This 16th-century Renaissance chateau sits beside the road in a clearing of the Vaucluse Forest, with such a feudal air that it invokes the image of knights.
We discovered the Javon Chateau by accident, while driving north on the D943 from Cavaillon and Gordes towards Sault. The road emerges from the forest just beside this lovely specimen of an ancient chateau with turrets, battlements, and fortified entrance.
The chateau is privately owned (and lived in) and not open for visits. The exterior is accessible, and if the resident stone sculptor across the road is there, he enjoys talking about his work and about the chateau.
History of Javon Chateau
The chateau of Javon was built in the first half of the 16th century. In April 1570, in the midst of the French Revolution , the chateau was surprised and captured by enemy cavalry; the following month the chateau was burned by troups from Mérindol, a village 40 km to the south. The Javon Chateau has been owned by the Vayson family for five generations. Currently, two of the Vayson brothers own 5 chateaux between them, including Javon, Barroux, Lacoste, Lioux and Murs. In 1841, when Javon Chateau was purchased by M. Vayson, it was said he could travel between here and his chateau at Murs without leaving his own land.
Following its purchase, Javon Chateau was completely restored by Paul Vayson, the painter.
More Recently: Javon Chateau was a Resistance site in the Vaucluse. World-War-II gun ports can be seen integrated nicely into the stone walls of the chateau, on both sides of the main entrance [Photo-04] and at the corner tower.
• GPS: 43.996727, 5.341149
IGN (1/25,000) #3242 OT "Apt, Luberon"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #27 "Ventoux"
PR (Petite Randonée) hiking trails pass by the Javon Chateau, and it's a lovely and shady place for a stop. The chateau is a junction of three of the yellow-marked trails in the forests of the Vaucluse.
The trail due south crosses through deep ravines, and has several branches about 5 km south. Lioux is about 8 km soutwest (from the chateau) and St Saturnin-lès-Apt is about 12 km southeast.
A westward trail goes through the St Lambert Forest. A northern trail follows the road about 300 m, then branches off to the left and heads due north, in the direction of Sault.