Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Roussillon, Provence, France

Roussillon (but a few kilometers from Apt) is yet another of the hilltop towns that is officially designated as one of Provence's "Plus beaux villages". This small medieval village is located in a beautiful forest from which great cliffs of seemingly pure ocre suddenly appear. These hills have been mined for their marvelous red soil and minerals since Roman times, and there is ample evidence indicating that people lived in this area long before Romans arrived. It is only natural that the village itself is permeated with stone and cement structures having varying shades of ocre. Even the seemingly white altar steps in the ancient village church have flecks of ocre.

These pictures show the village streets and neighbouring valley in the overcast lighting of a late afternoon in late May. Reaching the castle at the highpoint of the village required a bit of a climb, but reaching anything required climbing or descending. Looking over the red rooftops, one sees the forest stretching for miles until the soil finally becomes suitable for cultivating the region's famous wines.

[Click here for pictures of Roussillon on another posting.]