A few weeks back, Greg, Jennifer and baby Julia came to visit from Lake Como and we departed for the Luberon but when we got to Venasque, we turned off the road and went up the hill since we had not been there for a long time. The temperature was cool but the sun was shining and sky blue, ideal for a walk around the village.
It was the beginning of cherry season and the trees along the road were loaded with ripening fruit. The area is particularly beautiful when the cherry trees are covered with white and pink blossoms.
|Cherry trees loaded with ripe fruit|
Venasque is a small picturesque village that sits on top of a steep hill. It is classified as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France (translated as most beautiful villages of France), one of seven villages with that designation in the Vaucluse region where we live.
|The view to Venasque over the village cemetery|
Venasque is one of the oldest villages of the Comtat Venaissin often referred to simply as the Comtat. Comtat means county in its original sense, or land belonging to a count and Venassin refers to Venasque, a former bishop seat which gave its name to the Comtat.
|Arched doorway through the defensive walls|
Venasque's location on top of the hill provided a natural defense against attacks from enemies. Nevertheless, in Roman times, a defensive wall with towers was built around the village. The arched doorways were restored at the beginning of the 20th century.
|Tower and an arched doorway through the defensive walls|
The thick walls of the ramparts which survive connect three Saracen towers and two arched doors "portes."
|Close up view of the defensive Saracen towers|
Supposedly the stones in the defensive wall that no longer exist were removed as if the wall was a sort of rock quarry and used to build the school and houses in the village.
|Arched doorway through the defensive walls into the center of Venasque|
Venasque is small and compact with a few shops, restaurants and hotels. It can be easily visited in a few hours.
There are lots of flowers and plants which decorate the stone houses and shops which line the streets of Venasque.
As you wander the winding streets in Venasque you come upon the House with the Blue Shutters.
|La Maison aux Volets Bleus|
|Flowers on a Venasque house|
As you can see, Venasque is a small village, there are only 1,156 people who reside in the village. The people who live in Venasque are called Venasquais.
Water was piped to houses throughout the village between 1959 and 1965. Prior to this time, villagers got their water from the various fountains throughout the village.
|Venasque fountain at Place de la Poste|
|Venasque B and B|
|Venasque fountain at Place de la Planette|
The Notre Dame church in Venasque dates from the end of the 12th century. The side chapels date from the 17th and 18th century, the bell tower from the 17th century.
|Notre Dame Church in Venasque|
|War Memorial near Notre Dame Church|
|Side door entrance to Notre Dame Church|
|Pretty house near Notre Dame Church|
|The fountain in the center of Venasque at Place de la Fontaine|
The Venasquais are known for the cherries and table grapes (Muscat de Venasque) they grow.
|View from Venasque|
If you find yourself in Venasque and looking for a place to eat, you might try Les Remparts which I told you about here.
Bonne journée mes amis et à bientôt.