Discover the ochres of the village of Rousillon
Transport yourself into another world of unique landscapes. Welcome to the village of Rousillon which is quite unlike any other. You will be amazed but you will have to love yellow! Golden yellow, deep yellow, pale yellow, orangey yellow…. nature has a wide palette of colours to offer you.
With its historical, natural and industrial heritage, the village of Roussillon tells the story of ochre mining, its landscape revealing a spectrum of colours ranging from pale yellow to vibrant red as you wander along the trails.
Land sculpted by man, the wind and water
The village of Roussillon is one of the most beautiful villages of France. Situated between Mont Ventoux and the Luberon mountains, it is an explosion of yellow and gold. Here, the land has been sculpted by man, the wind and water. Since the beginning of the 20th century, several companies in the village of Roussillon attacked the earth to extract ochre from it. They used a pickaxe or explosives. The sand was washed and decanted into a basin. The ochre then dried and was sorted by colour. It was then was shipped by boat all around the world. It was primarily used in the arts, cosmetics, food, ceramics and textiles industries. From 1950, ochre was superseded by synthetic pigments and the activity shut down completely at the end of the 20th century in the village of Roussillon. However, ochre is still sought by artists and craftsmen as a natural pigment with unparalleled depth of colour.
The village of Roussillon, an open-pit ochre mine
Today, the mine is reached by a path with 350 steps in a truly breathtaking setting. It is not accessible to pushchairs or persons with limited mobility.
‘Conservatoire des ocres’
At the end of the visit, be sure to take a tour around the ‘Conservatoire des ocres’ housed inside a former factory in the heart of Roussillon village where you will discover all of the manufacturing secrets and way of life of ochre workers in the 20th century. You will also learn how to use the pigments. The ‘Conservatoire des Ocres’ in Roussillon also hosts regular artistic workshops for children and adults where you can learn to use ochre.