Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Travel Guide

  • The spring at a very low level in September 2013.
    The spring at a very low level in...
    by pfsmalo
  • The ruins of the Bishop of Cavaillons castle.
    The ruins of the Bishop of Cavaillons...
    by pfsmalo
  • Old poster showing the legend of the fountain.
    Old poster showing the legend of the...
    by pfsmalo

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Things to Do

  • Around the village.

    It really is a tiny place to visit and apart from the fountain there is not much to see, although this is classed as one of the most visited villages in the Vaucluse department. The church of St Veran has the tomb inside and just outside is a statue of St Veran killing the "Coulubre" a local monster of legend. At the centre of the village there is...

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  • Walk up to the so-called fountain.

    Just after the roundabout at the very end of the village is a path to the left of the roadbridge that will take you up to the fountain. It is given as 5 minutes walk, but although not difficult it is closer to 15 mins. I wa disappointed on arrival, as at the barrier you couldn't see the pool at all. Apparently this is normal for late summer. After...

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  • The Petrarque column

    In the center of the village, in the middle of a tiny square (Place de la colonne) framed by old plane-trees , stands a tall column. On its base (second photo) a carving says « Cette colonne a été érigée à la mémoire de Pétrarque le 20 juillet 1804 par l’Athénée de Vaucluse ; Placée en premier lieu près de la source, elle a été transférée sur cette...

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, private house with...

    Most of the houses in the village are ancient and some of them are worth a look. Here, near the church, I have spotted this houses that has a tower imbedded in its sidewall. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find anything about the history of this house.

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Saint Véran...

    In front of the church, a monument represents Saint Véran fighting the Coulobre, a monster that frightened the whole region.Véran was an eremite that lived in the forest. The Coulobre was a giant she snake that brought terror to the country. She collected young and handsome (male) youngsters to marry her. As none agreed, she ate them, one after the...

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the door of the...

    It is very unlikely that the door of the church dates back from its building, in the XIth century but the way it is made shows that it is very old. The nails have all been hand wrought. The wood is obviously hard wood but I have been unable to identify it. It is too pale to be oak. It looks like olive tree wood, but I have never seen any use of...

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, inside the church

    The inside of the church is very dark as it has almost no opening. On the third bay, there is a Descente de Croix that was offered in the XVIIth by the paper makers. The sarcophagus of Saint Véran lays inside the crypt of the church. A few remains of Carolingian frescoes can be seen inside the church.On the left, a statue of the bishop of...

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the church

    The church, Notre Dame de Saint Véran was built in a Romanesque style in the XIth at a place where existed before a sanctuary celebrating water gods and later a Carolingian chapel with the grave of Saint Véran. The church was partly modified in the XIIth.The top of the side wall is lined by a corniche with carved figures, alternatively human or...

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  • Vallis clausa paper mill : brief history...

    Vallis clausa paper mill : brief history of paper making (first photo)In 105, Chinese discover the art of paper makingIn 751, the Chinese teach to the Arabs the art of paper makingIn 1250 the Arabs teach to the Crusaders the art of paper makingIn 1798, the Frenchman Louis-Nicolas Robert builds the first machine to produce rolls of paper.The second...

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  • Vallis clausa paper mill : the hammers

    The first photo shows several groups of three wooden hammers. The steel blades cannot be seen as they are at the lower end, inside the tank.The second photo is a close up on a group of three hammers. Each hammer is lifted and released, one after the other and stroke after stroke, the rags used for this high quality paper are turned into a thin...

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  • Vallis clausa paper mill : presentation

    This is the translation of the poster standing at the entrance of the paper mill.This is a rebuilt paper mill of the kind that worked in France at the end of the Middle-Ages. In Provence and Comtat-Venaissin, the first beetles appeared at the end of the XIVth (Carpentras, 1374). In Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the first one was built in 1522 /…/ Later, 4...

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  • Vallis clausa paper mill

    The Sorgues river operated dozen of mills in the past, not working anymore. A paper mill has been kept and arranged both for the pleasure of visitors and to produce minute amounts of high quality paper made manually out of rags with traditional techniques and used for top art printing. The mill is open for visit and is a living museum.

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  • The Sorgues river

    Some 50 m below the spring, the Sorgues river flows towards the village. Its water looks emerald greenish and is crystal clear as it is completely unpolluted. Amazingly, we have not spotted any fish (truits). May be that the water is so clean and clear that the truits would have nothing to eat!

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the spring, 2.

    Following from previous tip (too long for one tip)Vauclusian springs have always aroused the curiosity and unexpected flowing over the rims was considered as supernatural. In the far past, they were the place for pagan rites with offering being sent into the water. Lots of gold and silver coins from various periods, including the Roman empire, were...

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the spring, 1.

    The spring of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse has given its name to what hydrogeologists call “vauclusian springs”. A vauclusian spring is a spring rising under considerable pressure from a deep, vertical or very steep bedrock water-filled passage draining a deep aquifer. Vauclusian springs occur especially in karstic regions. The local tem in southern France...

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  • Frédéric Mistral

    Frédéric Mistral, the great Provencal poet was also a many time visitor to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Frédéric Mistral wrote most of his poetries in the Provençal language and was at the origin of a revival of the language. The stone, close to the Petrarque stone says, in Provençal, how beautiful the spring is, that flows abundantly all year long and...

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  • The cliff

    The whole walk is under the woods, along the Sorgues river. You know that you are close to the end when you can see that the cliff is not far as the spring flows from the foot of the cliff.At this point, a slab of stone is carved with the following text :“Dans cette vallée close, fuyant les plaisirs du siècle, François Pétrarque vint abriter sa...

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  • The castle

    On the other side of the Sorgues, the castle stands high on top of a rock. It is dilapidated but nevertheless looks great. As much as you walk, you get different views of the castle, under different angles, which shows that it had a very strategic situation! It was the castle of the bishops of Cavillon and was built in the XIVth. A path leads to...

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  • Walk to the spring

    The way to the spring begins on the central square of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, at the extremity of the bridge. It is said that the walk is 5 mn. Actually, it is closer to 15 mn. It is advisable to visit early. We were there around 10 AM, June 12th and it was already very hot. In the morning, there are fewer visitors and especially busses have not yet...

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  • Paddle-wheel on the Sorgues river

    To move the millstones, paddlewheels were many. Some have been kept that are not working anymore but are there here on display, for the pleasure of visitors. The central square of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is at one extremity of a bridge that crosses the Sorgues river. All three photos given here are taken around the bridge and gives different sights of...

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  • Millstones

    As water flows everywhere in the valley, this is no wonder if there were numerous mills to grind wheat, olives, etc.... On the central square, by the side of the Petrarqua column, several impressive millstones have been displayed.

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Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Hotels

  • Hotel du Poete

    Le Village, Fontaine de Vaucluse, 84800, France

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Hotel des Sources

    Chateau Vieux, Fontaine de Vaucluse, 84800, France

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Restaurants

  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    by JLBG Written Jun 22, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hôtel du Château stands by the bridge on the Sorgues river, on the other side to the central square of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. It is also a restaurant, with the dining room is overlooking the Sorgues river. As I have written in my hotel tip, I found that it was closed on Mondays and we were Monday evening! Too bad, as the restaurant has a very good card, with several local dishes and very reasonable prices. It is considered as the best value in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

    H��tel-Restaurant du Ch��teau
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    • Food and Dining

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Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Local Customs

  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, schools

    In France, until the late 50s, schools were separate for boys and girls. Often, in villages, the “École de filles” was in one wing of a small building, the “École de garcons” in the other wing and the town hall in the middle. In Fontaine-de-Vaucluse they were in two separate buildings and the name has been kept, carved on the front of each. I do...

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse/Vaucluso la Font

    Frédéric Mistral, the great Provençal poet and responsible for a revival of the Provençal language at the turn of the XIXth century would be happy to see that now, many villages of Provence and especially his beloved Fontaine, now Fontaine-de-Vaucluse shows on the road signs both the French and the Provençal names.

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  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Hotels

    2 Hotels in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Off The Beaten Path

  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    by JLBG Written Jun 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This photo was taken on top of the village, on the road to Gordes (another superb village of inland Provence, on which I will try to build a page too but anyway, if you have the opportunity, visit Gordes!). It gives a typical aspect of the karstic countryside of inland Provence with olive groves and forest with mainly short Mediterranean oaks.

    Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, landscape on top of the vill

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Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Sports & Outdoors

  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    by JLBG Written Jun 22, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A slalom course for white water kayaking has been set up on the Sorgues. If you enlarge the photo, you will see the suspended poles that mark the slalom way.

    It is possible to rent kayaks and paddle from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgues, 8 km downstream. Even beginners can do that trip.

    Kayaking on the Sorgues river
    Related to:
    • Kayaking

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