Vaucluse (84380) Population: 4,459 Altitude: 197 m
Mazan is a proper town of 4500 inhabitants, with the old town protected by its circled wall of buildings dating from the 14th century. The old "portes" give entrance into a lot of narrow streets, with ancient houses, churches and fountains. Market day Mon.
The romanesque medieval church was an ancient "prieuré". Next to the church is an old hotel particulier with a Florentine style renaissance doorway (photo). Behind the church there's a museum with a fantastic looking old stone kiln, the thick stones worn and weathered by time.
The road between Mazan and Villes-sur-Auzon passes through vineyards, but also through a nice pine forest; a great place for relaxing walks and picnic lunches.
Mazan had a rocky and interesting history, including the infamous Marquis de Sade who staged theatrical productions here in his 18th-century castle.
Chateaux de Mazan
The original Chateau de Sade at Mazan was apparently by the church (Eglise St-Nazaire et Celse) at the top of the village; the foundations of that one date back to 1350. A second chateau was built for the Sade family at the site of the first. The only vestige of that one is the round tower at the end of the house ine the square, beside the religious monument inside the iron fence.
In August 1634, Jean-Baptiste de Sade moved from the chateau by the church to the maison d'Esprit Boutin, lord of Valouse, and that became the Chateau de Sade. Jean-Baptiste François de Sade (the Marquis de Sade) was born here, 12 March 1702.
This final Chateau de Sade at Mazan has been turned into a rather grand hotel-restaurant, "Le Chateau de Mazan".
History of Mazan
First record, 982: Villa Madazano; in 1302: Maazano
Prehistoric: Polished stone axes have been found from the neolithic era.
There were several large Gallo-Roman domains here, at the large domains of La Condamine, Jusalem, Les Molances and St-Andéol. In the cemetery of Mazan there are 64 very rare beautiful gallo-roman sarcophages.
1st to 4th century necropoles are at the vicus of St-Andéol.
the commune was ruled in two parts by different families, one of them being Sade. During 1588-1589 and in 1629, a reoccurrence of the plague epidemic decimated the commune.
At the end of the 18th century, the Marquis de Sade held the first Festival de Provence at his château.
Market day: Mon.
Apr - Foire aux Chevaux à Mazan (horses), with brocante
July (4th Sun) - Fête votive
• GPS: 44.057801, 5.127756
IGN (1/25,000) #3141 ouest "Carpentras"
IGN (1/25,000) #3040 ET "Carpantras, Vaison-la-Romaine"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #27 "Ventoux"
Mazan is in the center of the rolling plains of the Auzon river, an area of rich farmlands, cherry orchards and vineyards. Country walking along the small roads here is pleasant, but there are no real hiking trails close to the town.
For real hiking, Villes-sur Auzon (10 km east) and Venasque (10 km south) are both on the edge of the forested Plateau de Vaucluse where the GR91 (Grande Randonnée) and other good trails are located.
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.