Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt, a typical Provencal village
Saint Sat’ (it’s nickname given by the locals) is cleverly settled on the southern side of the Monts du Vaucluse, the village is protected from the Mistral (powerfull wind coming from the north) and overlooks the Calavon valley. It’s situation opens a nice panorama that encompasses the Luberon mountain and The Alpilles Mountain.
The diversity of the topography offers Saint-Saturnin a wide range of terroirs that fostered the developpement of human societies even before the Ancient history. The surrounding countryside alternates scrublands, hawks forest, pine woods and vinyards, olive trees, cherry trees and more.
Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt is a typical provencal village full of History.
Download the map of Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt
Two windmills are still standing and only one still got its blades. Around that restaured mill it is still possible to observe the drying area and the ruins of the storage building.
• The old Chapel
Above the « moderne » village, the hilltop chapel is located inside the former rempart of the 10th century, among the ruins of the old village.
The chapel was settled at the same time with the hilltop village during the 10th century.
In 1850 a « miracle » happened in the chapel. A young girl from the village, Rosette Tamisier, reported a stange event that occured inside the Chapel. The young lady testified that she saw blood tears sinking from one of the painting. The strange phenomenon rehearsed 3 times. But nobody would believe her. She was accused of fraude, judged and sentenced with 6 month in jail. She did not stop claiming her good faith and was finally released.
This chronicle had a high impact in the entire country short while before the great miracles of Lourdes.
• The aiguiers
Aiguier, from the latin « aqua » and the provençal « aigo » that means « water », are water tanks digged directly in the limestone by the locals. Without this sytem of rainwater harvesting, life in that area would have been almost impossible due to the dryness of the local climate and the local geology. These aiguier can be reached only on foot along the hiking trails starting from the village.
• The dam
The first dam was buit in 1763 but after an overflow which damaged a part of the village, it was decided to enhance and reinforce it in 1835. A further wall was raised in 1902 downstream from the earlier one.
• Portail Aiguier
This gate is topped by an angle tower of the remparts. This 15th century bit is linked to an earlier piece (12th century) just below the rock on which the chapel rests.
• The Matheron fountain
At the end of the rue Pasteur you will find this fountain. It used to be fed by a cistern and by a stream from the Combe torrent that dried in summer.
The decorated backpiece of the fontain was given by the last Marquis de Monclar, son of Jules Claude Louis Ripert de Monclar, chief Prosecutor of the Provence Parliament, who was beheaded during the French Revolution in 1794. The latin inscription on the backpiece records that the people did not want to pay the tax to the local lord.
• Le Château de Bourgane’s garden
Organized like a typical provencal Bastide, the garden and the castle are registered in the inventory of National Historic Monument.
• The statue of Joseph Talon
This statue was erected to honour Joseph Talon (1793-1873) the local inventor of the truffle cultivation. Born in Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt, he had the idea of transplanting some seedlings that he had collected at the foot of oak trees known to host truffles in their root system.
Points of view
Hiking trails around
Sur le sentier des aiguiers
Short and clever combination of the "Sentier des Aiguiers'' which offers a beautiful glimpsecrafty and remarkable water supplies. « The traveler who...
Le Trou des Américains
Short stroll through a massif classified as a sensitive natural area, rich in species rare and discreet. "A special place to discover some symbolic s...
Tourist information office of Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt
Avenue Jean Geoffroy
T. +33 (0)4 90 05 85 10
Town Hall of Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt
9 Place de la Mairie
T. +33 (0)4 90 75 43 12
Bus line and bus timetable