Saignon to Sault and Montbrun les Bains - then back to Sablet
|During lavender season it is not uncommon to see sights like this in lavender country |
- bundles of lavender stacked on a cart and left to dry in the warm Provencal sunshine.
|Looking down from the terrace of an outdoor cafe in Sault|
|Looking up at the perched village of Sault from the lavender fields|
|Some of the items you might see at the Lavender Festival in Sault|
|The Lavender fields that surround the village of Montbrun-les-Bains, can be seen as you approach the village|
|Looking up at the village as you approach, with its Renaissance Chateau and fortification|
|The village has many 16th Century buildings made of a light brown stone that cling to the sides of the hill|
As it's name suggests, the buildings in Montbrun-les-Bains are of a light brown color that creep their way up the hill. The village is dominated by the ruins of the 16th Century Renaissance Chateau Dupuy-Montbrun, home of the well known Protestant commander, Charles Dupuy-Montbrun who built it to replace the old Medieval Chateau, that was demolished by Royal decree in 1560. The new chateau was one of the largest, most beautiful chateaux in the region, and he lived there until it was badly damaged during the Religious Wars, when he was captured by the Catholic Baron de Gordes of Provence and decapitated.
While the Renaissance chateau is not open to the public, as it remains in private ownership, one can get an idea of its splendor by walking around the perimeter of the building to view the exterior of the chateau.
Entry to the old village is through the gate of the 14th Century Gate of the Clock. Once through, follow the walking path. The village church which was originally built in the 14th Century as a Catholic Church - integrated into the 12th Century fortification around the village, it has changed and been modified quite a lot over time. It did serve as a Calvinist Temple during the Protestant uprising and Charles Dupuy-Montbrun's time. But having been retaken by the Catholic Church, it was then remodeled and made larger.
There are a number of fountains in the vieux village, from where a part of its name originates, but it is water from another sulfurous source that gives it the reputation it enjoys today of being a Spa Town. It is well known for its medical and revitalization treatments, having had the first thermal spa established in 1860. Today, the Spa is reserved for medical appointments each morning, while afternoons are open to public appointments for spa and beauty treatments.