•Vaucluse (84840) • Population: 3,332 • Altitude: 47 m
Lapalud is a plain little town, not particularly a tourist destination, but a pleasant residential community. The center of town is layed out in a circle, with the building fronts forming the once-defensive protective wall, and a ring of platane trees. The St-Pierre-aux-Liens romanesque church, built in 1258 and enlarged in the 19th century, has an interesting 15th-c clock tower.
Some typical commerce includes a pharmacy and post office. There are three cafés in town, and we unfortunately tried the Bar du Casino, the grungiest one here or anywhere. The bar Le Penalty is probably a bit better. A nicer one is Le Provence, a café-restaurant that was unidentified from the outside [photo-2] - its sign was carried away by the Mistral a couple of weeks earlier (Feb, 1999).
On a road map, Lapalud appears to be on the RN7 highway. In fact, the town is beside the road but quite isolated from it, and appears fairly quiet. A short walk through the fields beside the town gives a nice view across the plains to Mount Ventoux to the east. A bit nearer, 3 km to the northeast, is the huge Tricastin nuclear power plant, one of the regions employers.
Arriving here on a Saturday in early March, the town seemed completely dead - the streets empty of people. Then suddenly, from nowhere, the streets filled and we were in the middle of a carnival [photo-3]. The annual carnival is held one week after the end of the February school holidays. Everybody is in the parade, and especially the kids, with great costumes. Following the parade, the "king" is burned in a bonfire, then theres a bal for the kiddies, dinner, and an evening bal for the older people.
History of Lapalud
First record, 1138 Palus, meaning swamp, which is what this plain was in the beginning.
In 1815, the Duc d'Angoulême, who had tried to oppose the return of Napoleon, signed his capitulation here. Located on a river-bottom plain only 3 km from the Rhône, the town suffered catastrophic floods in 1840 and 1856.
Medieval: The Templiers were co-rulers until the 11th century, when control passed to the Counts of Toulouse and, after the crusades, to the Albigeois. In the middle ages, the town was an important toll-site on the route to the Baronnies. In 1563, Lapalud was beseiged and then ravged by the Baron des Adrets.
Market day: Tue.
Mar (1st Sat) - Carnaval
• GPS: 44.304546, 4.687924
IGN (1/25,000) #3042 OT "Tarascon, St-Rémy-de-Provence, Alpilles"
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.
Marseille - Gréoux - Riez - Castellane Bus FH-27
- LER line 27 (part A): 3 buses/day, between Marseille and Riez, trip time 2 hrs. Stops: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Venelles, Meyrargues, Peyrolles, Pont Mirabeau, St Paul-lez-Durance, Vinon, Gréoux-les-Bains, St Martin-de-Bromes, Allemagne-en-Provence, Riez.
LER line 27 (part B): 1 bus a day between Riez and Castellane (via the Gorges-de-Verdon), trip time 1h30. Stops: Riez, Roumoules, Moustiers-Ste-Marie, Lapalud, Rougon, Pont de Soleil, Castellane.
On the LER website (http://www.info-ler.fr/fr/lignes-horaires/carte-et-fiches-horaires-n287. , select Ligne 27: Marseille / Greoux / Castellane to display the bus schedule PDF.