When in Provence ..... Oppède-le-Vieux

While we stayed at Bastide Le Mourre (see here), our first reminder every morning that we were in Provence was the view through the front glass door of the old mill. Embedded halfway up the face of the Luberon Mountain in the distance, were the ruins of a castle and a beautiful Romanesque church in the village of Oppède-le-Vieux.

The elevated position of the village was perfect in the days when everything from the Romans right through to the wars of religion swept through here, but when peace finally became lasting the locals left the town to be closer to their lands below in the valley. A new town, also called Oppède, was their new home and the old village became a ghost town. It was only during World War 2 that a group of artists moved into the empty houses and started to renovate them. But even today, only a handful of people live in the town.

We loved visiting the town on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The old village is beautiful and we hiked up the cobbled path (about a 15 minute walk) to the spectacular castle ruin and church above the village. We clambered around in the ruins and were rewarded with beautiful views from every opening in the walls. Looking out towards Mont Ventoux over the beautiful patchwork below, we couldn’t really see any highways, rail tracks or other signs of development. It seemed to us that time had stood still in the Luberon, even as the broken walls of the castle clearly showed that it hadn’t.

Image credits: All photography by me

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