At the crossroads between the Rhone and Durance, dominated by the Mont Ventoux, Carpentras is housed in the shelter from the mistral in the rich and fertile plain of Comtat Venaissin, a landscape-like Italian campaign where dotted with beautiful villages that are warming the midday sun. The location near major highways, makes it an ideal base for its quality of life, land and ancestral know-how, an exceptional environment in the heart of unspoilt nature and rich heritage left by the presence popes during five centuries.
"A Carpentras, quiet city and is the mistral farandole
His dance tunes Comtadine under the old plane trees
Watching the Mont Ventoux? "Pierre Vaussais - Fall 80
Carpentras offers to the visitors, facets as colorful as the facades of its old center. Heir to the Gallic city of Memini, the double character of Acropolis and market, the city became in the Middle Ages, the capital of Vaison in Vaucluse. It owes its originality to its membership of the Holy See from the 13th to the 18th century. Its architecture is inspired by Italian models and the presence of Jews protected the Popes, brand culture.
In the streets and squares, its rich heritage is revealed to the walker.
No one can fail by entering the city to the south, the Hotel-Dieu, the work of Bishop of Inguimbert, Bishop of Carpentras in 1735. The building erected between 1750 and 1761 under the direction of the architect of German Antoine hospital architecture offers a majestic long façade with simple dominant to the west and topped with fire pots, protecting a huge palace that houses a dispensary maintained as is, with a baroque chapel decorations of polychrome marbles, the large gallery served by a staircase, which is adorned with 281 donation from the 18th to 20th century paintings to extend the memory of the generous donors who bequeathed their fortune to the Hotel Dieu.
A visit to soak up the daily life of a Hotel-Dieu of the 18th century with the pharmacy at the forefront of medical theories of the Enlightenment.
The Cathedral of Saint Siffrein:
The Cathedral of Saint Siffrein, named after the patron bishop of the city (seventh century) is a fine example of Southern Gothic architecture is characterized by a unified and strong muralité. It is the largest church in the Diocese: 58 meters long with 42 for the nave with six bays warheads. Its construction lasted over a century (1405-1531), replacing two earlier buildings, including a 13th century Romanesque cathedral, the remains still existing on the north side of the apse.
Inside, the decor is indicative of the great artistic movement caused by the presence in the papal Venaissin County, until the Revolution. Painted panel of the Coronation of the Virgin, 15th century stained glass, marble altarpieces genoa precious gilded wood carvings of the family Bernus, Thousand exceptional ironwork, paintings signed GE Greve, N. Mignard, E. Parrocel JS Duplessis and the Carpentras ... they allow themselves to look in the shadow of the chapels.
The Palace of Justice:
In the alignment of the Cathedral of St. Siffrein, stands on the square of the "Palace" renamed General De Gaulle, former bishop's palace now known as 1801, the Palace of Justice.
The building was built in the 17th century, at the request of Bishop Bichi, in the "Roman taste" - projecting balcony, pilasters bosses ... The facade illustrates the style of the great Italian palaces.
A look inside: the ancient ceremonial chamber of the bishops with a French ceiling, the courtroom, once a meeting place of the States of Vaison in Vaucluse and the room with the correctional cartridges representing villages former Comtat.
The Roman arch:
Before entering the synagogue, one must stop to another place, instead of Inguimbert. In its recess, leaning against the north side of Saint Siffrein, is the only remnant of the Roman period, the Roman arch.
The city Comtadine, before falling to the popes, passed successively into the hands of the Celts - as the Carpentoracte Meminorum and Romans - Forum Nero. In those early days, remains a building of the first century AD, built to commemorate the victory of Rome over the barbarians. Pierced by a single arch, it offers a beautiful carved detail: two captives chained to a trophy.
The synagogue, built in 1367 and rebuilt in the 18th century by the architect Antoine D'German, is the oldest in France, still in operation. It testifies to the presence of the Jewish community, persecuted in the Kingdom of France, put themselves under papal protection and settled in Venaissin County from the 13th century.
From the quarry in 1461 located in the heart of the city by the Consuls and abandoned at the attachment of Comtat France, remains a place of worship steeped in emotion and still in business that reflects the Judeo-Provencal past and present .
The front, deliberately discreet dates from 1909, the hall of worship offers a baroque setting of the 18th century, decorated with columns and faux marble, while the ground floor houses the oldest parts: the ritual baths, 2 bakeries - one reserved for daily bread, the other in the making unleavened bread, unleavened bread - and a room dedicated to the walls of Jerusalem in prayer.
The door of Orange:
Access to the north of the city by one gate, the last remains of the ramparts of the 14th century.
The door of Orange, a set that included 32 defensive towers and semi round. The tower, which rises to 26 m, guard looks great with its corbelled battlements of aliasing. One of the most admired buildings of the city, saved from the brink of destruction in the major projects of urbanization led to the 19th century.
In good weather, the view at the top is magnificent: to the north, the view embraces the agricultural plain with the Dentelles de Montmirail and Mont Ventoux in the background, to the south look down on the roofs and steeples of sunny Carpentras illuminating the narrow streets of the old center.
Museum Comtadin - Duplessis:
The municipal collections of paintings from the source, the research firm of Inguimbert Bishop, Bishop of Carpentras from 1735 to 1757. They offer a genuine interest both in the history of art in terms of the history of taste and collectors. From this set emerged a few highlights: Provençal primitive of the Saint Siffrein, JS Duplessis paintings, paintings of foreign schools, including those set of portraits from Dom Inguimbert of Malachi, finally the tables in the second half of the 18th century and 19th century make it possible to look, painting and regional currents J. Paris Vernet, J. Bideauld, Bonaventure, J. Laurens ...
The ground floor of the museum houses collections of art and popular traditions. Seals, coins and medals evoke the history of Vaison in Vaucluse, caps Comtadine, crèches Provence, decoys, weights and measures, bells illustrate the customs and know-how of Comtat. Votive offerings dedicated to Our Lady of Health and donations Mount of Piety testify to the religious fervor while recounting the lives of Carpentras in the 19th century.
The collections of decorative arts in the city of Carpentras are satisfied in the former mansion of the family of Armand de Chateauvieux, lounges decorated with designs of plasterwork features of Vaison in Vaucluse.
From boudoirs in exhibitions, visitors can discover a set of regional furniture, after a remarkable Aubusson tapestries, porcelain Marseille and Moustiers, landscape paintings and portraits of aristocrats.
The museum is named after the last count of Sobirats, generous donor to the institution. This route captures the warm and intimate atmosphere of a patrician house of the 18th century.