GORDES & ROUSSILLON - MAY 2005
The Luberon is probably one of the most spectacular parts of Provence, and you know already how fantastic Provence is. The Luberon is home to vineyards and orchards with fascinating hill-top perched villages, lighted by the glorious luminosity that fascinated van Gogh and Cezanne. On this post we'll deal with Gordes and Roussillon!
After Fontaine de Vaucluse, we headed to L'Isle sur la Sorgue, a small town located where the Sorgue River splits into two streams. The Venice of Provence, as it is often named, owes its nickname to the crystal-clear, emerald water that flows through it at 13 degrees Celsius, the temperature it springs out of the source at the nearby Fontaine de Vaucluse. L'Isle sur la Sorgue is better known, however, for its antiques; actually, for the last decades it has become famous as the antiques capital of France, with the exception of Paris. But we left all the antiques for Isabella, who made L'Isle sur la Sorgue the base for her adventures in Provence... Regrettably, I've no photos of L'Isle, so let's go to Gordes!
"GORDES was built on the foothills of the Monts of Vaucluse, facing the Luberon, and is one of the most famous hilltop villages in the region. This happens because its privileged situation, exceptional charm and typical architecture made it one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France (official); and also because of the important contribution that Chagall, Vasarely, and other artists - who spent some time there - made to its fame"
"COUPLE - One of the few photos we have together; an American couple, to whom we showed the view, took it"
"CLOSE-UP - Gordes, 38 Km east of Avignon and with circa 2100 inhabitants, is somehow the capital of the Luberon. It seems that the local was originally inhabited (since the Neolithic) by the Vordeuses, who named it Vorda, the root to get to Gordes. The castle, the Bories village, the Abbey of Sénanque founded in 1148, and the St. Firmin church of 1704 are to be visited"
"OLD OCHRE QUARRY - Situated in the heart of one of the most important ochre deposits of the world, Roussillon owes its celebrity to its magnificent ochre cliffs and to its impressive careers of ochre, in contrast with the green pine forests"
"ROUSSILLON, with 1200 inhabitants, has seventeen shades of ochre painted across its houses, drawn from the palette of the old ochre quarry next door"
"TECHNICOLOR - The flamboyant reds, yellows, oranges and pinks merge one into the other for the glory of Roussillon"