•Vaucluse (84240) • Population: 748 • Altitude: 385 m
La Motte d'Aigues sits on a small hill in the center of farming land that stretches out in a broad arc to the Durance river, 12 km to the south. Just behind (to the north of) the village, the 1100-m high Luberon mountains stretch across from east to west.
Just a km to the southwest of the village is the 36-ha Etang de la Bonde, the largest lake in the region. It's a man-made lake, but it's been around for awhile: it was constructed in the 12th century to provide water for the local castle.
Even out in this farming region, with a fair collection of modern "résidences secondaires", the village is ancient and charming. The streets are medieval narrow and the old buildings retain a strong sense of history.
The central church dates back to the 17th century, but the little temple at the top of the village, built in 1905 is more unique: it's Protestant.
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History of La Motte-d'Aigues
First record, 11th century Motte d'Aigues, attached to the Benedictine Abbey of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon.
Gallo-Roman: A Roman cemetery was located at St. Jean, about 1500 m south along the D120 road. Artifacts discovered there included a statue and a ceramic vase.
La Motte d'Aigues was ruled by the lords of Sabran and then the lords of Agoult. In the 16th century, it belonged to the barons of the Tour d'Aigue.
The village was deserted in 1471, during the time of the plague. In 1505 it was again populated, by an "acte d'habitation" from the Protestant Vaudois from the Dauphiné valley. A couple of generations later the Protestant leanings of the village caused its downfall, as it was sacked, pillaged and plundered during the Wars of Religion.
July (2nd Sun) - Fête Communale
Riding trails pass beside la Motte-d'Aigues, going through villages to the east and the west. The trails follow the small roads nearby, but also go up into the Luberon mountains to the north.
There are riding stables in St. Martin-de-la-Brasque, directly beside La Motte, as well as at Cucuron, about 6 km to the west.
• GPS: 43.773009, 5.521661
IGN (1/25,000) #3243 OT "Pertuis, Lourmarin"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #14 "Luberon, Sainte-Victoire"
• The area directly around la Motte-d'Aigues is farmland and vineyards, so country walking is more suitable than hiking.
Transportation La Motte-d'Aigues
Department 84, Vaucluse Buses
- See Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 2: Vaucluse Department for downloading Vaucluse bus-lines map [Plan global des lignes] and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).
• Avignon has train or bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Nîmes, Saint Remy-de-Provence, Paris.
• Cavaillon has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Saint Remy-de-Provence.
• Pertuis has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.