Roussillon was my favorite neighboring town to Lourmarin when I was a child. It was the most far-out place, and when you went there you inevitably got dirty. Although I was pretty prissy as a child, the type of dirty you got in Roussillon was all right with me–it wasn’t muddy blasé brown, it was bright orange. That was a kind of dirty I could get down with.
As if the bright orange and red cliffs aren’t enough, all of the buildings in Roussillon are built with the pigmented clay that surrounds the village. The naturally occurring ochre in the hillsides was mined until the 1930’s. Mining has since been banned in order to protect the site from destruction.
Being in Provence inspired an obsession with crumbling old walls with plants growing out of them. Roussillon’s reddish ones are particularly high on my list because of the red/green contrast (these pictures are so much more vibrant in original–the upload to WordPress just ruins the color).
And my favorite door, from 1678. Well, I’m not sure about the door, but the doorway is from 1678.
If you walk to the highest point in town you find a ceramic-topped circular map of the region, with Roussillon at its center. You’ll find similar maps in many of the neighboring towns.
Right before you reach the map at the top of the hill you’ll find the 16th century church surrounded by lavender.
The exterior is fairly simple, but there is intricateness to be found inside. One of my favorites is the altar.
Wheat and grapes have been the primary crops of Provence since the middle ages.
The baptismal font was added in the 17th century.
I love the intricate high relief on the ceiling. Very dramatic.
After the church we walked back through town to the cemetary, which is quite beautiful.
I like calling this guy “Eqyptian Jacques.”