Cucuron and Vaugines (Vaucluse) village site

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History of Vaugines

Located at the foot of the Luberon, at an altitude of 400 meters, a little away from the busiest roads, Vaugines is an agricultural village which opened up to a new population (530 inhabitants in 2005) as well as to many visitors attracted by the peacefulness, the cool of its shade and beauty of its heritage.


Prehistory:the region was occupied: traces of tools, pottery. The houses are clustered on hills (oppida)

Roman period: A period of peace. The grouped housing disappears in favour of farms scattered across the plain. The cultivation of the vine is confirmed.

An early Christian altar (possibly fifth century) discovered in Vaugines in 20th century attests to the Christianization of the region.

Middle of 10th century: the northern territory of Vaugines "the valley amata" bounded on the north by the Jupiter rock belongs to Annon.


1004: the territory of "Vallis Amata" is given by the family of Reillanne at the Abbey of Psalmody to found a monastery for the repose of the soul of Annon. .


1099: a small monastery dedicated to Saint Sauveur was founded.


Beginning of the XIII th (exact date unknown) foundation of the village.


The name "Vallis Jovina" (hence Vaugines) replaces Vallis Amata. A castle was built at the top of the village.


Expansion of the church elevated to a parish dedicated to Saint Peter.


1348-1352: the Great Plague or Black Death.


Between 1350 and 1450 wars, banditry, the economic crisis ravaged the region and scared people away. The village, deserted in the early fifteenth century, was reoccupied from 1478.


End of the fifteenth: the church was dedicated to Saint Bartholomew.


1509-1549 Georges de Boulier was prior of Vaugines and under his leadership the village expanded and the castle was restored. The eastern part of the Commandery was built.


About 1550 the Harbour Master’s office was built.


In the seventeenth century, the village thrived: 300 inhabitants in 1698. The church was altered and enlarged.


By 1700 development of the "Crottes" district under the Poucelles cliff


1720-1721 the plague came from Marseilles and claimed 37 victims in five months.


1729 acquisition of the Lordship of Vaugines by François de Bruny, Baron of La Tour d'Aigues. The castle was abandoned.


1789 the Vauginois wrote a list of demands. The castle, already in poor condition disappeared.

In 1793 Vaugines was included in the newly created department of Vaucluse.


1839 Construction of the fountain in the square.


Mid-nineteenth century, the population peaked at 581 inhabitants in 1841.


1842 St Joseph's Oratory in the east of the village was built.


1845-1846 construction of the Town Hall and its bell tower. Improvements made to the square.


1850 start of the rural exodus and the decline of population.


1851 the municipality plans to demolish the church and build one in the village centre.


1873-1875 A certain Joseph Bec bequeathed a private house to be used as a chapel under the patronage of Saint Joseph (now the library).


1880 The fountain in la Rue des Grottes Street was built.


1914-1918 World War I: eleven men died for France.

The writer Henri Bosco discovered Vaugines which he wrote about as Geneval in his novel «le rameau de la nuit».


1940-1950 Village modernization work: piped water supply, sewerage, tarring of roads.


1945 Liberation Day Vaugines.

From the 1950s, Father Combaluzier and the Trestoulas Association restored the interior of the church and the surrounding area, then the old cemetery and a small fountain.


1971 closure of the village post office.


1975 threatened closure of school for lack of a sufficient number of children. The population at that time was only 216 inhabitants.


1975-2000 rising population (468 inhabitants in 1999).


1977 creation of the Luberon Regional Nature Park of which Vaugines is a part.


1988 construction of the Vaugines library in the old St Joseph chapel with a sundial painted on the south side by Mr. Nielsen.


1990s development of new neighbourhoods (les Trailles, le Jas de Vaunière, les Grandes Terres).


1997 construction of the new school.


2002 restoration of stained glass and steeple of the church and restoration of the oratory of Our Lady of Vaugines, above the church.


In 2005, the population reached the level of the 19th century (about 550 inhabitants).









Tourist office

Tel. : ++ 33 (0) 4 90 77 28 37 or ++33 (0) 9 71 56 65 23 -