Discover Lourmarin, registered as one of the most beautiful villages in France, its castle and its cultural heritage.
To understand the appeal of Lourmarin, labelled one of the most beautiful villages in France, one needs to come and feel the magic of the place. Whether arriving from Apt or Bonnieux by the Combe or from Lauris by the road, we're welcome by lines of plane trees... The village reveals itself, bright and quiet, built on low hills. Three bell towers set the tempo of everyday life (the belfry, the church and the temple) along with a multitude of small streets revolving around the heart of the village.
Fine shops, galleries and restaurants today showcase the beautiful houses of characters, witnesses of Lourmarin history.
Albert Camus and Henri Bosco two famous writers who succumbed to the charm of the village and contributed to his fame.
Its geographical location makes it a strategic place, at the end of the road that links the valley of the Durance and that of Calavon and Apt. The Romans kept a close eye on this narrow road, protecting the ever-growing inhabitants.
The Agoults built the medieval part of the catle then followed in the 16th century by its Renaissance part, making it the first Renaissance castle in Provence.
A village mostly composed of Waldenses and then Protestants, it was partially burned and destroyed during the 1545 Waldenses massacre. It was gradually rebuilt to have its current profile.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, new industries emerged such as manufactures, craft and agricultural ones: wheat, rye, olives, vines, blackberries or silkworms which were used for the weaving of silk industries, but also wool and linen ones. By the by, it is Philip of Girard, a native of Lourmarin, who invented the first linen weaving loom...
In the 19th century, prosperity settled but, with it, insecurity. 1921 was an important year in the history of the village: Robert Laurent Vibert, a scholar from Lyon, a litteray and history man, a great art lover but also a very wealthy man, acquired and restored the castle that had fallen into ruins. After his death, the castle was bequeathed to the Académie des Sciences, Agriculture, Art et Belles Lettres d'Aix-en-Provence, provided that a Foundation to host young artists was created, a sort of 'Villa Medici' in Luberon somehow.
Besides its beauty, this village is characterized by its lively atmosphere all year round thanks to the galleries, festivals and concerts or the big Friday morning market... Henri Bosco said about Lourmarin that it was a 'favourable place to make friends? ' , Albert Camus spoke of a 'motherland' with an 'overwhelming beauty'. Both fell in love with the village and decided to make it their Homes.
Cafes, restaurants and beautiful shops punctuate your wanderings through the narrow alleys towards small squares and fountains.
This mansion is from the 18th century and was sold to the village in 1902. Philip of Girard was the most famous representative of this local family .
It is the oldest fountain in the village many times repaired and rebuilt between the 17th and 18th centuries. It was listed as a historic monument in July 1914.
It dates back to the 16th century and was restored in 2010.
This bell tower is home to the village clock. Classified in 1942, it was rebuilt in the 17th century on the site of an old stately castle, hence its second name, the Castellas. At the time it was a motte castle, characteristic of medieval constructions.
From the primitive building of the 12th century, only the traces left by the blind arcades of the first bays remain.
This fountain, decorated with grostsque masks, was donated to the village by the Fondation Laurent-Vibert, it dates back to 1937. For Henri Bosco, these heads represented the important natural elements of the region: the Rhône, the Durance and the Luberon. These three heads can also recall three Greek deities with from left to right: Poseidon, god of the sea; Appolon, god of manly beaurty and Pan, god of the wild shepards and flocks. However, there is no written confirmation of this theory.
As early as the 15th century, Lourmarin was inhabited by a lot of Protestants. In the 17th century, the village had only 80 Catholics out of 1300 inhabitants. Protestant places of worship were in turn: clandestine, in the centre of the village or in the countryside. The present temple was not built until 1806 and finished ir 1816 , Lourmarin paid for the building and Puyvert (a neighbouring village) for the furniture. It is the largest temple in the Vaucluse.
The Lourmarin Castle is composed of two parts, one from the medieval period (1475-1526) built by Foulques III D'Agoult, the second, Renaissance style one(1526-1560) was built by Foulques' descendents, creating the first Renaissance style castle in Provence.
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