Perched on a rock and stands on the edge of the Vaucluse plateau, Gordes include a "most beautiful villages of France" where many celebrities and artists have taken up residence.
Gordes was an oppidum of the tribe or Vulgientes Vordenses who gave their name to the primitive village, by the transformation of customary fifth initial G (Vordenses - Gordenses) in the Gallo-Roman times.
The terrible insecurity, due to the many invasions over the centuries forced the rural population to flee to higher ground. This is the origin of these hilltop villages. The strategic value of these fortified settlements will continue throughout the Middle Ages and some of the Renaissance, especially during the Wars of Religion.
That's why Gordes lived in the defensive and learned to protect themselves, perhaps more than others. What gives, probably, even today, something rough and somewhat austere in this village, a labyrinth of dry stone, whose inhabitants over the centuries have kept the trail in their ancestral memory, the torments of past.
Between the multiple invasions, religious wars, plague, two earthquakes, a bombing at the end of World War II, and the multitude of evils such events, such as famine and depopulation, the Gordian had many opportunities to show their courage, their strength and demonstrate their commitment to this village clinging to its rock solid!
Originally Romanesque (twelfth), the church of Gordes was once dedicated to Our Lady. Rebuilt in the eighteenth century, it is then devoted two centuries to his patron Saint Firmin (Bishop of Uzès). The Saint-Eloi is for blacksmiths and locksmiths, while that of Saint-Crespin corresponds to shoemakers.
You can see street Clastres a shell, witness pilgrimages towards Saint-Jacques.
Abbey Sénanque (4 km towards Cavaillon then Venasque)
In the beautiful valley of Sénancole, this monument founded in 1148, witnessed the early Cistercian architecture. It is still inhabited by a community of Cistercian monks.
The whole edifice of the 12th century is open to visitors with a guide.
Information on +33 4 90 72 05 72.
In a large size, this building existed in 1031. Destroyed in the meantime, it was rebuilt in 1525. The austere medieval architecture mingles with the new lifestyle of the Renaissance. Historical monument in 1931. From the time the splendid Renaissance fireplace remarkable Room Honor, historic monument in 1902.
In the exceptional setting of Castle Gordes, temporary exhibitions are organized during the summer season. One can also find a permanent exhibition on the history of the village.
Information on +33 4 90 72 02 75.
The Village des Bories (4 km towards Cavaillon)
The Village of Bories Gordes with sheep, wine vats, threshing wheat, streets, yards and walls, reflects the painstaking work of countless generations of farmers seeking new land. Certainly the oldest dating from the 16th century and more recent 19th century. Village des Bories, classified as "Historic Monument" in 1977, is the largest group of this habitat characteristic of the Pays d'Apt dry stone.
The Village des Bories, museum of rural habitat, can be visited all year round, daily from 9am to sunset.
Information on +33 4 90 72 03 48.
The mill Broths (4 km towards Cavaillon)
Gallo-Roman site inhabited for 2,000 years. This olive oil mill, a listed building, is the oldest surviving mill intact with all its work items. This mill, in working condition, with its tanks dug into the rock, its Roman pipes, tells the story of olive oil and soap in the Mediterranean. Collection of oil lamps, amphorae ...
Information on +33 4 90 72 22 11.
Museum of Glass and Stained Glass (4 km towards Cavaillon)
This large museum, 600 m² of exhibition in a 3-hectare park where you can also see the monumental sculptures of Frederick Duran, tells the story of glass and stained glass from the earliest to the present time. 7000 years of the history of humanity, the glass bead to the glass, stained glass photovoltaic cells.
Information on +33 4 90 72 22 11.
The cellars of the Palais Saint Firmin (in the village):
Cave rooms, cisterns, underground stairs, oil mills, etc.. Adapted from century to century in a large house called "Palais Saint Firmin."
The "citadels villages" as Gordes are a challenge to nature. In order to cope with the lack of floor space, houses intramural pile and set up an underground life. If men lived on the surface, the trade and industry on the other hand grew underground. There exists a huge Gordes often more impressive than the houses that shelter underground network. Currently this behind the scenes, buried under the embankment is not visible. Almost, because more than 40 years of excavation work, tourists can now discover a part of this underground world.
Under the Palais Saint Firmin, a large house of the Renaissance, is a network of caves. Since 1999, it is possible to visit the most representative of the intensity of this underground activity. This network of mills, tanks, pipes, is included in the supplementary inventory of historic monuments, and provides the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cave life Gordes.
Proceedings of the visit: Introduction to visit with a documentary on the history and restoration of Caves du Palais Saint-Firmin (in French, subtitled in English) Site visit with audio guide and lighting all along the route (9 languages available for audio-guides: English, Italian, Chinese, Dutch, German, Spanish, Japanese and Russian) Relaxation and store end of the visit.
Exceptional opening private gardens overlooking the Caves on request for groups and schools.
Fee, free for children under 12 years.
Dates and opening hours: Daily (except Tuesday) from 1 May to 30 September, from 10am to 18pm. By appointment the rest of the year.