LOURMARIN - HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL SITE
Lourmarin is located 35 km from Aix-en-Provence in the department of Vaucluse, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
This small village is seductive both for its authenticity and its heritage: one can see the romanesque church Saint André and Saint Trophim of the 11th century, the 15th century castle, the 15th century belfry, houses and carved fountains.
Legated to the Académie des Arts et des Belles-Lettres in Aix-en-Provence, the castle of Lurmarin become a place of many varied cultural events throughout the year.
The wines of the region are certified in the Lubéron, Pierrevert, and Ventoux appellations.
HISTORY OF LOURMARIN
In the 10th century, Lourmarin was under the control of the Baux family, lords of the county of Forcalquier, then in the thirteenth century, it was integrated into the county of Provence.
During the Renaissance period, the population of the village increased following the emigration of the Vaudois of the Alps (Briançon, Embrun, and the valleys of the Piedmont).
A hundred years later, in April 1545, following the violent conflict between Catholics and Protestants, the troops of the French privateer Paulin de la Garde, acting on behalf of Francis I, then Henry II, and at the request of the first president of Provence, set fire to the village and exterminated the Vaudois. Some of the survivors converted to Catholicism. Others, rather than to convert to Roman Catholicism, subsequently returned to Piedmont.
A plague epidemic reduced the population by one-third during 1720.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the village prospered thanks to the development of agriculture, vineyards, olive groves and silkworms.
CHÂTEAU DE LOURMARIN
The medieval castle of Lourmarin was built between 1480 and 1526 by Foulques d'Agoult and his successors on the ruins of an ancient fort dated from the 12th century.
The Renaissance portion of the Castle was built between 1526 - 1560.
The castle elegant galleries of stone or wood were built in the 15th century. The square tower, the chimneys decorated with caryatids (statues of women), the high bays connected by vertical spans, fountains were crafted in the Renaissance style.
Inside one find the sumptuous furniture, and the rich collection of art works.
In the 16th century the castle became the property of the Lesdiguières family, who lived in the Château de la Tour d'Aigues, then later by the Bruni family.
Though the castle escaped destruction during the Revolution, but being neglected over the centuries by successive owners, it fell into partial ruin.
During the 1920s, Laurent-Vibert, a Lyon-based industrialist and patron, bought the castle and restored it entirely on the basis of archival documents.
The château is legated to the Académie des Arts et des Belles-Lettres in Aix-en-Provence. These days the Fondation of Lourmarin Laurent-Vibert welcomes young talents from the throughout the region, and organizes many varied cultural events throughout the year.
The castle of Lourmarin is classified as an historical monument in 1973.
The castle is open for visits in June, July, and August: 10:00 am to 6:30 pm;
In May and September: 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 6:00pm;
In March, April and October: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm;
In February, November and December: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm;
In January: the facility is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
Guided tours are available during July and August. Each day tours are conducted at 11:00 am, 2:45 pm and 4pm. The castle is closed on December 25th and January 1st.