Chateau de Lourmarin, Vaucluse visitors guide
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The Chateau de Lourmarin is on the edge of the village of the same name, to the south of the Luberon Regional Natural Park and in the Vaucluse department of Provence.
This layout with the castle outside the village is quite unusual: in almost every village you visit in Luberon you will find the castle (or ruins of a castle) at the centre of the village, with the village having developed around the castle.
The chateau is said to be the first renaissance style castle to be built in Provence.
History of the Chateau de Lourmarin
The original castle here was built in the 15th century by Foulques d'Agoult, on the site of a medieval castle that had stood here since the 12th century. It was further transformed in the renaissance style of architecture in the years after 1526: in particular the wing in the renaissance style was added by Louis d'Agoult Montauban.
The castle changed hands several times over the centuries, but slowly fell to ruin, in particular after the French revolution. In the 19th century the castle was owned by the family of the Countess of Agoult, who had three children with the composer Franz Liszt, one of whom married Richard Wagner.
By 1920 it was in a very poor condition and was to be sold at auction as a source for rock to be used for local buildings, but was actually bought by Robert Laurent-Vibert who spent five years and a great deal of money restoring the castle. The Chateau de Lourmarin was listed as a historic monument in 1973.
As well as being open to the public the Chateau de Lourmarin is also used now for various events and artistic spectacles. In the walls below the castle there is a wine shop / cave that is open to the public and can be reached without paying to enter the castle. Contrary to what you might expect in a village so popular with tourists, the shop offers a wide range of wines at very reasonable prices as well as more expensive choices.
Visit the Chateau de Lourmarin
The castle is easy to find: it is clearly visible from Lourmarin village, and only a short walk from the village. As you get close to the castle you pass a large olive plantation, with 250 olive trees that were planted in 1930 as part of a redesign of the landscape.
At the entry to the castle you can see a lovely pond area, surrounded by flowers. Although there are not extensive gardens around the castle, this area is extremely attractive. The courtyard where you enter the castle is a good example of the renaissance architecture: take a look for example at the stonework around the doors and windows.
During your visit to the Chateau de Lourmarin you can appreciate the 16th century renaissance elements of architecture. The tour of the castle includes several large rooms with fireplaces, furniture and paintings from the 15th to 18th centuries. The most interesting features are the spiral staircase and the Italian style loggia, as well as the views across to Lourmarin village.
You can see a great deal of the outside of the castle without paying. To see the inside rooms, courtyard, staircase and loggias you will need to pay, around 7 euros full price. A visit takes around 40 minutes and includes a game for children to complete: useful if your children are not fascinated by loggias and staircases!
The castle is open every day except 1 January and 25 December, although opening hours are more restricted outside high season: notably it is closed from 12.30 - 14.30 except during June, July and August.
Of course, your visit will also include a visit to the village of Lourmarin: this is one of our favourite Provencal villages. Other villages that you should visit here in the 'Petit Luberon' region include Ansouis, Bonnieux and Lacoste.
Map of Chateau de Lourmarin and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Lourmarin: most beautiful village
- Jardin à la française du Pavillon de Galon: remarkable garden (7 km)
- Abbaye de Silvacane (La Roque-d'Antheron): religious monument (7 km)
- Jardin de la Louve: remarkable garden (8 km)
- Ansouis: most beautiful village (9 km)
- Luberon: regional natural parc (12 km)
- Gorges de Régalon: site of natural beauty (13 km)
- Apt: recommended detour (13 km)
- Jardin du château de Val Joanis: remarkable garden (14 km)
- Menerbes: most beautiful village (14 km)
- Roussillon: most beautiful village (16 km)
- Zoo de La Barben: zoo or wildlife park (20 km)
The French version of this page is at Chateau de Lourmarin (Francais)