Fontaine de Vaucluse

30 km from Avignon, 7 km from the Isle sur la Sorgue, 13 km from Gordes
Altitude : 80 m
Population: 611

A medieval village famous for its impressive spring of emerald green water which gushes out at the foot of a 230m high cliff. Its flow ranks it amongst the largest in the world. The vortex, in the shape of a vertical funnel, is 308 metres deep. One of the most picturesque sites of Provence, set in a deep valley replete with grottos and rolling hills, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse has inspired a great number of artists such as the Italian poet Petrarch (1304-1374) who lived for much of the year in the village castle, the ruins of which still dominate the valley. Frédéric Mistral and the contemporary poet René Char were also captivated by the site. Until the middle of the 20th century, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse had a thriving paper manufacturing industry. The Moulin à Papier (paper mill), in the Galerie Vallis Clausa, uses a method for making paper by hand which has not varied since the 15th century.

What to see, what to visit: the ruins of the castle of the bishops of Cavaillon (14th century); the remains of the Roman canal on the river Sorgue; the Eco-museum 'Le Gouffre' (set in a grotto: Le Monde Souterrain); the library museum Petrarch; the Moulin à Papier (manufacture of paper by hand following the 15th century method)...
Recommended activities: walks, canoeing, kayaking, fishing...

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