Lourmarin is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the Vaucluse
The Vaucluse is a department in the southeast of France, named after the famous spring, the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.- History :Vaucluse was created on 12 August 1793 out of parts of the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme, and Basses-Alpes...

 department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur or PACA is one of the 27 regions of France.It is made up of:* the former French province of Provence* the former papal territory of Avignon, known as Comtat Venaissin...

Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 in southeastern France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Its inhabitants are called Lourmarinois.


Lourmarin is located in the French region of Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

, at the foot of the Luberon
The Luberon or Luberon Massif , also called Lubéron, has a maximum altitude of 1,256 m and an area of about 600 km²...

 Massif where a southern pass debouches over the Luberon
The Luberon or Luberon Massif , also called Lubéron, has a maximum altitude of 1,256 m and an area of about 600 km²...

 from Apt
Apt, Vaucluse
Apt is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It lies on the left bank of the Calavon, east of Avignon...

 on the northern side of the Luberon. The pass divides the Grand Luberon from the Petit Luberon range, an area rich in Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 remains and noted for its dramatic massifs and rockscapes. The Aigues Brun brook comes out of the pass and runs just to the west of the village (Aigue is a Provençal
Provençal language
Provençal is a dialect of Occitan spoken by a minority of people in southern France, mostly in Provence. In the English-speaking world, "Provençal" is often used to refer to all dialects of Occitan, but it actually refers specifically to the dialect spoken in Provence."Provençal" is also the...

 word for "water", coming from Latin aqua).


Lourmarin has been settled for at least a thousand years, and was probably a Neolithic campsite before that.

A fortress was first built at the site in the 12th century, and was rebuilt by Foulques d'Agoult in the 15th century on the foundations of the earlier castle. It was restored in 1920.

In 1545 the town was burned down because its population was predominantly Waldensian protestant.


Extremely picturesque, the village is a magnet for tourists. Prominent sites are the village itself, the pretty Renaissance castle, the Catholic and Protestant churches and the view from the village of the Proches Bastides, a large fortified farmhouse dating to the Middle Ages. From the village itself it is 20 minute drive down to the Durance
The Durance is a major river in south-eastern France.Its source is in the south-western Alps, in Montgenèvre ski resort near Briançon and it flows south-west through the following départements and cities:* Hautes-Alpes: Briançon, Embrun.* Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: Sisteron, Manosque.* Vaucluse:...

 River and then about 40 minutes on to Aix-en-Provence
Aix , or Aix-en-Provence to distinguish it from other cities built over hot springs, is a city-commune in southern France, some north of Marseille. It is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture. The population of Aix is...



Lourmarin was the birthplace of Philippe de Girard
Philippe de Girard
Philippe Henri de Girard was a French engineer and inventor of the first flax spinning frame in 1810, as well as the name-sake for the town of Żyrardów in Poland. He was also the uncredited inventor of food preservation using tin cans. Girard was born in the village of Lourmarin in the département...

 (1775-1845), an engineer and inventor of the linen
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather....

 spinning mill, as well as the name-sake for the town of Żyrardów
Żyrardów is a town in central Poland with 41,400 inhabitants . It is situated in the Masovian Voivodship ; previously, it was in Skierniewice Voivodship 45 km West of Warsaw. It is the capital of Żyrardów County...

 in Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 (a toponym
Toponymy is the scientific study of place names , their origins, meanings, use and typology. The word "toponymy" is derived from the Greek words tópos and ónoma . Toponymy is itself a branch of onomastics, the study of names of all kinds...

 derived from the polonised
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 spelling of Girard's name). Żyrardów is Lourmarin's twin town.

The writers Henri Bosco
Henri Bosco
Henri Bosco was a French writer.Bosco was born in Avignon, Vaucluse into a family of Piedmontese origin. Through his father, he was related to Saint John Bosco, of whom he wrote a biography. His novels for adults and children provide a sensitive evocation of Provençal life...

 (1888-1976) and Albert Camus
Albert Camus
Albert Camus was a French author, journalist, and key philosopher of the 20th century. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was opposed to some tendencies of the Surrealist movement of André Breton.Camus was awarded the 1957...

 (1913-1960) both lived there and are buried in the local cemetery.

Another famous writer, British expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

 Peter Mayle
Peter Mayle
Peter Mayle is a British author famous for his series of books detailing life in Provence, France. He spent fifteen years in the advertising industry before leaving the business in 1975 to write educational books, including a series on sex education for children and young people...

 today lives in Lourmarin. One of his books, A Year in Provence, giving the chronicle of a British expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

 who settled in the village of Ménerbes
Ménerbes is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France, a walled village on a hilltop in the Luberon mountains, footbills of the French Alps....

, was made into a TV series and a film. Another of his books was also made into the film A Good Year
A Good Year
A Good Year is a 2006 British romantic comedy film, set in London and Provence. It was directed by Ridley Scott, with an international cast including Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard, Didier Bourdon, Abbie Cornish and Albert Finney...

(2006) directed by Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott
Sir Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists , Alien , Blade Runner , Legend , Thelma & Louise , G. I...

 and starring Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe
Russell Ira Crowe is a New Zealander Australian actor , film producer and musician. He came to international attention for his role as Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a...

, which was filmed nearby in the same region. As a result, in recent decades Luberon and its towns and villages like Lourmarin and Ménerbes, which probably were the lesser known parts of Provence, even in France, became better known in the English-speaking world.

External links

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