Discover the village of Les Taillades

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Backed by the Luberon, the village has the particularity of being built around an old quarry. Two rocky headlands dominate it: the church and the tower which enjoy an exceptional view of the surrounding villages, the plain and further up to the Ventoux. Welcome to Taillades!

The Moulin Saint Pierre

The Moulin Saint Pierre - ©OT LCDP/Filmatik Production

The long history of the mill Saint Pierre is strongly linked to that of the village of The Taillades. It all began in November 1859, when the Canal de l'Isle opened.

It consists of a wheel with a diameter of 8 meters and its 24 blades that rotate under the action of the canal waters. While his function now consists of grinding the passing of time, it remains the symbol of the industrial past of the village.

The mill was first sold at auction in 1867 (a tinctorial plant from which a red powder was extracted from its root, the alizarine, whose red dyed the uniforms of the French army during the early hours of the Great War, but whose production was short-lived because it was competing with the synthetic products market).

Garance des teinturiers - Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen / Public domain

Uniforme de soldat français de la Première Guerre mondiale en 1914 avec un « pantalon garance » - Image retouchée (Antonov14) / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

It passes into several hands and will remain inactive. It was not until 1874 that two millers from the Taillades bought it. The mill then underwent a new use and became a flour mill until 1881.

The canal union bought it on December 28, 1891. In 1894, a lease was established with Mr. Jean Baptiste Blanc, a miller by trade, and the same family operated it until 1970, when the flour mill ceased.

For a few years the premises will be rented to various users. It was not until October 29, 1981, that the municipality of The Taillades purchased the mill from the syndicate of the canal. It transforms part of the buildings into a party hall, meeting rooms, sports rooms, workshops for technical staff and a wing is rented to a company.

On the road leading from Cheval-Blanc to Robion, you can see the Moulin Saint Pierre and its majestic paddle wheel reflected in the blue water of the Carpentras Canal. An image of all beauty.

Moulin Saint Pierre - The Taillades

© Coll. OT LCDP

Moulin Saint Pierre - The Taillades

© Ph.Giraud / OT LCDP

Moulin Saint Pierre - The Taillades

© Ph.Giraud / OT LCDP

The Morvelous

Walking through the village of The Taillades, in the corner of the street that leads from the bottom of the village of the Mairie des Taillades to the church, one can cross this amazing bas-relief, probably carved by an old carrier in the heart of the rock.

This sculpture depicts a bishop surpassing two crests, wearing the butt and a breastplate adorned with a cross, the rain, the mistral and the sun were not spared with the passing of time.

Dans le pays on l’appelle « The Morvelous » (entendez le Morveux en français) serait une représentation de Saint Véran, le premier évêque de Cavaillon dont le miracle fût de débarrasser le Luberon de l’horrible Coulobre, un Drac ou Dragon qui terroriserait toute la région.

Legend says that the filthy beast wounded by Saint Véran shaped with his tail the combe of Lourmain, she would have gone to die in the Queyras, the village today bears the name of Saint Véran, the highest inhabited village in Europe.

The Taillades

Rue de l'église & bas relief - ©PhGiraud / OT LCDP

Popular tradition says that in the village of The Taillades, whoever committed a crime was attached to this place. The villagers would come to throw stones at him until he cried for them.

The tears mixed with the snot of the weeping are called morvelle which then leaves the name of Morvellous to the expiatory figure would be a hypothesis to explain its name.

Saint Gens, the rainmaker

Chapelle Saint Gens - ©Véronique PAGNIER / Public domain

Below the Old Village, the Saint-Gens chapel rises in the middle of a green setting. It was built in 1879. This chapel was never a priori a place of worship. It houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of stone, the tools of quarries and stonemasons.

Who is Saint Gens?

Son of a peasant herd, Gens Bournareau (or Bournarel) was born in Monteux in 1104, in the diocese of Carpentras. He's not yet fifteen when these parents want to marry him. He refuses to do so and begins to wander around the land, begging for his bread and lying under the stars.

The inhabitants of Monteux have become accustomed, when the drought threatens the crops, to plunge the statue of Saint Raphael into a stream to bring the rain.

People rebels against these pagan practices and breaks the statue.

He declares that the rain will stop watering the country as long as it is not abandoned. He was then chased with stones by the inhabitants of Monteux.

After two arid years, the inhabitants urge Gens to intercede on their behalf with God Before the procession prepared with Monteux's ready ended, the rain began to fall.

Decided to live as a hermit, he settled at the bottom of the Beaucet valley, where he cultivated a piece of land with the help of two cows that his father gave him.

Saint Gens

Le grand saint Gens : statue du pèlerinage - ©Véronique PAGNIER / Public domain

But one day he is praying a wolf rushes on one of the cows and slashes him. People manages to tame the beast and forced her to pull the plow with the other cow.
He performed a few other miracles, including gushing with his fingers, to soothe the thirst of the inhabitants, a source of pure water that still flows down the bottom of a small natural cave and never dries up, and another one of wine.

He died on May 16, 1127, at the age of 23. The pilgrimage, organized every year on the day of his death, is one of the busiest in Provence.

Triptych of Saint Gens
Triptych of Saint Gens - ©Paul Vayson / Public domain

The stone quarries of the Taillades

The Taillades

The Taillades  - ©Filmatik Production / OT LCDP

The history of The Taillades is linked to the quarries and quarries that shaped the village as it appears today and testifies to a past where stone brought the people of this country to life. The Taillades derive their name from the Provençal “talhada” which means cutting, splitting; activities strongly related to the extraction of stones in quarries.

It is likely that the molasse on which the village is built has been exploited since ancient times. But this exploitation was undoubtedly carried out on a small scale during antiquity and before the 18th century, but no documents concerning it were found.

Carrier roundabout - Le Taillades

Rond-point des carriers à Oppède - ©Jean-Pierre Pertin

This exploitation started more widely in the Middle Ages and increased in the following centuries.

In 1752 various quarrying contracts were auctioned to pull stones for six years. The beautiful stones extracted are mainly intended for export.

In the 19th century, sales continued, most of the quarries were located in the old village, and now they give it its spectacular mineral appearance.

©Matthieu Raffier / OT LCDP

The Taillades

© Ph Giraud / OT LCDP

Twelve quarries were recorded in 1873. Quarrying, which occupied up to 11% of the village's labour force at its peak, ceased around 1925.

During this long operation, the ramparts of the village were destroyed, but the tower was respected, emerging on a rocky piton around which all the stone was exploited. The same was true of the church, also perched on a rocky stump that escaped the exploitation of the stone.

In the chapel of Saint Gens at the bottom of the village, you can admire an exhibition of tools from the past used by quarries (peaks, masses, corners...) for the extraction of stone, including the famous crocodile saws, also known as the quarry crocos. Moving testimony of the past and of a formidable work of men.

© Ph Giraud / OT LCDP

© Ph Giraud / OT LCDP
©Matthieu Raffier / OT LCDP

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Galerie photos

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