Saint Martin de La Brasque – village of Luberon – Visit

Mairie de Saint Martin de la Brasque - Cours du Mont-libre
84760 Saint-Martin-de-la-Brasque
Historic patrimony   Town / Village Historic site and monument

Download the map of Saint Martin here.

The warmness and the kindness make the richness and the soul of this village.

You can enjoy the tasty produces of the sun-kissed region, especially on Sunday morning between May and October during the market.

The lovely shady place, the big fountain, the unusual trompe l’oeil, the ancestral alleys, the calm and serenity will not fail to seduce you.

The residents are called “saint-martinois”.

THE ESSENTIALS:

- The farmer market on Sunday morning,

- The beautiful houses of the XVIIth century,

- The church of Saint Martin or Saint Blaise of the XVIIth century and its bell tower with pinnacle,

- The sun dial,

- The washhouse.

THE ORIGINS OF THE VILLAGE:

During the XIth century, Saint Martin de la Brasque was called “Le Castelas” and during the Revolution “Le Mont-Libre” (the Free Mont).

There are 2 theories explaining the name of the village:

- “Embracs” (separated, cut) because the village was not a part of the Valley of Aigues, it was apart.

- “Brasque” meaning the mud, the marsh, because the location of the village was formerly a swamp.

Like Peypin d’Aigues, the current village was born in 1506, with an accord between the lords and almost 15 Vaudois families who accepted to come to repopulate the area. These two villages are complementary: Peypin has a surplus of forests and a lack of arable land, Saint-Martin is in the inverse situation.

GUIDED TOUR

1. The Marketplace

The place of the market is huge like you can see and we can wonder why to have planned a so big place for a so small village. It is Lally NEVIERE, a notable of the village, who donated his land so that it serves for welcoming the market of grapes. This market did not last long because the with development of transportations people went directly in the vineyards to buy grapes. Nevertheless, the farmer market takes place every Sunday mornings from May to October.

2. The City Hall-School and the Trompe L’oeil

The City Hall-School dates to 1905 and its construction was made according to the canons of the time with a very well done trompe-l’oeil of the 70s. You see on each side “école de garçons” (school for boys) and “école de filles” (school for girls) because at this time education was not mixed. Nowadays, the school has been rebuilt behind and the buildings of the former school serve as the City Hall.

3. Fountain Square

It is in fact the former cemetery. The current location of the village exists only for 500 years. On the Place, there is a plaque indicating it (new act of housing in 1506). The memory of Saint-Martin dates back to very long time: 500 years of Vaudois history are reminded by this plaque. It is in Lyon, during the XIIth century, that begins the epic of Vaudois. Pierre Valdo, rich trader, outraged by the magnificence of the clergy, gives his goods to the poor people and dedicates itself to the preaching of the Gospel. He makes followers in the South of France, in the Alps, in Italy: the valdéisme was born. Very fast, the church pronounces an anathema (public reprobation) upon Vaudois, who advocate the poverty, the modesty, the work…

 Notice a lovely kiosk and a small modern fountain.

4. “Rue des Cataformes”

The “cataformes” means 4 ovens. We assume that there were baker’s ovens but the passage served also to run away discreetly if the village was attacked. The street ends by an archway called here a “soustet”.

5. The Small Fountain and the Sundial

At the intersection between “Rue des Treilles” and “Rue du Cadran”, the fountain dates to XVIth century. Beside you can see a beautiful pale blue facade, very Renaissance, on which was painted a sun dial surrounded with two cherubs.

6. The Porch

Still in the big street: beautiful round porch of the XVIIth century. Notice a frame made by stony rope and which makes a knot on itself.

7. “Rue des Crotonnes” and the Washhouse

“Crotonnes” mean “small cellars” in patois. Lower, the washhouse waits for “bugadières” (in Provençal, “bugadier” = washing). In the old days, there was in front of the washhouse a big meadow of grass where people let the linen dry.

8. Saint Martin Church

This religious monument was built between 1626 and 1629 in the hamlet of Clastres, in order to replace the former church ruined. Its modest size and its distance explain the few Catholic families in Saint-Martin de la Brasque. The majority of the population was in fact of Vaudois origin.

Inside, the walls are decorated by fake stones painted, the retable dates to XVIIth century. The pointed arch nave finished by a cul-de-four apses make this building unique. Outside, the porch is surmounted by a bell wall pierced by bays dated of 1881.

9. The Cross of Pierre

The cross that marks the entrance of the village when you come from La Motte d’Aigues and whose the story is nowadays forgotten. Here, no fortifications but the density of houses acts as protection, very derisory protection according to the dangers.

HIKING:

Enjoy a hike around the village to discover the hamlets. More details here (10km – 2h30).

Opening period


All year round, daily.

Prices


Free access.

surroundings :
Mountain view, Village centre, View over the vineyards, Lake 5 km away,

Geographic perimeter :
Saint-Martin-de-la-Brasque,

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