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Report - Oppède-le-Vieux, France

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by snufkin, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. snufkin

    snufkin 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Aug 8, 2011
    Likes Received:
    An old visit (Spetember 2008) but not previously written about here on 28DL as far as I can tell, so perhaps it will be of interest.

    Oppède-le-Vieux is an ababdoned hilltop village in Provence. Originally the village grew up around the 12th century castle. The castle was besieged and traded off between the counts of Toulouse and the popes of Avignon for centuries, but eventually stability arrived and the fortress became less of a focal point. Apparently it could be quite bleak on the hilltop, and homes there weren't very well-placed for those working farms in the valley: by 1907 the population was moving into new homes at the bottom of the hill. (The new village is called Oppède-les-Poulivets, which means "nice view".) Relocating the town hall in 1911 marked the death of the old village. Some sources say that roofs were dismantled in order to stop paying property taxes on the old buildings - or maybe they just reused the materials in their new homes. In any case, time and nature got to work on the old structures.

    After the French defeat in WW2, during the Vichy administration, a short-lived commune of artists was established in Oppède-le-Vieux. Several notable writers, illustrators, architects, potters etc. moved in and fixed up parts of the place a little bit so they could squat there. Since 1943, nothing. Some effort has been made to brick up entranceways beside the path, but these only block off individual rooms and there's still a lot to see. No period artifacts though.


    The old village, above the new.
    By snufk at 2011-09-30

    Overgrown pathways...


    The graffiti is of a high standard!


    The castle has obviously been quarried for stone over the centuries, but it's still worth a look.



    It's nice to find a place that hasn't been completely 'sanitised'... Through that doorway, nothing but a long fall to the forest below.

    Nothing but bugs live here now.


    The church isn't in regular use, but is maintained to some degree and has been a venue for occasional concerts.


    Back down in Oppède-les-Poulivets, where even the inhabited buildings have that 'shabby chic' thing that the French carry off so well!

    Tack så mycket!

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