Isle sur la Sorgue, a bargain-hunter’s paradise
Just a few kilometres from the Ciela Village Les Fontaines Campsite lies the small town of Isle sur la Sorgue, full of history and heritage and a paradise for those who love a bargain. This town, with a population of 20,000, has a very distinctive feel to it, primarily due to the Sorgue river which runs through it and along which it is lovely to stroll when it’s hot, and also due to its rich and fascinating history. Town of arts and crafts dating back to the 14th Century specialised in the spinning of wool and silk, Isle sur la Sorgue has successfully switched to a new type of industry with the presence of 300 bric-à-brac traders every weekend.
Built on the River Sorgue, this town made it its greatest asset. Here in Provence,where the sun beats down, the only way for towns to prosper was to have, on the one hand, a source or a river, and on the other, the skills and means to harness it. This is the case with Isle sur la Sorgue. Well before the Middle Ages, the Count of Toulouse granted fishermen from Isle sur la Sorgue the right to fish in the Sorgues, and as far as the Rhône. An abundance of eel, trout and crayfish brought wealth to the town and were popular among the Popes in particular!
The inhabitants harnessed the energy from the water to build mills on the Sorgue. The force of the water was able to drive over 50 paddle wheels used by the flour mills, but also, and most importantly, for spinning wool and silk. Workshops sprung up all along the Sorgue and some of the water wheels are still standing. The silk and wool trade brought the inhabitants of Isle sur la Sorgue a degree of wealth which can still be seen today in the beautiful houses, buildings and former workshops.
Paradise for antiques and flea market lovers
Over time, Isle sur la Sorgue has become the second European capital of antiques and flea markets. So if you like bargain-hunting this is the place to be! Here, you will be sure to find a trinket, jewel, painting or piece of furniture to your taste. There are six antique and flea market villages around the commune of Isle sur la Sorgue. A real paradise for those who love collecting souvenirs of bygone eras. The villages are open from Friday afternoon to Monday evening only. Find out more before you go…