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Local colour

Posted on February 18th, 2011

Interesting characters abound in the Luberon.  In l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, market shoppers are entertained by a man playing a musical saw. Cucuron has an excellent small local museum, the Musee Marc Deydier, with exhibits ranging from pre-Roman times to the last century.  It is housed in a hotel particulier, or mansion, dating from the 17th century.  Monsieur Yves Julien, has been guardien at the museum for over forty years.  Never without a cardigan, he lives with his cat.  The cat’s predecessor, stuffed, gazes eternally from the window. Nicolas Appel is one of a kind, the last basket-maker in Provence.  Today there are no more than seven remaining in the whole of France. Originally from Toulon, he now lives outside Beaumont-de-Pertuis, on the south-east corner of the…

Not in the guide books

Posted on February 14th, 2011

St Saturnin-les-Apt has a low tourist profile, but there is much of interest. Ruins of an 11th century chateau look down on the village which enjoys panoramic southerly views of the Luberon. The castle ramparts were rebuilt in the 12th, 14th and 16th centuries. Above the castle a chapel dates from 950CE.   In 1852 a young servant at the local inn, Rosette Tamisier, declared that a Pieta picture in the chapel cried blood in her presence.  The Vatican sent inspectors to investigate.  Local authorities accused Rosette of insanity and she was jailed for fraud.  The Vatican then thought it prudent to declare the event a false miracle.  In 1836 a dam was built to conserve water for irrigation and homes.  Should disaster occur much…