The Provencal village of Lourmarin located in the South of France is known as one of the most beautiful perched villages in all of Luberon and was built at a strategic point between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. This intersection called the “Combe” was a gateway for salt merchants who transported this invaluable product across the country during a time in which salt was the key ingredient to preserving food.
Just outside the village of Lourmarin sits the spectacular Château de Lourmarin which was built during three different stages. First a fortress was built between the 12th and 13th century by the Baux family. Second, the Château Vieux (Old Chateau) was built in the 15th century by another prosperous family, the Agoult family. Third, a new wing called the “Renaissance Wing” or “Château Neuf” (New Chateau) was built in the 16th century. The Château was deserted by the Agoult family and moved on to other famous families in the region until it was left to ruin in 1920. Thankfully the Château was saved by a wealthy industrialist and today remains open to the public on behalf of the Aix Academy of Art and Sciences. (Source: Office de Tourisme Municipal de Lourmarin).
It is hard to visit Lourmarin without a stop at the beautiful Château which rests right outside the ancient perched village. The castle stands breathless, quiet yet inviting. Although little remains of the 12th century fortress, the structure seems to have withstood time and stands strong and powerful today. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in Lourmarin.
The Château is open year round however I would recommend visiting during the Spring, Summer or Fall so you can admire the lovely gardens and views of the perched village of Lourmarin. There is a gorgeous pond that on a clear day reflects clouds and flowers across its water. The courtyard and garden would be a nice place to sit and admire the beauty of Provence and Lourmarin while sipping a cup of tea (which is sold at the nearby cafe).
Today only two buildings remain of the Château de Lourmarin, one in a late medieval style and the other built during the Renaissance period. They are equally beautiful inside and worth a look. I especially enjoyed the small pianos and tiny furniture which looked way too small for someone as tall as me.
View of Lourmarin from a distance…
Unfortunately photos were only allowed in a few rooms. Here is one photo I took from inside the Renaissance Building, with all the furniture intact. I found the floor breathtakingly beautiful.
If you go
Château de Lourmarin is open year round except during a period in January. Check website for details. There are also live concerts at the Chateau as well. For more information, check out the official website here.
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