Sunday, September 6, 2015

Vaugines, a Marcel Pagnol village and home to Peter Mayle

From Cucuron, Annick drove us a short distance west down a road through olive grove fields, vineyards, and oak forests to nearby Vaugines, a very old and isolated village situated at 1300 feet elevation on the southern side of the Luberon.


Vaugines is the setting for the famous French films "Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources", adapted from books written by Provencal author Marcel Pagnol. The film stars three of France's most prominent actors – Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, and Yves Montand in one of his last roles before his death.

The film takes place in rural Provence, where two local farmers scheme to trick a newcomer out of his newly inherited property. The film was shot, together with Manon des Sources, over a period of seven months. At the time the most expensive French film ever made, it was a great commercial and critical success.

Entrance to Vaugines

The church on the edge of Vaugines (below), was originally dedicated to Saint-Sauveur. It was built in the 11th century. From 1350 to 1450, France was hit by the plague, wars and famine and an almost 50% decrease in the French population. As a result, Vaugines and its church were abandoned.

Saint Barthelemy Church

It wasn't until 1470 that the village and the church were restored which then became Saint-Barthélemy. Beginning in 1630 and over the next 100 years, 5 successive side chapels were added giving the church its current structure.

Saint Barthelemy Church

Vaugines is also the village where the author Peter Mayle and his wife live after moving from Lourmarin a couple of years ago.

Canal outside Vaugines

Vaugines house and street

An old wall in Vaugines

The chapel/library below in Capello Place was built in 1873. In 1988, it was renovated and converted into a library.

Chapelle/Bibliothèque (chapel/library)

We came across several sundials in the village, including a triple sundial, for summer, winter and sun time. The triple is on the chapel/library building at Place Capello high in the village.

Triple Sundial

Stone step street and covered passageway

Pretty Vaugines house

Vaugines house

The ancient fountain in the main square of Vaugines

The Mairie with the clock and bell in the iron campanile seen below was built between 1845 and 1846.

Mairie (town hall)

The magnificent old house seen below known as La Commanderie was built in the 17th century by the descendants of Georges de Bouliers.

La Commanderie

Vaugines house and street

Vaugines house

Cherry Orchard

Saint Barthelemy Church

Cemetery next to old village church

Olive tree grove near old village church

As I have been writing this post, I have been watching the movie Jean de Fleurette...again. If you have not seen this charming and exceedingly well made movie, I recommend it to you. If you are in the Southern Luberon, I recommend you visit Vaugines. You might see some sights you recognize from the movie and you might even see Peter Mayle.

Have a great week. We are on the countdown till we leave for our fall sojourn to Sablet with our friends Steve and Mary. Can't wait. A bientot.

1 comment:

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