Under the shadow of a majestuous Mont Ventoux, the village of Buis les Baronies spread its houses and buildings on the right bank of the Ouveze river. The city is protected from sometimes violent floods of the river by a large dike built in 1776, bordered by the beautiful promenade of plane trees. While the north of Provence, the smiling and fertile valley is protected from the mistral and the freezing, and enjoys a favorable Mediterranean climate where grow olives, fruits, fragrant herbs such as thyme, lavender, savory. Buis-les-baronies also claims to be the French capital of linden tree.
Be found human marks dating from long in prehistory : the Valley of Ouvèze is a frequented place, a passage through the Alps. Metals trades transited from the early Bronze Age. Buis appeared in history with the tribe Boxanis (which it may have inherited the name), federated to Voconces tribe which had Vaison for capital. The legend says that elephants Hannibal the Carthaginian general halted and quenched their thirst at the fountain of Buis before embarking on a perilous journey across the Alps.
Buis-les-baronies in the Middle Ages was the capital of the barons of Mévouillon, a powerful feudal family that unites local baronies. It had 3,500 inhabitants, when the terrible plague of 1348 reduced the local population by half. Louis XI repopulated Buis les Baronies with a population of German troopers (jumpers mercenaries) who rebuilt it the city that keeps traces in its architecture. The picturesque market square with its colorful facades room has a scent of Northern Europe. The large vaulted arcades dates from the 15th century. In the 16th century, religious wars were particularly cruel in the region of the Baronnies. Two centuries later during the Revolution, the Buis-les-Baronnies lost its status as the administrative capital for the benefit of Nyons to punish the inhabitants reluctant to revolutionary ideas.
Fête du Tilleul in Buis-les-Baronnies
The lime tree is a very beautiful tree that can reach 35 metres in height and live for up to a thousand years. It finds a favourable climate and soil in the Provençal Drôme, it grows naturally, in fields and along roads, it is also planted in village squares. Lime blossom herbal teas have calming effects and reduce fever. The lime blossoms and spreads a delicate fragrance between mid-June and mid-July.
The harvesting period is very short for a tree: only two to three days. Once the lime blossoms were picked, dried and packed, the producers placed the "Bourras" (large bundles of July canvas) at dawn on the shaded plane tree dike. In the past, the price set at the Buis-les-Baronnies Lime Fair determined the price of lime for the rest of the season.
Lime tree production was very important in the Buis-les-Baronnies region from the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, playing a significant additional role in the rural economy. With international competition, local lime blossom production has decreased significantly. The 196th and last Buis-les-Baronnies took place in 2003. However, the local producers, united in a union, highlight a quality production, with a label "Tilleul Officinal des Baronnies". The Lime Tree Festival now takes place on the 3rd Saturday of July since 2006.
The photos of this report were taken during the Lime Tree Fair in 2002.
Information and accommodation Buis les Baronnies
selection de guest houses around the Baronnies region on the portal of B&B in Provence
Website of the Tourist Office : www.buislesbaronnies.com
Sights and events :
- The Market Square with arcades of the 15th century.
- The Dominican Convent
- The Revival of the Ancient religious Ursuline Chapel Gate.
- The oil mill of Communal Well
- The House of Aromatic Plants and Garden Scents
- Feast of St. Lawrence by August 10th
- Linden Day 3rd Sunday of July
- Weekly markets on Wednesday and Saturday mornings
Coming to Buis-les-Baronnies
GPS coordinates N 44°16'34'' - E 5°16'33''