Download here the map of La Bastidonne (only in French).
Small rural village situated in the south of the massif of Luberon, La Bastidonne is remarkable thanks for the simplicity of its architecture and its construction back on the mistral.
In its heart, a beautiful panoramic view is available for the curious one, whereas in its feet the well-ordered vineyards and the refreshing forest show the work and the life of the men.
The residents are called “bastidonnais”.
- The Church Notre-Dame de Bonne Aventure,
- The washhouse,
- The hill and the chapel of Saint Julien.
By 1230-1231, a knight named Savaric ordered the building of “La Bastide Savaric”. A village then raised at the foot of this Bastide. At the end of XIVth century, the seigneury passed in the hands of the Lord of La Tour d’Aigues who kept it until 1792. The Bastide of Savaric was called “La Bastidette” than “Bastidonne de Savaric” and finally “La Bastidonne” since 1790.
1. "Rue des Ferrages"
« Ferrages » was the place where blacksmith lived and it is the provencal word for « wet ground ». Indeed, when this village was created, it was limited to the higher part and the wastewater flowed out down the village, which made the lower part a wet ground. This street used to be a major path (until the construction of the segondary road D973). The horses could rest in barn that was situated on the site of the current city hall.
2. The City Hall - School
In 1883, a law ordered the compulsory primary education. But how can the municipality pay the teacher, his accommodation, rent a place for the pupils and preserve it? In 1844, the city council bought a house which sheltered the school and the city hall. The house was very obsolete.
In 1883, La Bastidonne offered for its children a sewing school (from 1883 to 1895). It is curious to notice that the men teachers were paid 900F to 1200F (172€-230€) and the women teachers were paid only 700F to 900F (130-172€)…
Follow "Rue des Ferrages" in the direction of La Tour d’Aigues.
3. The Pulley
On the left side you can notice, looking up, an old pulley that reveals the existence of a former barn. Upstairs, the opening served to pass, with the help of the pulley, the hay that was stored. The animals passed by the main entrance on the ground floor.
Go straight as far as the old building at the corner of the street.
4. Old Silk Farm
In Provence a silk farm is called a « magnanerie » because of the « magnan » (worm in Provençal). Silk used to be the main financial resource of the village during the XVIIIth century but it had to stop at the XIXth century because of the worm disease. This building is a good example of rural architecture that combined all the functions of the peasant life: house, shelter for animals, tower for pigeons. Nowadays it is a private building, owned by personal.
Take the way up, on your right, Rue de l’Eglise.
5. Entrance of the Village
When the first villagers settled in this area they were very poor and used little stones, cheaper, to build their houses and covered them with filler (for heat insulation). So, coated houses with little stones are typical while houses with big and beautiful stones are recent or restored.
Keep going up the street “Rue de l’Eglise".
6. The Roman Catholic Church of Notre-Dame de Bonne Aventure
The church dates back to the XIIIth century (1240-1250). Like the priory of La Tour d’Aigues, it belonged on the Saint Ruf’s religious assembly, in Valence. It became parochial church in 1486, with baptismal collections and cemetery.
Inside the monument you find several statues and paintings. The maintenance of the church caused many concerns because of the poverty of the village. The church was very crowed till the end of the XIXth century, it served as Town Hall, place of session and the villagers meet there for slightest ceremony.
Keep going up and go on your left, on “Place du Barri”.
7. "Place du Barri"
« Barri » means « big wall » in Provençal, so it was the rampart. Since every rampart bounded a parish, the “barri” eventually meant the “district”. When you go at the place end, on the left, you see that big wall. This place offers a beautiful point of view over the green landscapes and the roofs of the houses.
Get out of the square and stop in front of the staircases.
8. “Rue du Château”
At the top of the stairs there used to be a building named « la Bastide de Savaric ». It was the house of the Savaric’s family, first settlers of the town, who gave their name to the village.
The name evolved through times and became « La Bastidonne » in 1790.
9. The Washhouse
As far as we know it has no construction date. The washhouse is sheltered by a roof and is formed of two ponds. It was used for washing linen and providing water for household chores. Its peculiarity is the beauty of its double palinage (lace ornamental wooden frieze) on the front. The washhouse was fed by a source and the surplus passed by in the stresses to finish in ponds under houses (water was reused to spray gardens).
Water had always been a concern over the centuries. In 1834, the water of the fountain did not flow anymore. The villagers had to go 2 kilometers away to have some water. In 1835, they sent a letter for His Majesty the King of France (Louis Philippe). But things did not settle. The lack of water was disastrous for the population but also for the animals.
Take the street « Grand Rue ».
10. “Grand Rue”
Take the opportunity of striding along this street to look around you. On the right, you can see some “trompe l’oeil” (windows painted on the walls). You will also catch sight of small doors, they were used to access to the basement of the houses (where there were the ponds that contained the surplus of water for the gardens). You can then come down again by the first street on your right and will notice the presence of a drainage system of former period.
After this descent you are done with this tour.
11. The Hill and the Chapel of Saint Julien
The hill of Saint Julien, truly naturel fortress, preserves the vestiges of an oppidum (strengthened construction situated on a height) of big dimensions. It was occupied during the Iron age and the Gallo-Roman period. A chapel dedicated to Saint Julien was built in the XVIIth century with a hermitage attached to the chapel. Situated 1,5km away from the village and 499 meters in height, this place constitutes an ideal walk.
Enjoy a hike from La Tour d’Aigues, passing by La Bastidonne. More details here (14,5km – 4h).
All year round, daily.
Village centre, Mountain view, View over the vineyards,
Geographic perimeter :