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La Bastide des Jourdans

Village of the Pays d'Aigues in Luberon

La Bastide des Jourdans © VF

La Bastide des Jourdans is a pleasant village located in the foothills of the Luberon in the Aigues region, near the south-eastern end of the massif. The Lèze river crosses the village, it takes its source on the heights of the surroundings before going down towards Grambois and flowing into the Durance river, about twenty kilometres further on.

This place is located on an old communication axis located on the border between Lower and Upper Provence, now the border between the Vaucluse and Alpes-de-haute-Provence, on the road leading from Aix to Forcalquier.

The presence of a priory of canons dependent on Notre-Dame-des-Doms in Avignon is attested in 1027. The Templars had settled in Limaye, northeast of the current village. They were replaced by the hospital workers after their arrest in 1308. The Saint-Marc chapel, in Romanesque style, testifies to their presence at the Ferme de Limaye.

The Jourdan are two brothers, Pierre and Guillaume, vassals of the Count of Provence Raymond-Bérenger V who entrusted them with the territory in 1236 to establish a toll and tax the merchants who travelled on the road between Aix en Provence and Forcalquier. The Jourdans founded the current village by building a castle, then called "bastida" (or fortified house) that their descendants occupied until the 14th century. The round tower is the remains of the original castle. The seigneurial castle was enlarged by the occupants who followed to the 14th and 16th centuries, the Astouard and Coriolis families. Abandoned and ruined during the Revolution, the castle was bought and restored at the end of the 19th century by a private individual.

La Bastide des Jourdans © VFLa Bastide des Jourdans © VF
La Bastide des Jourdans © VFLa Bastide des Jourdans © VF

The Belfry which emerges above the rooftops of the village from the top of its 18 meters dates from the 17th century, it shelters at its top a clock and the bells of the church which are in a way delocalized. Because the church of Saint Peter is a discreet building, built below the village, and the sound of the bells did not reach the faithful easily.

The Chapel of Our Lady of Consolation is built outside the village at the crossroads of three roads.

The Bastide des Jourdans was a prosperous cillage in the Middle Ages but was not spared the plague epidemics and the 14th century disorders. There are still two medieval gates of the second enclosure built in the 16th century and some parts of the ramparts. La Bastide des Jourdans became a prosperous village again in the 16th century. The village has now lost the silk industries that made its wealth in the 19th century, it was then an industrial village also known for its brick and tile factories. But the end of handicrafts and the rural exodus reduced the population from 920 inhabitants in the middle of the 19th century to only 400 souls after the First World War. Today it is an agricultural village whose population growth is supported by the development of residential areas.

La Bastide des Jourdans © VFLa Bastide des Jourdans © VF

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GPS coordinates N 43°45'47'' - E 5°35'22''

La Bastide des Jourdans Location : altitude 410 meters above see level, 1500 inhabitants, 5 km from Grambois, 10 km from La Tour d'Aigues, 16 km from Manosque, 20km from Cucuron, 27 km de Lourmarin, 29 km fromForcalquier, 40 km from Aix-en-Provence.

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