Crestet

 

Crestet is a an unknown gem of a hill-top Provence village. As its name suggests, it is perched on a crest, where it has been since about the 9th century. The beginnings of the castle date back this far, making it one of the oldest castles in Provence.

Many of the houses in Crestet used the stones of previous incarnations of the castle as building materials and the castle now is restored and in private hands. You can park up there though and walk down through the village. The view from the castle square is phenomenal, of the Mont Ventoux, the Dentelles de Montmirail, vineyards and valleys.

The village of Crestet consists of tight, winding, cobbled roads that have never seen a car, vaulted passages and Renaissance mansions, as well as an 11th century church - Saint Sauveur et Saint Sixte - and two chapels.

Just outside Crestet, in the pines of the hills, a most unexpected sight – the Crestet Centre d’Arts - a Bauhaus-inspired, concrete building dedicated to sculpture. Initially built by the Stahly family as a workshop for sculptors and students, it is now state-owned and a place to see sculpture in the wild.

By the way, if you are curious as to what the inside of Crestet castle looks like now, here is a glimpse: http://william-montgomery.com/properties/chateau-du-crestet.htm