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To understand the sense of the “typical” word, there is nothing like an ascent towards this perched village. Each alley, each monument talks about the Provence. The village place seems to be a movie decoration. The whole village offers you a total change of scenery and transports you through time and history.
The multisecular oak decorates the blazon of this village. Everything here contributes to give a particular atmosphere, with charm and smooth.
The residents are called “gramboisiens”.
- The Castle, on “Place de la Mairie”
- The Church of Notre-Dame de Beauvoir
- The “Fontaine aux Bartavelles” (called like this thanks to the movie La Gloire de mon Père)
- The “Passage des Templiers”
“La Gloire de mon Père” and “Le Château de ma Mère” by Yves Robert (1986).
1 & 2. The Ramparts / La Tourrache
In the south of the ramparts there is a main building called The Forth (current café).
The ramparts date back to 1337 and constitutes the east front of the second fortifications of the old village. They consist of a wall in cinder blocks, 2 meters thick. It dominates the village place, with the same name. Their facades are drilled by 8 narrow archères. They turn around on the North and face the church. Behind the monumental cross (1753) there is a big rectangle shaped tower, the “Tourrache”. On top of that tower, consoles with projections remain. It constitutes the north facade.
The ramparts of Grambois have been improved during the religion wars of the XVIth century. However, it was not enough to prevent the army of Savoie taking hold of the village in December 1590, most dramatic episode of Grambois’ history.
3. The “Perron Cavalier”
This staircase is one of the most special feature of Grambois. This kind of building is extremely rare in our region. It is certainly one of the last presently existing in Provence. Originally, there were two parallel staircases. Unfortunately, only one remains nowadays.
On the side of the Church, Frédéric Mistral quotation extracted from Lis Óulivado, the song of farmers: “The farmer, in any country, is the support of the nation; we shall may make inventions, the earth must be moved.”
4. Church Square
During the year 1879, Joseph Eyguisier, mayor of Grambois, unveiled the fountain of the place. The people of Grambois had now a fountain in the heart of the village. This fountain attracted, in 1989, Yves Robert (French film director) who filmed some major scenes of the movie « La Gloire de mon Père », including the petanque scene and the return of the famous bartavelles hunting. Since then, it is familiarly renamed “Fontaine aux Bartavalles”.
The Clock Tower was raised after the earthquake of 1708 and adorned with a campanile in the XIXth century The dial was restored in 2012.
5. Church of Notre-Dame de Beauvoir
This romanesque church was built during the XIth century and was, originally, Benedictine priory dependent on the Abbey Saint André of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. The master piece of its decoration remains the « polyptique of Saint Jean Baptiste » (1519). This work piece is a scarce and anonymous religious painting of Provence which dates back to the XVIth century. It is ranked as a historic monument since December 1908.
6. The Castle
This former manorial home dates back to the end of the XVIth century. The castle was owned by the Roquesante family until 1879. After that the castle was divided in two parts, the first one private and the other one became a presbytery.
Some prestigious guests stayed at the castle like madame de Sévigné, friend of the lord Pierre de Roquesante, or Mirabeau (who entered on horseback in the lounge of the ground floor, via the window…).
7. The Pathway of the Templars
Muleteers stairs, modeled on the steps of a donkey, lead to the arched and covered passage called "Knight Templars", while nothing gives evidence of their presence to Grambois. Very beautiful geminated window of the XIVth century.
8 & 9. Panoramic view
In front of you raises the massif of Great Luberon which peaks in 1125m at the « Mourre Nègre ». From this point of view it is easy to understand why the village was classified « fortress of Provence » in the XIVth century. Close to you, there are 3 mulberry trees which were planted in May 1722 and whose leaves were sold for the benefit of Grambois’s hospital. These leaves, in the form of herbal tea, were known for their therapeutic virtues, in particular against the diabetes.
10. The House of he “Knights of the Hospital”
Situated in «Jaousè de Fouentviérano » street, this house dates back to the XIIIth, XIVth and XVth centuries. It is remarkable for many reasons like its very beautiful hall, its front wall decorated with a Malta cross (symbol of the « hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem »).
11. “Make your cymbals rustle and long live the summer! Many songs, Ô cicada, are not worth yours.”
Take on your right to the “Rue de la Mairie” and join the “Place du Portail Neuf”.
12. Renaissances Houses
The streets of the old village have been restored. Nowadays, most of them are calade (paved streets), sometimes covered by strange staircases with muleteers steps. When you go down the city hall street you can see two houses offering you two beautiful facades.
The first one leans on the wall of the fortifications. Notice its elegant hall in “basket arch” and above a mullioned window (a mullion is a vertical member between the casements or panes of a window or the panels of a screen).
The second one, at the corner of the “Portail Neuf”, leans on the wall of the fortifications and shows a beautiful porch topped with an oculus (oval or round opening made in a wall).
13. The New Gate
The « Portail Neuf » is one of the former door of the fortification. It is called « Portail neuf » (New Gate) because it was built in 1377 when new ramparts were added to protect the Church. The main gate was closed for more safety and the « Portail Neuf » took its place, in front of the ramparts door. In 1732, its arch was decreased and decorated with a chronogram reminding the year of the construction site. This one is still visible.
14. The Washhouse
In 1908, the washhouse was built at the foot of the rock. Before this date, the villagers had to go to the sources Fontsausse and Fontvérane, outside the village, to wash their linens.
15. The 3 Cannons Fountain
Follow the “Rue des Pasquiers” to join the “Fountain of 3 barrels”, built during the XIIIth century.
16. The Old Oak
Take the main street going towards the top of the village, turn right halfway by taking a strais with a metallic banister. This one leads to a clear space situated under the old oak.
Centenarian several times, it is the only survivor of a path that led to the “Chemin du Gaou” (Path of the Rooster), below the Park of Fontvérane.
17. "Fontvérane” Fountain
A small path renovated in 2012 goes down to the Fontvérane source, for a long time a place of life for the villagers of former days confronted with problems of water.
The Fountain of Fontvérane was cleared of all the trees recently, because of the potential weakness of its vault. Works were realized and the result is close to the fountain at the time of its origin.
- Le Chemin des 4 fontaines,
- Le Chemin de Gaou,
- Le Chemin de Valbonette.
Village centre, Close to GR footpath, Mountain view, View over the vineyards,
Geographic perimeter :