•Vaucluse (84480) • Population: 402 • Altitude: 320 m
Lacoste is a very picturesque medieval village, well worth seeing, perched on the east end of a mountain spine rising up out of the plains between the Plateau de Vaucluse to the north and the Luberon to the south. The old village sits along the flank of a ridge, facing Bonnieux across the lower farmlands to the east.
The Mairie (town hall) of Lacoste has a fine old sundial built into the wall above the doorway. The ruins of the château at the top of the village date mostly 16th-18th centuries, but the walls go back to the 12th. The chateau of the Marquis de Sade is in ruins, and because of the bad state, it is no longer open to visitors. You can approach it, though, for a close look from the exterior.
The top of Lacoste is marked with the very medieval looking ruins of the Chateau-de-Sade; looking like a castle from a story book, and with a history even more sinister, once the home of the Marquis de Sade, Lord of Lacoste. The chateau ruins look great from a distance, and a close visit reveals moat-like passages and other interesting images. The chateau is undergoing slow renovation, which has closed it to inside visits, but it can be approached for a close look from the exterior. It's a fairly steep walk up to the top, but there is a road to the chateau from outside the village.
There's not much commerce here, but we found one nice cafe [photo] with friendly service, in the heart of the village. A few artists have ateliers Lacoste, including one sculptor with some excellent work.
The School of the Arts in Lacoste was taken over in 2002 by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). SCAD offers art courses, in English, in a variety of subjects. Courses vary each term, but could include painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, film, photography, historic preservation, art history, architecture, English, sequential art, graphic design, industrial design, media and performing arts, or fashion.
History of Lacoste
First record, 1056 Costa
Prehistoric: There are signs from the paleolithic era at Font-Pourquière, 1.5 km northeast of the village, and neolithic remains at the grotto of Combe-Buisson, Font-Pourquière and Bacquis, 1.5 km west.
Celto-Ligurian: In the 4th century BC, Entremont, 3 km north of the current town, was the fortified capital of the Salyens, the most powerful Gallic confederation in the region.
Medieval: Lacoste was part of the Simiane fief and in the 18th century belonged to the Marquis de Sade. Earlier, the village sided with the Reformists, and was besieged in 1545 by the Catholics, who celebrated their victory by massacring the inhabitants.
Market day: Tuesday
Fête votive: last Sunday July or first Sunday Aug
Foire: 28 Jan; 25 Sept
The Luberon en Vélo cycling path runs 100 km between Cavaillon, Apt and Forcalquier.
• GPS: 43.833205, 5.273039
IGN (1/25,000) #3142 E "Apt (ouest), Bonnieux (3242 OT)"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #14 "Luberon, Sainte-Victoire"
Cavaillon - Bonnieux - Apt Bus 15.2
- Vaucluse bus line 15.2 serves the towns and villages: Cavaillon, Les Taillades, Robion, Coustellet, Maubec, Oppède, Ménerbes, Les Beaumettes, Goult, Lacoste, Bonnieux, Gargas, Apt.
The trip between Cavaillon and Apt is about 1h45.
Cavaillon has links to Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.
A list of schedules for the Vaucluse bus line are at the bottom of the Vaucluse department transport page (http://www.vaucluse.fr/1119-recherche-de-lignes.htm") - click on the link 15.2 Apt - Bonnieux - Cavaillon to download the bus schedule PDF file.
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.