documentary

Gordes: A village in Provence, France

I love Gordes.

The sights, sounds, and smell. All of it. The homes and buildings are made with white stones and it’s perched on top of a hill facing the Luberon. The charming cobblestone roads, narrow alleys, and window shopping along the cute storefronts, while inhaling the smell of fresh crepes are a few reasons why Gordes will be one of my favorite places in France.

This charming and historical village is located in Provence, about 30 miles east of Avignon, and approximately 150 miles west of Nice, which is where we were stationed for the second half of our trip to France.

entrance into the village

entrance into the village

Since the mid-century, movie stars and famous artists have made Gordes their home.

underground art store

underground art store

As we slowly immersed ourselves deeper into the village, the more we wanted to explore every nook and cranny of this beautiful place. Every intersection created curious excitement, and every turn did not disappoint.

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As we were slowly walking through the village, we immediately noticed the doors and window sills, and the general decor of plants seemingly placed so perfectly.

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I also really enjoy and appreciate places with historical importance. This place holds a lot of history starting back from the Middle Age-Renaissance period to the more recent WWII, when the Roman empire occupied this site and Gordes was used as a resistance village:

Here’s a quick snippet of history from Wikipedia:

“On 21 August 1944, almost a week after the beginning of the Operation Dragoon on the Provençal coast, a German patrol was attacked by the resistance. The day after, 22 August, the village was subject to violent reprisals. The Germans forced the inhabitants to enter their homes, shooting those who were late or that were not cooperating, and started to shoot from the rock on the other side with a canon and destroyed a dozen houses. On the other side of the village, the rest of the troops set fire to a chariot, pieces of wood and houses, blocking potential followers. More than twenty houses were destroyed. After the Liberation the resistance destroyed another part of the village, including the notarial house with all the archives. All this destruction brought the municipality the sad privilege to appear amongst three "stricken cities" of the Vaucluse department. By war's end, thirteen persons had been killed or executed in Gordes, twenty inhabitants had been shot by the enemy and five inhabitants were deported.”

Below is a local cemetery of past Gordiens. There is a special section in the cemetery to honor the graves of those that were martyred during the war.

Cemetary: Les Martyrs de Gordes

Cemetary: Les Martyrs de Gordes

We stopped for lunch at a small hole in the wall (literally) in the village and had one of the more delicious meals during our trip. It was a pasta dish with stew meat topped with some kind of mushroom sauce. I forgot to take a picture of it before it was devoured.

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Just another storefront that caught our eye. It even lured adults like us in. I believe this was the only toy store in the village.

Jouets de Bois - Toy Store

Jouets de Bois - Toy Store

Pinnochio puppets

Pinnochio puppets

Most of the toys were made out of wood

Most of the toys were made out of wood

Here are a few more scenes of the village and my (pregnant) wife.

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I often think about having a simpler life. Being part of a small community, with great food, coffee, art, and some pétanque, doesn’t sound bad one bit.

Residents still occupy this village! Here are a few stills of a few Gordiens playing pétanque.

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Well, that’s all folks. Hope you enjoyed this quick journal entry about our trip to Gordes. I 100% recommend visiting if you’re able. Make the drive. Take your time and walk around as the sights, sounds and smells infuse your heart and soul with nostalgia even soon after you’ve left.

My wife and I are planning to write several more entries from our trip to France, and we’d love for you to subscribe below and follow along!

au revoir

au revoir

- jimmy