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The Villages of the Luberon.

sunny 21 °C

To walk the narrow cobblestone streets of the Luberon's many medieval villages is to stroll though history. It is a living, breathing museum where everyday life carries on in surroundings that have changed little for many hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of years. Worshipers have struggled up the steep pathway to the church in Bonnieux for more than a thousand years and this castle in Fontaine de Vaucluse has stood sentinel above the town since the Middle Ages...
In the village of Les Beaumettes, troglodytes still live in the caves that have protected the inhabitants from time immemorial...
There is a picture around every corner and through every archway in the villages of the Luberon...
Just as the image drags our focus through this entrance so we are lured to explore beyond; to yet another picturesque scene...
and yet another archway...
On and on we go, spiralling ever upward and ever deeper into the heart of ancient village after ancient village until we arrive at the core – in this case the 12th century chateau at the heart of the village of Gordes...
This chateau has had many incarnations over the past thousand years and only the main turret is completely original. In addition to being the home of several noblemen it has been a prison, a silkworm farm, a school and the town hall. The chateau, its fountain and its adjacent restaurants, are a natural setting for parts of the Russell Crowe movie “A Good Year”, based on the book by Peter Mayle...
The nearby fortified chateau at Lacoste has perhaps a more sinister past.
Little remains of a once great castle that was the home of the Marquis de Sade. It was he, through his perverted sexual predilections, who added the words 'sadist' and 'sadism' to the English lexicon after he tortured and sodomised his victims here in 1777.
However, not all the houses in the Luberon are castles and chateaux with a past. Many are just humble stone cottages that were once occupied by the serfs and peasants who worked the land and served the aristocracy in a manner to which they had become accustomed.
Many of these properties are now the holiday haunts of the nouveau aristocracy and this once forgotten corner of France is thriving because of the decades of neglect that left it devoid of modern development.

Posted by Hawkson 14:09 Archived in France

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In our younger and stronger days we cycled in this part of France - from Loumarin up to Bonnieux and Menerbes and on to Gordes. Thank you for reminding us how lovely it is.

by Diane

Would love to see the mechanical innards of that mill. Gabriola used to supply millstones as you know but I doubt they got farther than the British Isles.

by R and B

I think it would be hard for me to leave these villages if I visited - unless the ghosts of the tortured Sadists are still roaming.

by Janet Vickers

Always love the uniformity of look from the colour of the stone. Also great to not see any wiring. All electrical sensibly underground I suppose. Skies look lovely. A little break here today too.

by Tom Whalley

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