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Bonnieux

Bonnieux village the Luberon, the "Pont Julien" and the Cedar Forest

Bonnieux > the "Pont Julien" > Cedar Forest

Bonnieux village in the Luberon

Bonnieux is one of the most famous village of the Luberon. Bonnieux is built on a hill on the northern side of the mountain. A its feet spread the valley of the Calavon, lined further north with the ridges of the Vaucluse Mounts. In the middle of the valley we distinguish the big hill where stands the village of Roussillon and its ochres carriers. Bonnieux faces the village of Lacoste, the two villages are like staring one another.

Bonnieux Luberon ProvenceBonnieux Luberon Provence

Bonnieux is strategically located at the junction between the two parts of the Luberon mountain, the "Petit Luberon" and the "Grand Luberon", at the entrance of the Lourmarin's combe. This is the way of the only road linking the northern and southern part of the mountain to the village of Lourmarin.

At the top of the village stands up the old parish church, half romanesque, half gothic. It may be built by the Templars, as Bonnieux was until the year 1312 a Templar's commandery.

Bonnieux Luberon ProvenceBonnieux Luberon ProvenceBonnieux Luberon Provence

The village definitly settled on the higher slopes during the 13th and 14th centuries. Houses were previously in the plain, where has been found remains of several roman villas. Now the old houses stack on the flanc of the hill, and they testify of the prosperity of the village between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Bonnieux Luberon ProvenceBonnieux Luberon Provence

The village definitly settled on the higher slopes during the 13th and 14th centuries. Houses were previously in the plain, where has been found remains of several roman villas. Now the old houses stack on the flanc of the hill, and they testify of the prosperity of the village between the 16th and 19th centuries.

On the summit, behind the old church, majestuous cedars and pines stands up and make a place for rest and admire an awesome view on the surroundings.

Photo Bonnieux Luberon Provence

The roman bridge "Pont Julien"

The "Pont Julien" is located in the plain a few kilometers away from Bonnieux. It is an ancient roman bridge, one of the better preserved of the whole roman Gaul. It spans over the river Calavon, a river with an irregular flow, quite dry most of the year, it suddenly increases at the time of rains.

The Pont Julien's piers are like growing out from the outcroping rocks in the bank of the river. We can imagine them deeply rooted in the chalky soil.

Pont JulienPont JulienPont JulienPont Julien Bonnieux

The Pont Julien is on the antique Via Domitia, the main trade road linking Italy to Spain through the south of Gaul. The building of the roman bridge was achieved in the year 3 BC. Its name come from the roman colony Apta Julia, roman name of the city now called Apt, located about 5 miles away eastwards.

A new modern bridge has been built in 2005 for the passage of the vehicles. But after more than 2000 years of service, the Pont Julien is still used for the visitors, many of them coming by bike, stopping here to admire the perfect arrangement of the blocks and the elegance of the monument Romans gave us in heritage.

Pont Julien

The Cedar Forest in the Luberon

Above Bonnieux, on the Petit Luberon ridge, is the Cedar Forest. It was planted by the end of the 19th century to rehabilitate a natural space damaged by the intense grazing of flocks. Atlas Cedars (from Morocco mountains) were introduced and flourish there so the forest slowly grows. The original trees are now venerable centenarians, imposing their majesty. The Cedar Forest is managed by the Luberon Regional Parc.

Foret Cedres en LuberonForet Cedres en LuberonForet Cedres en Luberon

From the ridge, the view on Bonnieux and the valley is breathtaking. We make out the Mont Ventoux's white summit behind the dark crests of the Vaucluse mounts. The Cedar Forest is a popular and family place for a stroll in the nature.

Bonnieux de la Foret de Cèdres

Information and accommodation in Bonnieux

Large choice of sélection de guest houses near Bonnieux in Luberon on the portal of the B&B in Provence

Bonnieux Luberon Provence  Activities and Sights

website of the tourist office de : www.tourisme-en-luberon.com

Coming to Bonnieux

GPS coordinates : N 43°49'24'' - E 5° 18'29''

Location : altitude 360 meters above see level, 1400 inhabitants, à 5 miles from Lacoste, 8 km from Goult, 6 miles from Ménerbes, 6 miles Roussillon, 8 miles from Lourmarin, 9 miles from Apt, 29 miles from Avignon

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