•Vaucluse (84160) • Population: 3,232 • Altitude: 234 m
Cadenet is a very active little Provencal town. An interesting setting against red-rock cliffs, but there's too many houses to get a good view (or photo) of the village and the cliffs from below.
We really like this village, and find it mor "real/authentic" than the nice but touristic Lourmarin. On a saturday at the end of May, when nearby Lourmarin was quiet, Cadenet was full of people: shopping, walking, talking - a feeling of life and activity. With only a 5-minute drive between the two villages, it's easy enough to enjoy both of them.
The town's interesting, but not "pretty" for tourists. There are some nicely restored buildings, including facades dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The large Eglise St-Etienne [photo-2] is 12th-16th century, and on the site of a 7th century chapel. Just south of the central village, on ave Philippe de Girard, is the Musée de la Vannerie, where woven reed objects were made.
The old village is rather long, bent around the base of the cliffs and hill with the overlooking Site de Chateau. Late summer 2001, some earth movement caused the Chateau site to be closed to visitors. It should be temporary, however, so hike up and have a look if you can. A short-but-steep trail goes up directly from the village below, or you can walk northeast out past the post office to the Eglise St-Etienne and turn left up the narrow little Chemin des rougettes. It's a bit longer that way, but a very gradual incline and only a 20-30 minute walk.
Chateau Site; Cliffs
There's not much left of the ancient chateau at the top of the cliffs overlooking the village, but a fantastic view across the entire countryside. The ruins do, however, include many underground passages and caves, one including the ancient well [photo-4]. It's a nice walk up to the top, either directly up from the village or round-about on the road to the northeast.
At the ruins you can explore the tunnels and caves, check out the plaque about ancient defensive fortifications, admire the panoramique vistas, or even picnic or nap in the nearby nature.
The chateau was built in the 12th century, and destroyed in the 16th century during the Wars of Religion. It was replaced by a Renaissance-style chateau, which was destroyed during the Revolution.
Le Tambour d'Arcole (roughly, the little drummer boy) was André Estienne, born in Cadenet in 1777. He joined the Luberon Regiment at the age of 14, and was with the troups in Nice in 1796 when Napoleon Bonapart arrived to take command of the Army of Italy.
During this campagne, after several victories, the troups were pinned down at Arcole, Italy at the Alpone river by the defending Austrians. Every wave of attacking soldiers was mown down by Austrian case shot (another fine use of technology).
Even Napoléon himself fell in the river and was saved by the sacrifice of his aide de camp, Muiron. Our little drummer boy , and a few soldiers, swam the river with his drum on his head. Reaching the other side, André beat the charge on his drum. The Austrians thought they were surrounded and Napoléon's troups were able to charge the bridge and take the position..
Napoléon decorated André with silver handles and points, and our star was born. André Estienne was still there when Napoléon was crowned at the Paris cathedral. During his lifetime, André was honored with statues at the Pantheon and the Arc de Triomphe, and received one of the first Legion d'Honneur in 1804.
History of Cadenet
First record, There were several Roman sites here, including Cadanetum and Cadenetum, with these names listed in the 10th century. Some of the troglodyte habitations in the cliffs below the site of the chateau were occupied until recently, around 1960.
Celto-Ligurian: Earlier, there was an important Ligurian settlement at Castelar, in the hills 2 km east of the current village. Vestiges of the oppidum walls and fortifications can still be seen on the hilltop.
In the early middle ages Cadenet was ruled successively by several different Lords, including Cadenet, Oraison and Castellane. In 1173, the Abbey St. Victor of Marseille established a priory at the current site of the St-Etienne church.
In the 17th century, Cadenet began production of vannerie (wicker work), because of the reeds available from the marshes of the Iscles at the edge of the village. The vannerie was in business until 1978.
Tel : 04 90 68 38 21; Fax: 04 90 68 24 49
The Office de Tourisme, located at the central Place du Tambour d'Arcole, is well stocked with information, posters, and the staff very friendly and helpful. The week's events are listed just outside on a whiteboard, very handy for those of us who habitually arrive at lunch time or late in the evening.
Market day: Mon
Jan (3rd Sun) - Fete des Vanniers - Basket Maker Festival
Apr (3rd Sun) - Carnival - Floral Festival, and vintage automobiles
May (1st Sun) - Vide Grenier - Flea Market
May (3rd weekend) - Vineyard and Wine Feast (even year Lourmarin; odd year Cadenet)
June (End Sat) - Historical spectacle "Les Casteldelires" - music, theatre, sports, circus
Aug (Beg weekend) - Antique fair and painters in the street
Aug - Fete Votive. Fireworks Monday night.
The main village wine coop is south of the village, just past the railway tracks, beside the D59 road.
There isn't a pool in Cadenet, but there are several nearby: Lourmarin (6 km); La Roque-d'Antheron (8 km), Pertuis (12 km), Le Puy Sainte Reparade (12 km), Charleval (16 km).
Cycle Rental (Location VTT)
by the Office de Tourisme
Location: 3 rue Hoche
Cost: 13.72 euro/day; 22.87 euro/weekend
The Office de Tourisme has free brochures on six cycle-tour circuits from Cadenet, varying from 46 to 83 km. Each brochure includes a map, altitude profile, distances, and brief touristique notes on the villages along the route. The guides were made by M. Eratostene, the president of the Cadenet Office de Tourisme.
• GPS: 43.737055, 5.375951
IGN (1/25,000) #3243 OT "Pertuis, Lourmarin"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #14 "Luberon, Sainte-Victoire"
May 1999, only tried one pizzeria restaurant, which was OK. The terrace was closed because of high wind; the "cave" style inside was cool and nice, but the service wasn't great.
On the first Saturday of September (2001), the two restaurants offering Provençal cuisine were closed for their annual vacation. We had lunch in the centrally-located Le Tambour; low-priced plats du jour and menus. Ambience very nice on the outdoor terrace facing the central square, service fast and friendly, but food of very dubious quality.
Conclusion: try Chez Stefani, ave Gambetta (center); Gervais, place Mirabeau (center); La Ferme St Michel, ave Philippe de Girard (south); Auberge La Fenière; route de Lourmarin (2 km, expensive).
There are two bus companies in Cadenet:
- Cars Les Rubans Bleus, tel 0490 080 240
- Cars Sumian, tel 0491 494 425
We didn't get details, but there could be a bus along the Cavaillon-Pertuis line, and perhaps another for Aix-en-Provence - Apt.
Avignon, Pertuis Bus
- Two Vaucluse bus lines are required to travel between Avignon and Bonnieux, Lourmarin, Cadenet or Pertuis.
(A) Line 15.1: Avignon, Coustellet, Les Baumettes, Goult/Loumieres, Gare de Bonnieux, Bonnieux/Pont Julien, Apt Le Chene, Apt; Line 9.1: Apt, Bonnieux, Lourmarin, Puyvert, Lauris, Cadenet, Villelaure, Pertuis.
(B) Line 7: Avignon, Caumont, Cavaillon; Line 15.2: Cavaillon, Cheval-Blanc, Mérindol, Puget, Lauris, Puyvert, Lourmarin, Cadenet, Villelaure, Pertuis.
Cavaillon - Pertuis; Aix - Apt
- Two Vaucluse bus lines serve the villages of Pertuis, Cadenet, Lauris and Lourmarin.
(A) Line 8 (Cavaillon-Pertuis) serves: Cavaillon, Cheval-Blanc, Mérindol, Puget, Lauris, Puyvert, Lourmarin, Cadenet, Villelaure and Pertuis. There are 4-6 buses a day; about 1h10 between Cavaillon and Pertuis.
(B) Line 9.1 (Aix-Apt) serves: Aix-en-Provence, Pertuis, Villelaure, Cadenet, Lauris, Puyvert, Lourmarin, Bonnieux and Apt. There are 4 buses a day. Distance: 2 hrs Apt-Aix; Pertuis is mid-distance for time.
Department 84, Vaucluse Buses
- See Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 2: Vaucluse Department for downloading Vaucluse bus-lines map [Plan global des lignes] and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).
• Avignon has train or bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Nîmes, Saint Remy-de-Provence, Paris.
• Cavaillon has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Saint Remy-de-Provence.
• Pertuis has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.