Saint-Jacques' Hill and its chapel are a landmark that can be seen from afar, and a symbolic image on the city's coat of arms.
Saint-Jacques Hill is also the foundation of the city, and of the first human occupations, visible through the remains of Neolithic habitats, and above all of a Gallic oppidum.
One can see the departure of the Way of Saint James, made up of stairs, to the right of the Tourist Office. It was once marked by a monumental gate built in 1611.
In the last century, the entrance to this path will undergo significant transformations. In 1895, the widening of the square led to the destruction of this Porte du Clos. A watercolour by J.B. Laurens, which can be seen in the museum of the Hôtel Dieu, preserves the memory of this building.
The path, which consists of a succession of steps, allows easy access to the top of this hill, in about 20 minutes. It leads from the Roman arch to the cross that can be seen at the top. From there hiking trails are possible, itineraries are available at the Tourist Office
To the right of the cross, you can admire a very beautiful chapel of the 12th century, in Provencal Romanesque style. This chapel, composed of a single nave and a nice entrance porch, is flanked by a house on its left. It is a hermitage, in which Caesar de Bus lived. He's an important figure in Cavaillon's story.
Born in 1580 and died in 1598, César de Bus was a priest in Cavaillon. A young Cavaillonnese noble, he was deeply marked by the wars of religion, and decided to engage in religion. He was isolated for a while at the hermitage of St Jacques Hill. In 1592 he founded a doctrine, the Congregation of Christian Doctrine.
This doctrine was the first not written in Latin. In addition, it was presented very clearly so that it was accessible to all. Caesar de Bus was convinced that the Church had to teach the people.
After the death of Caesar de Bus, many religious continued to preach the doctrine. These fathers of Christian doctrine gradually settled throughout Provence. Before 1789, there were 64 fathers throughout France.
Today they continue the mission of César de Bus in many countries, including Italy and Brazil. In Cavaillon, the fathers of the Christian Doctrine are responsible for the pastoral ministry of the parish of the cathedral. It is indeed in our cathedral that Caesar de Bus was baptized and ordained a priest. In 1975, César de Bus was beatified.
In this regard, a painting depicting the bishop in Blessed is located in the centre of a chapel in the cathedral dedicated to him.
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