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More photos from Vaison… Let’s go to the market (and Fontaine de Vaucluz)

April 28, 2012

How can we show you just some photos of the Haute Ville?   One of the reasons to stay in Vaison for at least 7 days is to share Tuesday with the locals.   

I’m going to paste text from the wikipedia listing for Vaison La Romaine, so just stop reading and look at th ephors…   yes, you can always visit the wiki to get more info, but here are photos that my sweetheart captured.   

Join us for a few minutes in Vaison La Romaine…



Near the main Roman ruins

The area was inhabited in the Bronze Age. At the end of the fourth century BCE, the upper city of Vaison became the capital of a Celtic tribe, the Vocontii or Voconces. After the Roman conquest (125-118 BCE) the Vocontii retained a certain degree of autonomy; they had two capitals, Luc-en-Diois (in modern Drôme département), apparently the religious center, and Vaison. Their continued authority in the gradualRomanization of the Celtic oppidum[1] meant that the city plan incurred no disruptive re-founding along rigid Roman orthography.[clarification needed] The city’s modern archaeologist Christian Goudineau has suggested that early examples were set by Vocontian aristocrats who moved down from the oppidum and established villas along the river, around which the Gallo-Roman city accreted.[2] In the Roman period it became one of the richest cities ofGallia Narbonensis, with numerous geometric mosaic pavements[3] a fine small theatre on a rocky hillslope, probably built during the reign ofTiberius, whose statue was found in a prominent place on its site.[4]The Polyclitan Diadumenos now in the British Museum was discovered in the theatre in the nineteenth century. At Vasio Pompeius Trogus, the Augustan historian, was born.

The barbarian invasions were presaged by a pillaging and burning in 276, from which Roman Vasio recovered, but in the fifth century the benches of the theatre began to be reused as Christian tombstones. Vaison belonged the Burgundians, was taken by the Ostrogoths in 527, then by Clotaire IKing of the Franks in 545, and became part of Provence


I'll find some better photos, but this is what the Tuesday market area looks like on Wednesday.

The disputes which broke out in the twelfth century between the counts of Provence, who had refortified the ancient “upper town” and the bishops, each of whom were in possession of half the town, were injurious to its prosperity; they were ended by a treaty negotiated in 1251 by the future pope Clement IV, a native of Saint-Gilles-du-Gard.

At disturbed times of the Middle Ages, the inhabitants emigrated to the higher ground on the left bank ofOuvèze, with the shelter of the ramparts and a strong castle. From the eighteenth century most of the population had moved back down to the plains by the river.

One of the most interesting aspects of the town is its geography, and its Roman ruins. The Roman ruins and the modern town are in the valley on the banks of the riverOuvèze which is crossed by an ancient bridge from the 1st century AD.


What else can we do but show you the closeups of what is for sale?

The medieval town is high on the rocky cliff. The valley floor was safe from attack in Roman and modern times. In the Middle Ages attacks were frequent, and the town retreated up-hill to a more defensible position.

The apse of the Church of St. Quenin, dedicated to Saint Quinidius, seems to date from the eighth century; it is one of the oldest in France.

As a whole the cathedral dates from the 11th century, but the apse and the apsidal chapels are from the Merovingian period.

Now let’s find some text from the Town’s website…



Dan Pink (A Whole New Mind) will like this item. It's like the fly swatter... redesigned

Located in the Haut-Vaucluse region, near the main motorway running through the Rhône area and the cities it serves, Vaison-la-Romaine is lucky enough to be situated between the Alps and the Mediterranean. 

The town lies nestling in lush, fertile countryside and invites you to share in its heritage, celebrations and commercial activities, along with its well-preserved authenticity and lifestyle.

Vaison-la-Romaine is full of life and enhances its heritage with an incredibly busy cultural life. There are festivals which put a sparkle into the town all the year round, and the programmes of events always offer a high artistic standard.

Every summer the ancient theatre throws its generous curves open to the “Vaison Danses (Vaison Dances) festival”. The festival mainly specialises in dance and movement, primal forms of expression which bring all the other art forms together, offering a diverse vision of contemporary creativity. 
It plays host to the very best choreographers and dancers : Maurice Béjart, Sylvie Guillem, Carolyn Carlson, Jiri Kilian, Blanca Li, Angelin Preljocaj, Philippe Decouflé, John Neumeier, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Marie-Claude Pietragalla, etc. 
This is the place to come for a whole range of forms of dance, mixing a whole spectrum of sources and styles, from contemporary dance to hip-hop, from flamenco to African or Latin-American dance, from the purest forms to the most culturally cross-fertilised.

Choral singing, music, theatre, comic books, songs, fine arts, etc. – the arts really find their voice in Vaison-la-Romaine. 
There are different festivals for each of the seasons, all the year round.


Fontaine de Vaucluz is a sweet 25 minutes drive from Isle sur la Sorgue and worth the hassle (lots of parking, people, and pebbles) after the big flea market in IslSorgue

The land around Vaison-la-Romaine offers a whole symphony of flavours, aromas and colour. A varied range of locally-grown, high-quality agricultural produce enhances the local gastronomy. Vaison offers appellation contrôlée wines (Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Ventoux) which can be tasted when you visit the cellars or hit the wine trail. Winegrowing has been around since Ancient Times and is a key part of the soul and landscape here in Vaison. It has led to numerous trades which make up the human, professional and economic wealth of a sector which is big business in the Vaison-la-Romaine area. 
In the Côtes du Rhône region, vines are grown on hillsides or on the plain, in mostly calcareous ground, and they have the advantage of a Mediterranean-style climate. The wines are mainly reds or rosés, and are fairly “full-bodied”. One unusual feature of winegrowing in Vaison is the sheer number of small farms producing a whole host of tastes and flavours.


Let's drop in

Come and explore : The La Romaine cellar The “Coopérative Vinicole de Vaison et du Haut-Comtat” (Vaison and Haut-Comtat winemaking cooperative) was the first cooperative business in the Haut-Vaucluse area, formed in 1924, and it became the “Cave La Romaine” in 1987. Since it was formed, one unusual thing about it is that it is intended to operate across municipalities spanning two departments (Haut-Vaucluse and Drôme Provençale) and two wine-producing regions : “Côtes du Rhône” and “Côtes du Ventoux”. 360 wine growers from around 20 towns entrust all or part of their harvest to it. 
To check out the wines :
Contact : Quartier le Colombier, B. P. 47, 84110 Vaison-la-Romaine 
Tel. : 04 90 36 55 90 
Fax : 04 90 36 55 91 
E-mail :


What kind of green makes people feel better? This one.


I hope the locals don’t mind the use of their text… I’m just filling in so that you can see my wife’s photos… please click and go to their lovely pages.


There are markets and fairs bringing local squares to life all the year round, offering an extraordinary range of goods : truffles, olives, tapenade, fruits bursting with sunshine, dessert grapes, “muscats du Ventoux”, aromatic plants, honey made from Provencal flowers, fougasse bread and sausages with olives.

The main Provençal market : every Tuesday morning 
The weekly market is full of the colours and flavours of the South of France, with up to 450 exhibitors in the summer season (arts and crafts, local goods, food stalls of all kinds, market garden produce, bazaars, textiles, etc) and sprawls out over the main squares and streets of the town. 
This is an ancient tradition dating all the way back to 1483.


There's some sort of control mechanism related to those walkways...

  • Traditional and organic farmers’ market, Tuesday and Saturday morning, Place François Cevert, from 8 a.m. Also on Thursday morning during the summer season, from June onwards
  • Evening market : In summer, the farmers hope you will join them, with their fresh, ripe, high-quality farm-fresh produce, every Thursday from 6-8 p.m.
  • Flea market, 3rd Sunday of the month, Place Montfort from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.







Here’s some text about the Roman Bridge

The Roman Bridge at Vaison-la-Romaine (FrenchPont romain de Vaison-la-Romaine) is a Roman bridge over the river Ouvèze in the southern French town of Vaison-la-Romaine. The bridge was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, with a single arch spanning 17.20 m. It is still in use, and has survived severe flooding which swept away some more recent bridges.



From → Europe, Uncategorized

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