From Bonnieux, crossing the pass through the Luberon mountain, allows to reach Lourmarin ; the road winds for 11 km between wooded cliffs to emerge on the southern slopes of the Luberon. Lourmarin is one of 40 villages of the Luberon where nearly 6,000 waldesians coming from the Alps settled in the late 15th century. 3000 of them were massacred in 1545, the village burned by the troops of a military commander under the authority of the Lord of Oppède.
After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, a portion of the Huguenot wine growers of the village fled to the Netherlands and then crossed the seas to settle in South Africa Huguenot community ; among these winemakers, Jean Roy, founded near Cape town a Wine Estate called L'Ormarins; the winery has changed owners over the centuries but is still a renowned vineyard today.
The village is very nice, located in a bucolic greenery ; most streets are pedestrian, embellished with ornate facades; shops are chic and art galleries numerous; everything here is elegant and reproduces the perfect image we can imagine from a Provençal village.
Remembering the Waldensian period, a temple is located at the entrance of the village; a church and belfry are the two other buildings that overlook the roofs of the village.
It was here in 1958 that Albert Camus bought a former silk farm with the reward of his Nobel Prize from the previous year for all of his work. The house is on the street named Albert Camus street today; The writer is buried in a discreet grave of the village cemetery, not far from another writer Henri Bosco.
The castle, which replaces the fortress built in the 12th century, faces the village, built on a hillock.
It was rebuilt in the 15th century on the ruins of the old castle. The tour is interesting, the castle though of modest size, is furnished and offers beautiful views of Lourmarin.
Around Lourmarin, one can venture into some nearby villages; Lauris overlooks the Durance valley and offers a beautiful view spreading from the Sainte-Victoire mountain to the Alpilles area. The old town is full of history with its castle and terraces of the eighteenth century, wash houses, oratories, fountains, old houses, winding streets, its church. The castle terrace offers beautiful gardens and you can access the Garden Conservatory of dyeing plants, unique in Europe that brings together more than 250 species of dye plants used for producing dyes to color cosmetics, ink as well as food
Ansouis is a beautiful medieval village a little numb, but very beautiful and its amazing castle amply justifies a visit.
Built between the 10th and 18th century, the different periods of construction and successive enhancement give it a special appeal. Long owned by the Sabran-Pontevès family, it left the family estate in 2008 following an inheritance dispute; A couple of Aix, acquired the castle for € 5.6 million, beating Pierre Cardin who wanted to get it.
The new owners are passionate about heritage, they undertook to furnish it and renovate it in the rules of art, ; the visit is interesting because it is guided by the owner who has a great knowledge of its furniture and of the castle.