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The Luberon, a land of providence

A short guide and history of the Luberon

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The Luberon, a land of providence
The reputation of the Luberon owes nothing to chance. It is the gateway to the authentic and preserved Provence between Alpes de Haute Provence and the Vaucluse plain. It has all the advantages that have made this superb region one of the most prestigious in the South of France. The austere beauty of its old villages and its white stone masts scattered in the hillside attract a clientele eager for calm and culture. Whether you are tourists, artists or just looking for a corner of blue sky to recharge your batteries, you will be seduced by this superb environment.

From the south, Lourmarin, sentinel, opened the doors of this classified natural site. This village of character, dominated by its castle, offers visitors a peaceful break in the coolness of its cobbled alleys. Henri Bosco or Albert Camus found inspiration there. From there, you will take the Combe de Lourmarin, a historic route with narrow passes lined with forests of holm oaks to reach Bonnieux. Solidly built on the ridges of the Luberon and offering a magnificent panorama on the Calavon plain, the Monts de Vaucluse and the Ventoux, this old village, formerly a Templar Commandery, then a pontifical domain until 1793, testifies to a rich history. Very popular in summer, its sloping streets climb up to the imposing church of the XIIth century.

From its many points of view, one sees Ménerbes, also built on the heights. Long a Protestant bastion, this other village with a tumultuous past shelters beautiful mansions, while beautiful restored farmhouses occupied by discreet celebrities are staggered around. In a proliferation of greens, ochres and lavender, there appear, in some places, walls of flat stones, or bories regularly maintained and characteristic of this region. These constructions with curious forms, dating, for certain, from the Neolithic, symbolize the Parc du Luberon.

Do not miss Lacoste, Oppède or Goult, other villages that offer sumptuous settings in the summer, offering cultural events and concerts of chamber music or piano to an informed public.

More to the east, less known but equally picturesque, the villages of Vaugines or Mirabeau served as the setting for the filming of the films "Jean de Florette" or "Manon des Sources" according to Marcel Pagnol.

To the east of Gordes, a village is distinguished by a gift of nature that has lived its inhabitants since the end of the XVIIIth: Roussillon and its famous ochres. Extracted from Ocher, this pigment gives an inimitable natural color that is found everywhere in this village with evocative name. This extract has been used extensively in the coatings covering the façades of the famous Provençal bastides which are found in Aix-en-Provence, among others.

Like the image of Epinal, the Luberon knew how to maintain with a great deal of authenticity the myth of an eternal Provence with its houses with colored shutters surrounded by olive trees and lavender agitated by a small mistral under a bright sunshine. Happiness seems to have been stopped there forever.

7 of the MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES of France are in the Luberon: Roussillon, Gordes, Ansouis, Roussillon, Seguret, Menerbes, Lourmarin

Practically abandoned at the beginning of the 20th century, the region regained a second youth in the 1950s when writers and painters - Picasso, Chagall, de Stael - attracted by this exceptional setting, laid desks and easels. Since then, this enthusiasm has not been denied and the region is now very "trendy". The dry-stone farmhouses, carefully restored, have been enlarged by swimming pools and ornamental gardens of exotic species; their residents speak, for many, a foreign language. Nevertheless, the inhabitants fiercely protect their authenticity and their roots, at the price, sometimes, a reception a little "rustic". A bad pronunciation, "Lubéron" in place of "Luberon" (the original) and sounds the tocsin of distrust towards the allogene. The difference between people here and there is first of all linguistic! Here, precisely, men are born in villages built on rocky eminences, up there, far above the melee. A pride peculiar to the rural populations, not yet perverted by mass tourism, conscious of inhabiting a country of Cocagne envied by all. For farmers outside the borders of small retailers and other small-scale merchants, the farmers of the communes of Apt and Coustellet created farmers' markets with the objective of offering the products of their labor live. Purchase and resale is strictly forbidden. Everything that sits on their stalls has been sown, grown, fed and harvested from their hands. A great opportunity to rediscover the seasons, the freshness and the taste of the real.

Stroll through the cobbled alleys of the hilltop villages, stroll among the stalls loaded with food, stop in front of cherries sip of juice, crack for a farmed chicken raised to grain, afford ripe tomatoes just right. A small melody with harmless harmony is played every day on the markets of the Luberon. The Luberon is split into two parts by the Lourmarin valley, patiently dug by the Aiguebrun River. It is the language of land that stretches from Cavaillon to Manosque, between the Vaucluse mountains and the Aix country.


The Luberon Regional Nature Park is a park founded in 1977, comprising a low mountain massif of France, which includes three "mountains": the eastern Luberon, the Grand Luberon and the Petit Luberon. It is home to an exceptionally diverse fauna and flora, as well as an architectural and landscape heritage of great value. There is a production of olives, cherries, almonds and vines. A Côtes du Luberon AOC is made up of many producers. A culture of aromatic plants including lavandins makes famous many places in this park. Here, tourism is very important. In the first place, the historical and cultural tourism which is based on a rich heritage of the perched villages (several villages classified 'Plus Beaux Villages de France' or on festivals (Festival of the Summer evenings of Gordes, Festival organized by Mr Pierre Cardin in Lacoste ...), followed by relaxation tourism, which is reflected in an important development of guest rooms, hotels and seasonal rentals, a large concentration of swimming pools and entertainment such as Provencal markets. , the green tourism that takes advantage of the many hiking trails and the protected environment that the Luberon and its surroundings offer.Even the cinema was interested in this corner of France renowned for its limpid sky: Heureux who like Ulysse with Fernandel, L 'Murderous Summer, Manon des Sources and Jean de Florette, A Great Year of Ridley Scott ...

Since 15 December 1997, the Luberon has been classified as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. This label recognizes the essential role of the Luberon in the regional economic balance and the heritage value of this territory at the international level.

For your stays or for an investment, what to look for better than one of the purest airs of Europe?

Gordes The fleuron of the Luberon

On the northern part of the Luberon Park, solidly anchored on a limestone massif, the village of Gordes overhangs the plain. The jewel of the Luberon does not usurp its title. At the turning of a turn, it appears in all its austere beauty with its houses staggered with dry stones served by steep alleyways invariably leading to the castle square. Paint galleries and stalls enhance your walk in a maze of stone facades. The calades are discovered with small steps while admiring the facades of the houses and the view offering holes or panoramic in the turnings of an alley.

Given its dominant position and the strength that emerges from it, one can imagine a glorious past, where its inhabitants have faced invasions, wars, power struggles. Taking its name from a Celtic tribe, the Vordenses who build an oppidum, Gordes grew over the centuries. Its castle dominates the village; built in the 11th century under the aegis of Guillaume d'Agoult, remodeled in the 16th century by Bertrand de Simiane, its monumental chimney of 1541 is admired in the hall of honor. A place rich in heritage, many artists of the 20th century rediscover the village: Genty Pantaly, the famous cook, Chagall, Jean Deyrolle, André Lhote, Serge Poliakoff, Victor Vasarely who had his works exhibited in the castle, Pol Mara ... All these have contributed to its cultural flourishing.

Gordes has been an important center of agricultural production with olive growing, the cultivation of figs and almonds and silkworms; of handicraft production with its factories of leather and weaving of silk (manufactories burned in 1886, the spinners are obliged to make 3 hours of march to Fontaine de Vaucluse to go to work, from where the very hiking path pleasant dit Chemin des Fileuses) and several wool cardaus; production of raw materials notably thanks to the 'stone of Gordes'.

The architectural style characteristic of the Luberon is jealously guarded and even regulated giving the whole a unit rarely equaled elsewhere. The village of Bories, also famous for its architecture in dry stone, opens its doors like a local curiosity. Two abbeys have been built: the abbey of St Chaffret and the famous Abbey of Sénanque, still in operation, close to Gordes, a Romanesque masterpiece, surrounded by lavender, brings an added interest to this region.

Lovely mas surround the village, discreetly hidden behind the stone walls. Some with superb escapes on the Luberon.

With fame, the village's economy turned to tourism. Surrounded by several quiet hamlets, Gordes only calls for a soothing holiday stay. The European jet set occupies this small corner of paradise often appearing in the magazines "people" who like to represent them, in summer, in these beautiful scenery.

Provence Luberon Sotheby's International Realty: Your expert in luxury real estate in the Luberon and Provence.

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