill, built on the left tributary of the Le Buëch River. It was in operation from 1750 to 1922 years, but now does not work and is a national heritage of the village. Across the river a stone bridge with one arch opening upset, built in 1778. This is so-called the "western gateway" to the village. It is used by local residents now.
Locals of Chabestan mainly engaged in farming and cattle breeding, especially sheep. They produce house cheese and wine, gether harvest of almonds, walnuts, grow fruit. In July a local festival «Vide Greniers à Chabestan» takes place in Chabestan. A local fair organized in the center of the village, but in the evening it gets a big traditional picnic, which is attended by all villagers.
Outstanding people of Chabestan:
Family of Ruffo Laric (La famille Roux ou Ruffo de Laric). One of the descendants of this family, Paola Ruffo di Calabria was the wife of Albert II, the Belgian King. Claude Marie Ruffo de Laric was a French aristocrat, politician, bishop of Saint-Flour, deputy of the Constituent Assembly.
Events and Celebrations in Chabestan:
- Chabestan Festival «Vide Greniers à Chabestan» - July
- Holiday of Val d'Oze (Fête du Val d'Oze) – July, 31
- Christmas Tree (Arbre de Noël) - December