The Borie village lies to the west of Gordes, less than 2 kms away, but difficult to get to without a vehicle. Although the borie is known to date back as far as the Bronze Age (3000 years ago) the village here is thought to be dated only from the 15th c but probably refurbished over a much longer period. The Bories originally were used for housing the tools and shelter for the animals. Later found in fields and used as temporary shelters and finally used in groups as in this village as residences for villagers proving a certain social system.
The village here had been abandoned since the turn of the 19th/20th c and overgrown with vegetation. Due to the perseverance and hard work of the owner the village has been revived and has been classed as a historic moument. The drystone vaulted buildings have been used as ovens stockyards, pigsties and chicken runs and can be visited without problem.
Cost of entry to the site is 6€ for an adult.
Lying just a few kms north of Gordes is the Cistercian Abbey of Notre Dame de Senanque. Installed at the far end of a valley since 1128, it is still a working monastery for a community of 6 and as such can only be visited at certain times and only with a guide. Can be visited individually ONLY if there are not too many people. Recommended to check on the times before arrival (which I didn't) if you don't want to miss the visit. Link for the times and months, cost is 7€ for an adult
But even from outside the buildings are in a good state, seeing as how they've been standing here for nigh on 900 years. Surrounding the abbey are fields upon fields of lavender, which is the main source of income for the monks here, plus whatever is sold at the gift shop.
Just a warning, that apart from the main square around the castle, Gordes is pretty much cobbled everywhere and can make walking difficult. Add to that the constant up and down. But there are some nice streets in the town and would be a pity to miss out. A nice view from the major car park over the Roussillon plain too.
The imposing castle was originally built here in 1031 but this one is from 1525. Today it houses the town hall and is also open for various exhibitions. There is also a couple of fine examples of "caladées", that is, streets cobbled in a certain style with certain stones, fine for those that are valid but not so easy for the others. The tiny chapel of the "Penitents Blancs" that dates from the 1660's is now an art gallery and can be found also on the main square.
Originally dedicated to Notre-Dame (Our Lady), since 2 centuries it has been re-named as St. Firmins and includes two small chapels devoted to St. Crespin and Eloi. Re-painted over the last century, the crack resulting from an earth tremor can still distinctly be seen above the altar.
On the way to Gordes, you will find this museum. They will explain how they make perfume from lavender with a film, guided tour and exhibitions. You can visit their nice perfume shops. watch out your wallet!
Abbaye de Senanque is a most famous monastery in the region. It was built in 12th century. It is also surrounded by large lavender fields.When you come to Gordes, you will find the sign "Abbye de Senanque. Its a calm and beautiful place . You must come here!
On my way out of Gordes I happened upon the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque (Sénanque Abbey). You can tour the lavender fields and the area in the abbey where they product lavender products. In the shop I bought two bars of lavender soap.The abbey lies in a valley close to Gordes and is worth the visit.
You can actually stay on the abbey grounds in a Hôtellerie:
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Just beside Gordes is the Village de Bories. The Village de Bories an ancient hamlet of all dry-stone buildings: an incredible collection of houses, walls, barns and a variety of other enclosures. No one knows who built these structures out of local stones.
In 1999 it was libre, or free admission however, now you have to pay 5 euros to get in, hour of operation: 09:00-17:30.
Just a stone's throw from Gordes is the unique Village des Bories. The village is a collection of well-preserved stone huts which at first glance appear pre-historic, thanks to their archaic appearance and the manner in which they were built. This would not seem out of place, as Provence is among the oldest continuously inhabited regions since the dawn of human history. However, estimates based on objects found at the site have placed their construction anywhere from the 15th to the 18th century. Nevertheless, this village is a unique, and completely unexpected, sight (I find myself saying that a lot in Provence). Shall we say, "historic monument"? I think so.
Some 4 km north-west of Gordes and off the D177 is the Cistercian Abbaye de Senanque where in summer, is framed by fields of lilac lavender. The abbey, founded in 1148 and today inhabited by just five monks.
Not far from Gordes there is the famous Abbaye de Senanque. This church is in the middle of a campaign and the best period to visit it is in spring, when lavanda covers all the camps with a marvellous purple color.
In 1970 the Magyar artist Victor Vaserély buyed this castle and organized an exposition of his geometric art. Today the castle contains the pop arts of the Musée Pol Mara.
At the first floor there is a great fireplace built in the Renaissance (1541), decorated with sculptures of flowers and shells.
The midway of D177 where you find a georgous valley of Senanque region. It is a good place as a stopover.
From the other part of the street, houses appears to be united... In 1938 the painter André Lhote loved this place and suddenly it became quite famous...