In the heart of Provence, Lourmarin is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Lying between two valleys, the Durance one and the Calavon one, the village is located at the entrance to a pass dug out by a river, the Aiguebrun, at the foot of the Luberon limestone mountains. The Romans were not wrong about the importance of this site when they set up their military camp here. There are many remnants of their presence that can still be seen today. As in Lourmarin we are faced with the full force of the worldwide fame of Provence!
The narrow streets winding around the rocky spur are like picture postcards, dotted with four magnificent fountains, one of which, la Place, is listed as a historical monument. Overlooking this village, which is regularly ranked among the most beautiful ones in France, Lourmarin castle, first for the Renaissance style in Provence, can be visited all year long but in summer it is transformed into a leading musical and cultural stage.
A village of artists, Lourmarin enticed, amongst others, the writer Albert Camus, whose spirit still seems to be present on the different terraces where he enjoyed his evening pastis. Born in 1913 in Mondovi (Algeria), the author of The Plague made this corner of Provence his home port by buying a house here with the money from his 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature. It is in this village, which he described as “solemn and austere despite its magnificent beauty”, that he was buried after his accidental death in 1960… As a sign of the mutual attachment that the village and its inhabitants had for him, the street where he lived is today named after him.
In a very different style, another writer, a British one this time, has worked a lot on developing the fame of Lourmarin: his name is Peter Mayle, and he came here at the beginning of the 90s after starting out in advertising in London and New York. After a first international best-seller in 1993 (A Year in Provence), Peter Mayle published several novels describing, in an irresistibly funny way, his relations with the inhabitants of his adopted region! It’s impossible to leave Lourmarin without mentioning its market, one of the most popular ones in the region. Every Friday morning, opposite the castle, you can see a riot of colours and tastes, which declares loud and clear its attachment to Provençal traditions!