Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pernes-les-Fontaines, a town with 40 old fountains and pretty kitty cats

Back to Pernes-les-Fontaines the next morning, we parked our car near St Augustine Church in the center of town. As I told you in my previous post, we had gone to dinner at Au Fil du Temps restaurant. Since we got there just before dinner, it was too dark and late to walk around town. So we decided to return the next morning to do a proper visit.

We had not been to visit Pernes-les-Fontaines previously even though Pernes is not very far from Sablet, only about 25 miles south between Carpentras and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. There are a little over 10,000 people who reside in Pernes-les-Fontaines. The residents of Pernes are called Pernois (males) and Pernoises (females).

Pernes-les-Fontaines dates back to medieval times. There are defensive walls and portal gates that date back to the 16th century. As the name implies, Pernes-les-Fontaine's name comes from the 40 fountains that are located around the town. Although the fountains date from the 18th century, the fountain descriptor was not added to the original name Pernes till 1936.

The following are pictures of some of the sights we saw as we walked around Pernes-les Fontaines that morning including this house with its brightly colored shutters.

Another house with pretty shutters and plants in the window.

A narrow street with a sign for one of the shops.

The Au Fil du Temps restaurant with one of the 40 fountains near St. Augustine Church at Place Louis Giraud. Pernes-les-Fontaines is the birthplace of Louis Giraud, the creator of the 69 km long Carpentras Canal.

The 19th century St. Augustine Church was converted into a cultural center in 1986.

The war memorial to the children of Pernes-les-Fontaines who have died in wars for France in front of St. Augustine Church.

The Louis Giraud primary school.

This is one of the many cats we encountered as we walked around Pernes-les-Fontaines.

The Gigot fountain, built in 1757, sits at the foot of the 17th century Tower of Ferrande. Gigot translates as leg of lamb which is what this fountain's design is said to resemble. Do you see it? I don't.

On the ledge of the second story a black cat enjoys the morning sun.

A close up of the cat relaxing in the sun.

This cat guards the door to this home.

The privately-owned Château d'Anselme dates from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth Church with it bell tower dates from the 11th century.

Shirley sits on a bridge that crosses the Nesque River, leading to the Notre Dame Gate which is flanked by two round towers. The Notre Dame Gate is one of three portals through the 14th century ramparts which remains in tact. The gate was built in 1548

The Notre Dame Gate.

The Tour de l'Horloge (clock tower) with its iron campanile is the old dungeon of the Château of the Counts of Toulouse. The clock was added to the tower in the 15th century and the iron campanile was added in 1764.

The Cormoran fountain built in 1761 is considered to be the most beautiful fountain in Pernes-les-Fontaines. It is classified as a historic monument.

The 17th century covered market hall.

The Villeneuve Gate is another one of the portals through the 14th century ramparts which remains in tact.

A pretty statue sits above this door.

A door with pretty carvings on the door frame.

Another cat.

This is one of several archways we encountered as we visited Pernes-les-Fontainess.

It is always fun to walk through archways and discover what is hidden on the other side.

An old archway entrance into a private home.

The Reboul fountain.

The Rue Raspail fountain.

The St. Gilles Gate, the other portal through the 14th century ramparts which remains in tact.

The round-about near St. Gilles Gate through the old defensive ramparts into Pernes-les-Fontaines.

The Lavoir de Saint-Gilles, is as is commonly found in French towns and villages, the old public laundry facility for washing clothes in Pernes-les-Fontaines.

We will return again to Pernes-les-Fontaines to discover the rest of the fountains as we didn't see anywhere near 40. We will make sure we do so on a day when Au Fil du Temps is open so we can eat there again.

Bonne journée mes amis et à bientôt. Have a great week.


  1. looks like a cute town. I've never heard of it.

  2. Pernes-les-Fontaines is a very charming town. Not sure I would go out of my way to visit but I would certainly go back to Pernes to dine at Au Fil du Temps. That is definitely worth while.

  3. I just discovered Pernes last spring, though I live close by in Vaison. I had gone to see a "mikveh"--a Jewish ritual bath from 1504. It is in a private home, in the former Jewish area (juiverie.) It was a fascinating visit.
    And yes, Au Fil du Temps is a great place.

    Sharon deRham

  4. My husband and I were there, just last week and I was pleasantly surprised to find your blog as I was "Googling" Pernes upon our return!
    We also had dinner at Au Fil du Temps and returned to explore the town in daylight. We took the map and actually documented each fountain!
    The day that we were there was our "relax day (no sightseeing) and we were lucky to be there when a Pétanque tournament was taking place so we sat and watched for hours!
    Our "go-to place" (where we stay) is L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue but, we now have a new favorite spot to visit and have dinner!

    So fun to discover others who have discovered the same fun/little known spots!