November 27, 2017

Roussillon, Village of Ochre

The Luberon region of Provence is a patchwork landscape of lush green vineyards; fields of lavender and sunflowers; and charming villages perchés, perched villages. One of the most colourful is the village of Roussillon, which owes the warm hues of its buildings to the world's largest known deposit of ochre. This natural earth pigment ranges in shade from yellow and orange to red and deep rusty brown, and has been used by painters since prehistoric man began decorating the walls of his cave.




The Luberon Village of Roussillon


During our daytrip into the Luberon we stopped at Roussillon for lunch. I was immediately drawn to the jasmine-draped entrance of La Sirmonde (and the cooling spray from the overhead misters). But the restaurant also offers wonderful views of the surrounding countryside and filling omelettes.


Restaurant La Sirmonde



The View from La Sirmonde



A Filling Omelette






Visitors to Roussillon can hike the Sentier des Ocres, the Ochre Trail, through the old quarry surrounded by pine forest. It’s a 30-minute walk (or a longer 60-minute loop) but the weather on the day of our visit was exceptionally hot.



The Way to the Ochre Trail







Ochre Cliff in Roussillon




I chose instead to wander the pedestrian lanes of this picturesque village. Roussillon must have the prettiest mairie, town hall, in all of France! And the rest of the buildings were equally photo worthy.








Place de la Mairie, Town Hall Square



Roussillon Town Hall



Restaurant La Treille and the 150-Year-Old Grapevine

































Eglise St. Michel, St. Michael Church



Church Bell Tower




Mont Rouge, Red Mountain, Viewpoint



















































Provence is blessed with an abundance of charming villages perchés and Roussillon, painted in the sunset hues of ochre, is surely one of the most unique.






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