Its history, its heritage and architectural richness, its breath-taking panoramas, protected landscapes and nature are as many invitations to discover this little Provençal jewel.
Gordes rises up like a citadel, offering a view of the landmarks of its past, a majestic protective castle, a massive church with its defensive appearance, surrounded by tall buildings that overlook the precipice and the narrow streets that make it possible to escape the assaults of the Mistral wind.
The village developed from the 11th century onwards around the castle to become a true fortress protected by ramparts during the turbulent periods of the Middle Ages.
The powerful Provençal family Simiane d' Agoult marked Gordes’s history during the Renaissance in the person of Bertrand Rambaud de Simiane who in the 16th century remodelled and enlarged the castle.
The modern era is hard-working and industrious.
Agriculture remains the essential activity, but most often it does not meet the needs of the population.
In the village, craft activities are developing: silk spinning mills, tanneries, shoemaking, and wool weaving which provide work and enable many Gordians to improve a difficult daily life.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the village had a large population that rivalled that of the neighbouring towns, but despite a dynamic of handicrafts, especially shoemaking, poverty and disease remained a scourge. And although assistance was provided to the poor, infant mortality remained high.
From the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century, Gordes suffered great upheavals – successive earthquakes resulting in destruction, industrial change, the arrival of diseases that weakened agriculture, World War I, the Great Frost of 1956 – which led to population decline and impoverishment of the inhabitants, the majority of whom fled to neighbouring towns.
However, in the 1950s, after a dry period, the town's destiny gained momentum. A group of artists, sensitive to the beauty of the village, fell under its charm and found in its isolation, its ruins, its light and its landscapes, a source of inspiration.
Today, the village, classified as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France, is a popular destination of international renown.