Friday, December 17, 2010

Roundabouts - Orange

We are fascinated by the roundabouts in the Vaucluse. Many are beautifully designed, have some type of art form and usually reflect something important about the town or village where they are located. For the next few weeks, I am posting pictures of different roundabouts in the Vaucluse. Today's roundabouts are in Orange.

There are some unusual roundabouts in the Vaucluse, probably none more so than in Orange. Orange is about 25 minutes from Sablet and best known to wife Shirley and I as an exit off the A7 and A9 to get home to Sablet.

Orange is also where our insurance agency is located and the Tresor Public. I had to go there to submit a signed form with details about the size and number of chambres - rooms in our house. It seems the information submitted by our Notaire when we bought the house didn't match what they had on file; the house was now bigger and had more rooms, meaning taxes would be higher. Qu'elle surprise.

Orange is best known to most people for its Roman architecture, especially the Roman theater and the Triumphal Arch of Orange which is said to date from the time of Augustus. In 1981, the arch, theater and surroundings were designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Here are four roundabouts we like in Orange. The first is a roundabout that circles the Triumphal Arch of Orange. The arch is decorated with sculptures of military themes, including naval battles, spoils of war and Romans battling Germanics and Gauls.

The roundabout below was built around the Theater of Orange. This theater, not to be confused with Orange's Roman theater, was inaugurated in 1885. The busts of Molière, Corneille, and Félicien David on the theater symbolize comedy, tragedy and music respectively.

This roundabout with its jet poised for take off is located at exit 22 off the A7 autoroute where we exit to Sablet when returning from shopping at IKEA or the other grande surface - super stores which are in Le Pontet or coming from the Marseille Provence airport. This jet represents the Orange-Caritat Air Force base located nearby.

We don't ever see or hear jets except when a precision flying team is performing aerobatics and releasing colorful jet streams as they fly in formation above the vineyards. I wish I could take credit for this picture but it is from Wikopedia of the Patrouille de France performing aerobatics in 2004.

We see this roundabout with flowers and fountain at exit 21 where the A9 and A7 autoroutes meet and we exit the A9 from Nîmes or returning from a visit to cousin Jean Marc near Montpellier. This is the exit to central Orange.

Check back to see other roundabouts that catch my eye in the Vaucluse. I will post these between my usual posts about our dining experiences, visits to interesting places and reflections on life in Provence.


  1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day!

    I just realised that I know a lot of the places you talk about and looked on the map where your place is - My belle-famille lives just north of you near Saint Paul Trois Chateaux so I know Nyons, Valreas, Vaison-La-Romaine, Saint-Cecile-Les-Vignes etc really well as it's been my summer stomping ground for the last 11 years :) In fact, Mr Piglet and I got married in Saint Paul 3 Chateaux in 2007 - it's a beautiful town and well worth a visit (preferably on a Tuesday, Market Day in the summer).

  2. Hi - Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog.

    Not sure if you know or not but Saint Paul Trois Chateaux is the starting point for the 16th stage of the 2011 Tour de France on Tuesday, July 19. We have already been planning to be there to see the peloton take off that day. Saint Paul Trois Chateaux is about 40 minutes from our home in Sablet. I wonder if they will do a market that Tuesday.