Var (83136) Population: 1,680 Altitude: 296 m
Foralqueiret is a plain little town in the western Var, south of Brignoles and east of the similar village of Garéoult. Like Garéoult, Forcalqueiret is essentially a residential town in a wide farming valley of the Issole river.
Some of the few sites in Foralqueiret are the very nicely-decorated Saint-Martin church, the silvered "Miss Freedom" statue topping the green iron fountain and a decorative sundial.
On a short autumn-afternoon stop, we enjoyed the friendly welcome in a village café that sports a "terrace" on the adjacent sidewalk.
The small town center belies the actual size, with several residential quarters in a surrounding arc from the southwest to the east.
The original site of La Forcalqueiret castle is on a small hilltop (435 m) located 1 km southeast of the center.
The village name is pronounced for-calq-air-ay. The village café lady thinks it derives from "fort" and "calcaire", from the castle and the ubiquitous chalk-rock of the region. Another source (probably more reliable) has it as a combination of the chalk oven.
For comparison, the Vaucluse town of Forcalquier is pronounced for-calq-ee-ay.
Foralqueiret's old railway station is at the northeast edge of town, across the Issole river from the center. The railway line, between Brignoles and Carnoules (Fun - Carnoules ) is used for a tourist train in the summer, passing by Foralqueiret and Sainte Anastasie-sur-Issole.
History of Forcalqueiret
First record, 1030 Furnum Calcarium or Calcherium, signifing chalk (calcaire) ovens, which existed here from the Middle Ages.
Medieval: Forcalqueiret was a domain the Viscounts of Marseille and then, in succession, of the Agoults, the Vins, the Forbins and the Villeneuves. The castle belonged to Hubert de Garde, a lord of Vins; he saved the life of the Duke d'Anjou (the future King Henri III) at La Rochelle, and he died in 1589 at Grasse, shot by an arquebuse.
The 11th century castle of Forcalqueiret resisted the sieges of Lesdiguières and Charles-Quint.
• GPS: 43.336689, 6.081456
IGN (1/25,000) #3346 OT "Toulon, Le Gro Cerveau, Mont Faron"
IGN (1/25,000) #3445 OT "Cuers, Pierrefeu-du-Var, Collobrières"
The IGN map doesn't show any marked hiking trails at Le Forcalqueiret, but there are forestry tracks in the hills to the north and a lot in the hills to the southeast, from the Castellas Ruins and on eastward.
Forcalqueiret is served by the VAR bus:
- 4408: Brignoles, Forcalqueiret, Garéoult, Rocbaron, Néoules, Méounes-lès-Montrieux, La Roquebrussanne.
Department 83, Var Buses
- See Beyond's Var Department Bus Schedules for downloading the Var bus-lines map [Plan du Reseau] and bus-line schedules [Horaires] (link for PDF files).
- Schedules for the Var bus lines are on the VarLib Horaires-Ligne page (http://www.varlib.fr/horaires_ligne/?rub_code=6") - type the line number in the Numéro ... ligne box to access the bus schedule PDF link. (Type a couple of digits in the box to get a list of route numbers.)