VAISON-LA-ROMAINE - MAY 2005
Vaison-la-Romaine was the last stop of our 2005 trip in Provence. Vaison is one of the prettiest villages in Provence, and has the largest archaeological site of Gallo-Roman relics in France, with remarkable ruins, as well as the churches of Saint-Quénin and Notre Dame de Nazareth. The excavations began in 1907, and received a boost when a Swiss merchant named Burrus, intrigued by the fact that in 37AD, "Sextius Afranius Burrus", Emperor Nero's private tutor was born in Vaison-la-Romaine, put forward some money for the works. I don't have pictures neither from the ruins, nor from the churches; only videos! But it's the flavour of Provence, the best we keep from it...
"THE ROMAN BRIDGE is one of the very few ancient bridges still in use today, and probably one of the most resistant. The bridge played a strategic role - it was the only means of crossing the Ouvèze river (a main means of communication in Roman times, usually peaceful but impossible to bypass), and in the time of the Comte de Toulouse it was used as a toll bridge. During World War II, the Germans tried to bomb it, in vain. Along the centuries, the parapet was often taken away by violent floods, but the unique arch, solidly anchored in the slopes of the cliffs, has always resisted. However on September 22, 1992, after hours of torrential rains, a giant mudslide descended upon the city, reaching 17 meter high. It carried off the parapet as well as the facades of many neighbouring houses. A part of the city, including the archaeological site, was flooded, and 43 lives were lost on that day"
"L'EVÊCHÉ - A wonderful place to be the basis for your discovery of Vaison, the Pays Voconce, and the Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines..."
"DOWNTOWN, quite close to the ruins entrance. There is a market on Tuesday mornings that has been held since 1532, when having a market was a lordly right and having it on Tuesday a pontifical choice"
The first version of this post saw the light on September 28, 2005. It was then the only one dedicated to Provence. It has been redone to serve as closing post for the 2005 trip to Provence. GOODBYE PROVENCE!
La Provence? C'est mythique et magnifique, on l'a vu! Il semble qu’elle l'était déjà au temps des romains. Les paysages, la gastronomie, les gens, les monuments, l'histoire, les pierres, le Luberon, le pastis, le foie gras, les vins, le Châteauneuf du Pape, le Gigondas, Aix, Arles, Avignon...
On y retournera un jour, c'est sûr!