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!
More Romanesque (twelfth), the Church of Gordes was once dedicated to Our Lady. Rebuilt in the eighteenth, it is then devoted two centuries to his patron Saint Firmin (Bishop of Uzès). The chapel of Saint-Eloi is dedicated to blacksmiths and locksmiths, while that of Saint-Crespin corresponds to the shoemakers.
You can see street Clastres a shell, witnessed the pilgrimage to Saint-Jacques.
The Musée Pol Mara (the castle):
Since the summer of 1996, you can now visit the castle Gordes, the Museum Pol Mara, contemporary Flemish painter and citizen of the city of Gordes. The works of Pol Mara are available on three levels. Testimonials colors on the rhythms of life, light prisms with violent sensuality is guided by the arabesques inspiring women often desire and pleasure.
Enquiries +33 4 90 72 02 75.
Abbey Sénanque (4 km towards Cavaillon and Venasque):
In the beautiful valley of the Senancole, this monument was founded in 1148, witnessed the early Cistercian architecture. It is still inhabited by a community of Cistercian monks.
The entire edifice of the 12th century is open to visitors with a guide.
Enquiries +33 4 90 72 05 72.
In a large size, this building already existed in 1031. Destroyed in the meantime, it was rebuilt in 1525. The austere medieval architecture mingles with that of the new lifestyle of the Renaissance. Historical monument in 1931. The date the splendid Renaissance fireplace in the great Hall of Honor, a historic monument in 1902.
In the exceptional Gordes Castle, the museum Pol Mara has a complete set of his work.
Enquiries +33 4 90 72 02 75.
The Bories village (4 km towards Cavaillon):
The Bories village of Gordes with his sheep, wine tanks, threshing wheat, streets, yards and walls, reflects the painstaking work of countless generations. Nearly 3000 years of continuity, since the origin of Bories back to the Bronze Age and the latest were built in the 18th century. The Bories village, classified "Monument Historique" in 1977, is the largest group of this habitat characteristic dry-stone of the Pays d'Apt.
The Bories village, museum of rural housing, can be visited all year round, daily from 9am to sunset.
Enquiries +33 4 90 72 03 48.
The mill of Bouillon (4 km towards Cavaillon):
Gallo-Roman site inhabited for 2000 years. The olive oil mill, a listed building, is the oldest mill remains intact with all its work items. This mill, in working order, with tanks dug in the rock, its pipelines Roman tells the story of olive oil and soap in the Mediterranean. Collection of oil lamps, jars ...
Enquiries +33 4 90 72 22 11.
Museum of Glass and Stained Glass (4 km towards Cavaillon):
This great museum, 600 m² of exhibition space in a 3-hectare park where you can also see sculptures of Frederick Duran, tells the story of glass and stained glass from the earliest times to the present. 7000 years of history, the glass bead to the glass, stained glass to photovoltaic cells.
Enquiries +33 4 90 72 22 11.
The basement of the Palais Saint Firmin (the village):
Rooms troglodytes, tanks, stairs underground oil mills, etc.. Appointed from century to century in a big house called "Palais Saint Firmin."
The "castles villages" as Gordes are a challenge to nature. Indeed, to address the lack of floor space, houses intramural pile and set up an underground life. If men lived in the area, industry and crafts, however, have developed underground. There are a huge underground network Gordes often more impressive than the houses that shelter. Currently this behind the scenes, buried under the embankment is not visible. Well, almost, because more than 40 years of excavation, tourists can now discover some 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 oil mills, tanks, pipes, has been included in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments, and an opportunity to immerse themselves in the cave of life Gordes.
Report on the visit: Introduction to the visit by a documentary on the history and restoration of the Cellars of the Palais Saint-Firmin (French, subtitled in English) Visit the site with audio guides and lighting all along the way (9 languages available for the audio-guides: English, Italian, Chinese, Dutch, German, Spanish, Japanese and Russian) Relaxation and shop at the end of visit.
Opening exceptional private gardens overlooking the Caves on request for groups and schools.
Admission fee, free for children under 12 years.
Dates and Opening Hours: Daily (except Tuesdays) from May 1 to September 30, from 10 to 18. Reservation the rest of the year.