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Bonnieux

Natural Regional Park Luberon, Vaucluse

43.823889,5.3075
43°49'26"N 5°18'27"E
Published: August 2010
last updated: March 2011
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The visit

Bonnieux It is impossible to resist the charm of the medieval Templar village that dominates vineyards and cherry orchads of Luberon. From the distance Bonnieux looks like a birthday cake: the layers of red tile roofs encircle the old church perched on the hilltop - the whole is surrounded by provencal farmhouses and their splendid gardens. A walk in Bonnieux requires good physical condition: you will be following its streets always up, but your efforts will be payed by magnificent views. Start from the top: from the High church (l’Eglise Haute) built in XII century go down to Hotel de Rouville - a magnificent building of the old townhall and then to the Low church (l’Eglise Basse) not missing on the way stone-paved streets and joyful provencal facades. Right in the middle of the village you’ll see the vestiges of XII century ramparts, many galleries and secret pathways remind that the village has long military history. Bonnieux’ military importance is easy to understand once you get to the top of the village to see the beautiful and very detailed panorama of the valley of Luberon and the view of the town’s closest neighbour - the village of Lacoste with its impressive castle.

Around the town visit 250ha-large cedar forest and the roman bridge - Pont Julien, which is one of the best-preserved roman vestiges of Provence. Another curious monument - la Tour Philippe (Philippe’s tower) built in XIX century by an eccentric, who wanted “to see the sea from Luberon”.

History

In the antiquity Bonnieux (then-known as Bitrona) was situated on the north-south crossroad of Galia Narbonesis. The most important vestige of that time - le Pont Julien, constructed in 3 B.C., has been preserved until our days. In the early medieval period the village is set on the hilltop to offer its population better protection. in 972 it is already a fortified burg. In XI-XII century the village belongs to the Knights Templar, who build the old church on its outmost summit. After the dissolution of the order in 1312 the town comed under the jurisdiction of the pope and stays in pontific property until the French Revolution. Loyalty to the pope gave Bonnieux significant priviledges, but was also a source of danger, as the town remained catholic enclave in the heavily protestant Luberon during religious wars of XVI century. The town became part of France only in 1793.

Practical information

If you consider visiting Bonnieux and other villages of Luberon, we advice you to have a car ready. To get to Bonnieux from Avignon, take the famous D900 in the direction Apt, just after Goult turn south on D194. Coming from Aix-en-Provence, take A51, after Vauclaire turn onto D561, which will take you to Luberon valley and follow the route beyond Lourmarin.
Bonnieux is situated less than 10km from other remarkable villages of Provence (such as Mènerbes and Lacoste). We advise you to plan a day trip to visit two or three villages at a time.
Village market takes place every Friday morning.

Comment on this article

1

Les Ramparts Les rues de Bonnieux Bonnieux Hotel de Rouville Bonnieux L'Eglise basse

2

Bonnieux et Luberon Bonnieux Bonnieux Les rues de Bonnieux Bonnieux Bonnieux

3

Bonnieux Le Jardin de l'eglise haute Le jardin de l'eglise haute Bonnieux Bonnieux Rue Voltaire

4

Bonnieux Vue de Hotel de Rouville Bonnieux Bonnieux - village basse Bonnieux Les Ramparts

5

Bonnieux Bonnieux Bonnieux - le vue depuis Lacoste

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