Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Gordes

Published: October 6th 2021
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Today we drive to a cute village called Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Humans have occupied the area since Neolithic era. Only about 500 people live here now. The village is on the River Sorgue. The river is fed by water that comes out of an underground spring at the feet of a steep cliff. This is the biggest spring in France and the fifth largest spring in the world. The water is clean and cool. A robot went to the bottom of the spring to 1010 feet. In 1946 Jacques Cousteau was almost killed while searching for the bottom of the spring. An air compressor used to fill his tank had taken in its own exhaust fumes and produced carbon monoxide nearly killing him before he could reach the surface. Cousteau went down 328 feet but did not find the bottom. Above the village are the ruins of the 14th century castle of the Bishops of Cavaillon. We enjoy a walk along the river. On our way back through the village we pass an art exhibition. We like the art and if we were home we would buy something. We talk with a few artists and buy a small painting. We visit the 11th century church.

We enjoy lunch at a restaurant on the river. The meal was great. After lunch we visit a WWII museum. Mark and I had been talking about how we had seen no WWII museums in Province. The museum focused on life in the village during the war. The museum has artifacts from the war and lots of large photos. The museum explained that the Vichi cooperated with the Germans because they thought the Germans would win and they wanted to be on the winning side. French citizens who were part of the Resistance were in the minority, most people were afraid of the Germans and the Vichi. Food was in short supply during the war because food had to go to the German troops first. This was a very interesting small museum.

Next we were off to Gordes. A hilltop village with cobblestone narrow streets. We visit the Chateau de Gordes a 16th century castle. It is being used as a art gallery for the works of Victor Vasarely. He is a modern artist and we saw some of his work in Avignon. Visiting the art gallery is the only way to see the castle. We check out the church and I buy a tee shirt at a shop.

We liked visiting these two small villages. Sometimes is good to lose the crowds found in the larger cities.

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