Located in the Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon, Ansouis, one of the most beautiful villages of France ", is dominated by its old castle, a historical monument. At his feet, the homes of the 15th and 17th century beautifully restored, the remains of ancient walls, the fire tower, the belfry tower and sculpted fountains are a pleasant walk. The turning lanes you will discover the church of Saint Martin (historical monument), fortified building of the 12th century, but also the extraordinary Georges Mazoyer museum or museum of Vine and Wine at the Chateau Turcan. In his campaign, Ansouis are perfect for hiking or wine tasting in its various wineries.
Built atop a rocky outcrop in the valley of Aigues, Ansouis was a vantage point at the entrance of the Haute-Provence. The castle was originally a Celtic-Ligurian fortress. In medieval times it comes in the form of a large square with a central tower, flanked by four towers, with a strong fortification system which is followed even today. At that time Ansouis belongs to the powerful house of Forcalquier. Suzerainty of Forcalquier on Ansouis lasted until 1178, when the fief became the property of the house of Sabran by the first marriage of Raymond de Sabran with Garsende, Sovereign Countess of Forcalquier. Then time went on Ansouis until 1285, year of birth of Elzear de Sabran. King Charles the second of Sicily married at fourteen to Delphine Signe, heiress and last descendant of the Viscounts of Marseille. At this time of peace was to succeed a long period of unrest which Ansouis did not leave unscathed. It was not until the 17th century that peace came again in Provence and the castle was transformed gradually into a fortress pleasure palace with its beautiful classic facade to the south. Uninhabited for most of the 19th century, he plunged into the most total abandonment during this period. The Duke and Duchess of Sabran-Pontevès retook the castle in 1936 and never gave up their lives to restore its former glory. It is classified a historical monument in 1948.
In 2008 history decides that the tower will experience Ansouis new owners. Mr. and Mrs. Gilles Rousset-Rouvières belong to an ancient family in Marseille, who gave a mayor of the city itself. They are ardent lovers of Provence, its stones and its decorative arts, a passion that drives their business activities relating to properties and assets. Ansouis becomes their home, they are committed to continue the work of restoration, opening wide the castle to visitors, "new page where throbs the unspeakable emotion of a home," as Gilles Milière loves to write, a friend of family.
The church and its square:
Building Historical Monument in 1988.
The parish of Ansouis appears in the texts in the late 11th century as a dependency of the cathedral chapter of Aix. The current building can hardly be dated in the absence of specific texts, but is probably not earlier than the late 12th century. It consists of a nave of three bays and a transverse arch vessel broken barrel. The ship is complemented by an apse with a square plan flanked by two chapels. We note various sculptural elements, gaskets and transoms decorated with geometrical and plant bases extras of human or animal heads, apparently reused in construction. The presence of the wall has imposed a significant distortion of the plane between the choir (transverse vessel and apse) and the nave. A bell-wall pierced by four bays overcomes the triumphal arch.
This church, built probably in the days when the village knew its maximum population, has not been further extended and has undergone some modifications of detail. It noted in particular the walls west, south and east over the roof with rusticated stones from the castle in all probability. The height of the walls were intended to strengthen the church, thus completing the new defensive system reinforced the bastion built immediately east of the church.
Inside there are the busts of St. Elzear and Delphine Signe. Both lived their married life in asceticism and virginity. Elzear died September 27, 1325, his remains were brought to Apt and buried in the Franciscan Church. Elzear was canonized by Urban V, 13 August 1369. On the death of her husband, Delphine made vows of poverty, retired to Cabrières Aigues few years and ended his life in Apt in the greatest destitution. The Church blessed and proclaimed the popular will, Ste. This popular fervor has survived the centuries since Ansouis always celebrates the Saints in September.
The Community Council of Ansouis held its sittings in the house of the brotherhood of the Holy Spirit since 1540. After the dissolution of the Brotherhood, the house became communal property and turned into City Hall and oven.
Were built above the belfry, topped with a wrought iron campanile, which houses the clock and was probably realized in the late 16th century or early 17th century. This town hall was replaced by the former town hall on an unknown date, between 1793 and 1836.
The Museum of Extraordinary Georges Mazoyer:
Created by Georges Mazoyer, artist and scuba diver, the museum consists of a succession of medieval arches that form a backdrop to many real wonders: fish, shellfish, corals, combined with good fortune to witness our prehistoric Luberon.
Both artistic and educational, this museum will surprise you with its rich collections representing forty years of passion that we discover through paintings, ceramics and stained glass artist.
The Museum of Arts and Crafts Wine at Chateau Turcan:
Turcan Castle is a family vineyard for over a hundred fifty years. Feature of this area famous for its wines, it contains within its walls, an important museum that has just completed an extension and complete renovation. More than 3,000 pieces tell the history of wine, grape growing in the manufacture of barrels. Besides the reconstruction of a cooperage shop and a laboratory fermenter of the 1900s, it contains some unique tools in France, often by their superb material and decoration, which reflect the love of artisans of past centuries to their instruments and their profession. The highlight of the visit is the amazing Square presses which includes 14 presses monumental staging itself from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century.
The museum is now frequently cited in articles and books about the tools of the vineyard and wine that include photographs of his most rare.