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Oppède-le-vieux, historical village of the Luberon

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Oppède-le-Vieux © VF

A stroll in Oppède's old village

Oppède-le-Vieux is a village clinging to the northern slopes of the Luberon between Robion and Ménerbes, overlooked by the ruins of a feudal castle and a perfectly preserved Romanesque church. The old village "Oppède-le-Vieux" was abandoned from the 19th century onwards by its inhabitants who settled in the plain and built a new village "Oppède-les-Poulivets". In old Oppède, the unoccupied houses withstood the test of time and fell into ruins. Today only the low houses of the village are still inhabited.

Oppède-le-vieux © VF

The main square of Oppède-le-Vieux is dominated by a belfry surmounted by a wrought-iron bell tower. The sloping calades with irregular soil are often covered with wild grasses, they climb towards the top of the village between the beautiful facades of 17th century or Renaissance houses, abandoned, invaded by lush vegetation.

Oppède-le-vieux © VFOppède-le-vieux © VF

The walk is a delight, a moment of poetry. At the top of the village sit the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame d'Alidon, a Provencal Gothic church built in the 14th century, recently restored. You'll enjoy great views over the plain, where is clearly emerging in the north the village of Gordes and the Vaucluse mountains and in the background the clear top of Mont Ventoux.

Walking among the old stones is an enchanting experience, a moment of poetry. At the top of the village stands the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame Dalidon, a church of Romanesque origin whose alterations in the 14th century did not alter the original line. It has been beautifully restored. The view is magnificent on the plain and the Monts du Vaucluse, where the village of Gordes stands out clearly while in the background emerges the summit of Mont Ventoux.

Behind the church are the ruins of the medieval castle, a large tower of which still stands above the ravine. Its origin certainly predates the Counts of Toulouse suzerains of Oppède in the 12th century. It was abandoned in the 17th century, and damaged by an earthquake in 1731.

Oppède-le-vieux © VFOppède-le-vieux © VF

History of Oppède

In the 16th century, Oppède was the stronghold of Baron Jean Maynier d'Oppède, President of the Parliament of Aix-en-Provence. In 1545, he took the lead in the repression of Protestantism in Luberon, where many Waldensians had been settled since the 15th century. In Merindol, his troops massacred women, children and the elderly for the most part, then attacked the Waldensians of Cabrières and the population of Lacoste (Catholics as Waldensians). He killed a total of 3000 people and destroyed 23 villages. In 1551, a few years after his crimes, he was accused of exceeding his mandate. The king had instructed him to execute a maximum of ten people. With many prestigious contacts, Baron Jean Maynier d'Oppède was finally released and died in bed in 1558 at the age of 63..

Oppède-le-vieux © VFOppède-le-vieux © VF

Photos of Oppède : slideshow

Practical information and accommodation near Oppède-le-vieux

Oppède Selected websites of bed and breakfast in near Oppède and Ménerbes

artiste animalier Olivia Trégaut Olivia Tregaut wildlife artist
Olivia realizes Trégaut single clay pieces, stone or bronze, realistic or fantastic inspiration.

Tourist office : website oppede.fr

Landmarks and Attractions:

Coming to Oppède-le-vieux

GPS location : N 43°49'39'' - E 5°10'09''

The village of Oppède is part of the Luberon Regional Park.

Oppède location : altitude 325 metres, 1300 habitants, 4 km from Ménerbes, , 6 km from Robion, 13 km from Gordes, 37 km from Avignon

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