Vaison la Romaine
Celto-ligure capital of the Voconce tribe, Vasio Vocontorium receives, after
romanization, the privileged statute of federate city, allied of Rome. In the first century AD,
this opulent city of the Narbonne province endows itself of a prestigious public and private
architecture of which testifies the big patrician homes, the theater and the thermal wholes
Vaison La Romaine presents the biggest archaeological field of France. The
discoveries began in 1907 continue nowadays.
Excavations of Vaison
Take time to walk in the rich homes to the exceptional surfaces (up to 2 000 m² for the
House of the Apollon Lauré and up to 5 000 m² for the House of the Silver Bust),
in the commercial and craftsmen districts, in the public and private thermal baths, in streets
and gardens distribued in two districts: Puymin and The Villasse.
You will appreciate in it a rich collection of imperial marble statuaries, of which the couple
Hadrien and Sabine.
Imagine sitting it in its hemicycle among the 6 000 spectators of the first century and you
will relive comedies and mimes of this time.
Gallo-Roman Bridge of Vaison.
Standing on its unique 17 meters long ark it steps over the Ouvèze and remains the
indestructible tie between the contemporary city and the medieval city.
From the Vth to the XIth century the city become Christian organizes
itself around the bishop, powerful lord. It is whereas rises the Notre-Dame de Nazareth
cathedral ornamented later of its cloister.
In the XIIIth century, after the construction of the strong castle by the Comtes
de Toulouse, the insecurity of the time pushes the population to find shelter on the rock
safe from battlements. A new church cathedral is constructed there.
Nowadays, with the return of the population in the plain, the cathedral Notre-Dame de
Nazareth became again the place of cult of the inhabitants of Vaison.
NOTRE-DAME de NAZARETH CATHEDRAL
It counts among the most beautiful examples about Romance buildings in Provence. As for all
these buidings, you will notice few openings and never to the north, thick walls shouldered by
buttresses, a massive bell-tower, a sculpted decor borrowed to the ancient art and everywhere
on the stone marks of the builders.
Cathedral Notre-Dame de Nazareth Cloister.
Temperate, to the pure lines, it possesses some harmonious proportions. Place of peace and
contemplation, the cloister with its four galleries surrounding the interior court was
the unique passageway of access to rooms reserved to the twelve clergymen of Vaison.
It has carried the name of the holy patron of the city, bishop of Vaison in the VIth
century. It is known for its curious triangular apse and for its sculptures ; you will admire
the corinthian marks sculpted of characters.
Raised on the visible rocky spur of all directions, it is the feudal castle that attracts and
stares the attention of all new visitors; it dominates the medieval and rebirth city to its
When the Provence was shared in the XIIth century, Vaison and the Comtat Venaissin
fell into the Toulouse Count Raymond V's hands who collided with the bishop's power. In
1229, he had to yield the Comtat Venaissin to the Holy Seat and Vaison was placed under
papal administration in 1274 until its link with the France kingdom on September 14th
Cross over the gallo-roman bridge, go along the battlements and, after the
belfry surmonted with a campanile, you will discover the High City, fortified by
a double wall and dominated by the feudal castle.
Then, you will be seduced by the old
poetic alleys in calades to the reminiscent names (rue des Fours, rue des Fromagers,
rue de l'Evêché, ...), the old particular hotels and the little places endowed of
comtadine fountains .
To finish, go up to the feudal castle and you will enjoy a splendid panoramic view.
Feudal castle of Vaison la Romaine.
Dominated by the Mont Ventoux our "Giant of Provence", gathering
of hikers and bicyclists, two steps away from the Dentelles de Montmirail sculpted in
the stone by erosion -domain of climbing- Vaison la Romaine welcomes you to the heart of a
generous nature where grapevines, orchards of olive trees and reminiscent cypresses of the
Tuscany keep close.
Capital of the Pays Voconces, Vaison has a dozen of villages to discover where mountain,
scrubs and vineyards, castles and defensive walls, bell-towers and campaniles, chapels and
churches, landscapes and points of view inspire painters and magnify their art.
On the road of wines of the "Provence des Papes", savor all charms of a
city of Provence with its vivid Tuesday morning market -the biggest of the region- that offers
to all scents and colors of the South of France.
Its shady squares of plane trees invite to the relaxation, its commercial streets with varied
shops incite to dawdling ; its traditional celebrations and animations of seasons will dive
you in our Provencal culture.
The JOURNEES GOURMANDES (in early November)
and their Soup festival prolong the season up to the autumn.
The summer FESTIVAL
(in July) reserves you some dream evenings when dance, theater and music follow each other in
the Ancient Theater. You can go to the web site clicking here :
Vaison La Romaine Festival.
Vaison it is also the "European City Choral
" with every year,
the FESTIVAL des CHOEURS LAUREATS
and every three years the
(first two weeks of
the month of August ; the next will be in 2013, 2016, 2019...).
Every Tuesday morning, one of the most beautiful and colored market of Provence takes place in
the town of Vaison la Romaine.
Regional products and market of Vaison la Romaine.
Finally, Vaison La Romaine counts an important vineyard being part of the Controlled Origin
Appelation "Côtes du Rhône"
proposes a large variety of wine : the vins de Pays
to names of vines universally
recognized ; the Côtes du Ventoux
fruity and cordial; the Côtes du Rhône
tannic and soft following one vintages ; the Côtes du Rhône Villages Régionnaux
somptuous ; the Côtes du Rhône Villages Communaux
of very big lineages ; and to finish
two products very valued, the Or de Vaison
, our wine of liqueur to orangey reflections
and the Vin Romain
, that does not have behind its originality of quits to excite the curiosity.
For more information, you can go to the wine-cellar "La Romaine" web site clicking
Vault of Vaison La Romaine.
Mr. Jean-Louis Romieu and his family. Site conceived by Thibault Romieu.