Venasque is a medieval village perched on a rock with steep cliffs. It’s ranked among the most beautiful villages in France.
Ranked among the most beautiful in France
Venasque is a superb village perched on a narrow and steep rocky outcrop, backed by the Monts du Vaucluse, it offers a picturesque profile. The village overlooks the Nesque, the small river which, after digging spectacular Gorges a little further east, passes discreetly at the foot of the hill. From the village above, the panorama is superb towards the Comtat Venaissin plain and Carpentras to the west and facing Mont Ventoux to the north. This Vaucluse village has been ranked among the most beautiful in France since 1992. How pleasant it is to stroll through its steep streets to discover its heritage: the 13th century baptistery, the Romanesque church and its painting saved from the Louvre, the Roman walls… From the Esplanade, a magnificent view is offered to us and allows us to admire the landscapes of the Monts de Vaucluse, the Dentelles de Montmirail and the Mont Ventoux.
Defended by ramparts
The old village of Venasque is very long: cramped on its rocky outcrop, it extends around the Grand rue and the rue Haute. Access to the village from the south-east, the only easy entry route to the village, is defended by ramparts and three large potbellied towers. These are the impassable Sarrazine Towers, they date from the Lower Roman Empire, their shape is of Gallo-Roman origin. On the other side of the village, the Notre-Dame church, a 13th century Romanesque church houses a magnificent painting from the Avignon school (1498), and a 6th century baptistery, one of the oldest in France, legend attributes the construction to Saint-Siffrein, bishop of Carpentras. Venasque will delight lovers of old stones, you can admire the fountains and washhouses where for centuries the inhabitants got their water supply. Running water was installed in the early 1960s.
Venasque Cherry, “Red Diamond of Provence”
At the foot of Venasque extend vineyards whose grapes produce AOC Ventoux wine, but Venasque is also renowned for being the terroir of the Cherry, the “red diamond of Provence”, a top-of-the-range fruit which benefits from a registered trademark “Cerise des Monts de Venasque” since 1978, subject to strict specifications to guarantee its quality and carefully controlled by the “Brotherhood of the Cherry” which invites amateurs each year in June to the Cherry Festival .Cherry trees are abundantly cultivated there, both in the plains and the terraces on the hillside. They flower in the spring and they produce their fleshy, vermeil fruits from mid-May to the end of June, depending on the variety.