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Les Beaumettes

Discover Les Beaumettes, discreet village in the Luberon, bordering the old Via Domitia and located below a small hill, where you can admire “Les Beaumes” natural cavities still inhabited.

The discreet

Facing the Luberon mountains, on the edge of the old Via Domitia, the small village of Les Beaumettes is located below a hill, where you can admire 'Les Beaumes'. These natural cavities, probably used as shelters or dwellings since the Neolithic age, have been transformed into cave houses still inhabited nowadays...

The caves dug in the rock that overlook the village gave it its name. Indeed, in ancient French the words beaume or baumettes, derived from Latin balma, balmeta, were used to designate such caves. Actually, for a long time Baumettes was spelled without the "e". It is in this form that it appears on ancient maps and works.

Even if they were somewhat forgotten at different times, natural cavities had never be abandoned. Natural cavities and cave dwellings hosted the first human civilizations all around the five continents.

It is an architecture closely linked to the breathing of the rock, its shape and its durability.

Cave-dweling in Les Beaumettes

At the centre of the village you will find a medieval chapel (1635) offered to the villagers by the Baron Autric De Ventimiglia. It now serves as an exhibition room, where one can admire the superb 20th century stained-glass of the oculus. The church of the Annunciation is much more recent and dates from the 1870s.

Located in the middle of nature our village offers several small hiking trails and it is not necessary to be an experienced walker to enjoy these trails. You will come across many “restanques” or terraces made during 18th century to answer the growing need for cultivable lands. 

Being on the Calavoncylcling road, the village ideally placed for a stop and some refreshments under its restaurans' arbours.

Always looking for authenticity and rich of its heritage, the village events committee cultivates traditions.

Many festivals are offered but the main ones are the car boot sale of August 15th, the Natural Wine fair at the end of July and the village's annual festival at the end of September.

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Dolmen de l

 Dolmen de l'Ubac: Neolithic funerary monument

A few kilometers, between Les Beaumettes and Goult, the Dolmen de l'Ubac was discovered in 1994 during a flood of the Calavon river. The original location was 500 m downstream, a place very exposed to erosion. It was therefore rebuilt where it is now.

The construction of the dolmen took place at the end of Neolithic age, between 3300 and 2900 BC. During its use, which lasted up to 500 years, the sepulchral chamber was gradually filled with sediment passing through the slabs. These fossilized inputs of land show four different periods of its occupation. About 50 deceased of all ages and sex were buried there.

The relocation of the archaeological construction enabled the preservation a rare heritage. By rebuilding it 500 metres from the site of its discovery,  we respected the proximity to the Calavon river and its original orientation.

The reconstruction of the Neolithic monument therefore required numbering, careful dismantling and faithful reassembly of its preserved structure, stone by stone. To fully restore it, the complementary stones were extracted near the original site, as did our ancestors, using the local resource of the flush rocks, formed 20 million years ago under the seas.

Thanks to this project, the stones, simple buried traces became  the witnesses of the human activity there, a site and all the history it represents. 

Did you know that? 

Via Domitia is an ancient Roman road, built from 118 BC to connect Italy to Spain by crossing Narbonnese Gaul.

First road built by the Romans in Gaul, it crosses the Alps, follow the Durance Valley, runs along the Luberon from the north, crosses the Rhône to Beaucaire, passes through Nîmes and follows the coast of the Gulf of Lion to the Iberian Peninsula.

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