Visit Forcalquier (Provence, France)
Forcalquier is a town located in Provence to the south of Sisteron and north-east of Aix-en-Provence. It is towards the eastern edge of the Luberon region, and is surrounded by the attractive traditional Provencal landscapes of lavender and olives.
With a history dating back to roman times when it stood on the trade route between Italy and Spain, the town that we see today developed around the slopes of a steep hill below a citadel that stood above the village from the 10th to the 16th centuries. forcalquier was at its most prosperous in the early Middle Ages, at which time it was an influential capital of the Haute Provence region.
An attractive small Provencal town, there are numerous small highlights to discover in the narrow streets and open squares around the town centre with fountains, faded shutters and iron balconies, decorative stone doorways, sleepy dogs.
Particular highlights include the 12th century cathedral which dominates the Place du Bourguet, the 13th century Cordelier's Convent and cloisters and the 17th century Convent of the Visitandines (the baroque facade of the chapel is now the entrance to Forcalquier cinema, while the remainder of the building is the mairie).
A particularly unusual feature is the ornately carved 16th century fountain in the Place Saint-Michel, and see also the statue and fountain of Joan of Arc in Place Jeanne d'Arc.
Follow the narrow streets and then the cobbled path above Forcalquier and you will finally reach the chapel looking down from the top of the hill. The chapel stands on the site of the citadel (itself destroyed in 1601) and is an an unusual octagonal 19th century design with statues standing on each corner of the octagon and a small domed roof.
Be sure to get this far, because it is the highest point in the town and has stunning views across the rooftops and countryside.
Market day is Monday in Forcalquier, which has one of the larger and livelier markets in the region, and is itself a popular attraction. The market is held in Place du Bourguet in the centre of the town.
There is also a small museum in Forcalquier with various items from the long and active history of the town.
You will also see 'bories' (small stone huts) in the surrounding countryside, while another fascinating sight can be seen just north of the town (road towards Fontienne) at the rock formations called 'mourres'. Here millions of years of erosion has left curiously shaped rocks exposed on the surface, for example in the shape of giant mushrooms.
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Forcalquier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence, 4300 || GPS: latitude 43.96, longitude 5.78056
Map of Forcalquier & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Forcalquier, France
- Jardins du prieuré de Salagon - remarkable garden (3km)
- Jardins du château de Sauvan - remarkable garden (3km)
- Prieuré Notre Dame (Ganagobie) - religious monument (11km)
- Clos de Villeneuve - remarkable garden (21km)
- Colorado Provencal - site of natural beauty (24km)
- Luberon - regional natural parc (29km)
- Sisteron - recommended detour (29km)
- Apt - recommended detour (32km)
- Jardin à la française du Pavillon de Galon - remarkable garden (34km)
- Ansouis - most beautiful village (35km)
Market days in Forcalquier: Regular market(s) are held in Forcalquier each Monday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Forcalquier (Francais)