Two Villages in Provence

On one day in April we visited two stunning villages in Provence that could not have been less alike. The juxtaposition was startling; one village high on a red, gold and umber hill, dusty and sunny; the other can only be described as a cool drink of water.

Nestled high in the hills near the Luberon, the little village of Rouissillon is the most beloved village in all of Provence. There we are completely immersed in the vivid color (indeed you will come away with the faintest ochre-colored dust on your shoes and clothes) we associate with Provence: ochre, rose, sienna. We wander up and down the hilly streets through canyons of colored buildings; we reach the top and the view is stunning over the flaming hills. We stop for un cafe and we visit the Conservatory of Color; we cannot escape the brilliant, hot colors of Rouissillon. Her pigments are everywhere.

a village street scene in Rouissillon with pigments from
the local hillsides coloring
everything brilliantly pink, rose, and ochre

approaching Rouissillon on a sunny day!

inside the little church at the top of the hill in Rouissillon
features more color than usual for this little altar
to St. Michael the Archangel

a very blue door stands in contrast to the typical
ochres, golds, and siennas usually seen in Rouissillon
and makes this door stand apart from the rest

a sample of very old tile designs found at the
Conservatoire des Ochres in Rouissillon

another village street scene in Rouissillon near the
top of the hill with warm yellows and roses for the
walls, while the green shutters give a lovely contrast

a beautiful rose colored door wall in the village
of Rouissillon... the white trim makes the
color even more vivid

the fiery cliffsides that you can see from the
center of the village

display at Okhra... the Conservatory of Ochre,
where you can take classes in ways
to use the pigments in applied arts

pigments for sale

the store at the Conservatory of Ochre; you
can also order supplies online

coloring tiles at the Conservatory des Ochres

a walk
through the brilliantly-hued cliffs in


After the strong visual stimulation, bright sunshine and heat of Roussillon, the perfect next stop is Fontaine du Vaucluse. This little village is quite off the beaten path, and it is built around the source of the Sorgue River... the same river that runs through l'Isle sur la Sorgue, of course. After crossing under the Aqueduc de Galas beneath the remains of a 14th C. Chateau des Eveques high on the cliffside, we arrive at this watery, refreshing, cool green and blue oasis.

spring roses blooming in the cool of the village

the Sorgue river as it meanders from the source
towards l'Isle sur la Sorgue

the Sorgue river runs through local neighborhoods

approaching Fontaine du Vaucluse we see the
aqueduct de Galas which was built in 1857

a closer view of the enormous aqueduct as
we approach the village at the end of the
closed valley

a cool terrace beside the river near the source

the popular gathering spot in
Fontaine du Vaucluse over the river

the mairie in Fontaine du Vaucluse

brilliant turquoise water at the very
source of the Sorgue river


thanks for visiting!... Kit

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