heritage
Pol Mara Museum
Village des Bories
Senanque's Abbey
Moulin des Bouillons
Mills of Véroncle
The Church
Calades
Almonery Saint Jacques
Chapel of white penitents
Cellars of Palais Saint Firmin
THE CASTLE

The castle and the church, which dominate the village, impress their stature upon the visitor, as if to protect Gordes'inhabitants and extend upon them their respective influences, as was the case in the past.

The castle, rebuilt in 1525 already, existed in 1031.  Well preserved, and carefully restored, it brings together the architecture of the troubled medieval period with the new ways of  the Renaissance.

This imposing monument is strongly guarded with its round machicolated towers bearing terraces for the artillery.  Three storeys of "Renaissance windows" have been pierced in the tall curtain walls and today, one can still notice many a cleverly located arrow  slit on all the surfaces of the construction (towers, walls and bartizan).  The South façade opens up towards the sun, facing the old town.  Behind the fountains, a vaulted passageway pierced into the wall opens onto a courtyard leading to a monumental spiral staircase, which connects the entire building.



The castle of Gordes
THE POL MARA MUSEUM

Since the summer of 1996, it has been possible to visit withing Gordes Castle, the Pol Mara Museum.  Pol Mara was contemporary Flemish painter and a citizen of the city of Gordes.

In order to properly visit the museum, one must climb the splendid spiral Renaissance staircase, and begin with the exhibition rooms located on the top floor to follows the chronological order of the artist's life.  The visit will end on the first floor in the Town Hall magnificient reception room where the artist's last dreams and phantasms are displayed next to the more austere XVIth century monuymental fireplace.

Pol Mara's masterpieces are shown on three storeys and are like a variation on the theme of the changing times.

The Museum is open every day
: 10 am to 12 pm and 14 pm to 18 pm.
Closed December 25th and January 1st.
Non guided visits, approx. Duration : 30 minutes.

Parking : Buses 500 m away.

Informations at the Tourist office :
Ph :(33) 4.9072.02.75
Fax : (33) 4.90.72.02.26

©Pol Mara
THE VILLAGE DES BORIES

On the slopes of the Vaucluse mountains, facing the Luberon mountains, the Bories village with its sheep-pens, stone bread ovens, wine vats, threshing areas, narrow alleys and "city walls" bears witness to the numerous generations of hard working people that have inhabited this place.  Since the Bories (a "borie" is a stone hut characteristic of the Apt area), can be traced back to the Bronze Age, it is about 3000 years of continuity that one contemplates, the newest huts having been built in the XVIIIth century.  The French Government has classified the Bories Village a Historical Monument in 1977.  It is the most important group of houses of  its kind in the region.

The Village, neglected for over a century had suffered the assaults of time and was disappearing under the overgrowth.  It had also been used as a resource for cheap building materials.  Thus, it was high time to restore and preserve it.  The Village, which is a rare and fine example of spontaneous architecture, is well integrated to its surroundings.  This is due to the use of natural raw materials, and a design using a minimum of shapes and means.  It is now under protection, yet open to visitors. Organised as a museum it shows a rural habitat  and exhibits a collection of objects and tools traditionally used in the area.  There is also a whole documentation on Gordes' History, the Bories and the tradition of building without mortar in France and in the world.

To discover the Bories Village is a unique experience.  One cannot but be touched by the harmony of the horizontal and vertical lines; the balance between minerals and  vegetation, the play between shadows and light, particularly at the rising or setting sun; time best suited for a visit.

Information : 
Ph :
(33) 4.90.72.03.48
Fax : (33) 4.90.72.04.39

Open every day from 9.00 am to sunset.

Parking:
Buses: 1.7 km away from the Village,
Senior Citizens: the Municipality of Gordes organises a shuttle bus, free of charge. To book the bus, please
Phone: (33) 4.90.72.02.08
Fax   : (33) 4.90.72.04.39
The shuttle runs every day except on saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays.

Village des Bories
SENANQUE'S ABBEY

Founded in 1148, the Sénanque Abbey is  an exceptional witness of primitive Cistercian architecture.

A community of Cistercian monks still lives there.  The entire XIIth century building is opened to visitors; this includes the abbatial church, the cloister, the dormitory, the chapter room and the calefactory.

Ph : (33) 4.90.72.0572
Fax : (33) 4.90.72.15.70
http://www.senanque.fr

Senanque's Abbey
THE MOULINS OIL PRESS

It is the oldest olive oil press being kept in perfect condition to this day, with all its elements including a press, with its axis made of an oak tree trunk 30 feet long and weighing 7 tons.  It is located in a XVIth century bastide, with vaulted rooms.  The antique oil press dates back to the Gallo-roman era.

Ph : (33) 4.90.72.22.11
Fax : (33) 4.90.72.20.48

http://www.luberon-news.com/musee-bouillons.html

THE VERONCLE WATER MILLS 
Pedestrian round excursion 14km long.
Level****
Discovery of ancient watermills and waterways carved in the rock.
Parking: RD15 or in the village of Murs.

 

THE CHURCH

Originally Romanesque, it was consecrated to Notre Dame.

Rebuilt in the XVIIIth century, it was then dedicated for 2 centuries to its patron, St Firmin (bishop of the city of Uzès).  The St Eloi chapel is consecrated to the blacksmiths and locksmiths, and that of St Crespin to the cobblers.  On the so-called "rue des Clastres", on may notice a shell, carved in a wall, which bears witness to the pilgrims walking towards St Jacques in Spain.

The Church
THE CALADES

This is the name given by the people of Provence to these typical streets cobbled with stones fetched in the near-by rivers, and laid on edge.  They are one of the village's characteristics.

The Calades
THE SAINT JAMES ALMONERY

For a long time mistaken for either a chapel or a guardroom, the St James almonry was in fact a hostel used by the pilgrims on their way to St James of Compostelle.  The floral decor of the capitals reminds one of those of the Sénanque Abbey.  The famous seashell is shown on one of them.


THE WHITE PENITENTS CHAPEL 

First mention is made of this chapel in the year 1667,  in the municipal archives.  It appears it would have been under the leadership of a fraternity for several years.  Today, there only remains  the White Penitents Chapel and the Savoy Gate chapel in the  "Tracapelles Street", which means the "street-in-between-the-chapels".

THE ST FIRMIN'S PALACE CELLARS 

Historic monument
Troglodytic rooms, cisterns, subterranean stairways, oil presses, etc. all carved and/or  built from century to century within the basement of a large house so-called "Palais St Firmin".

Unaccompanied tour with information leaflet
Entrance : between Gordes church and the belvedere
Price :4 Euros
Familial billet : 12 Euros
Groupe adulte: 3 euros each person

The cellars of the Palais St Firmin