The village of Lacoste, a step back in time to the Middles Ages
About thirty kilometres away, clinging to the northern flank of the Luberon massif, stands the village of Lacoste. Welcome to the Middle Ages. Here, the inhabitants and local businesses have managed to preserve the architecture, the façades and the paved ‘calade’ stone streets, emblematic of hilltop villages.
In this respect, the village of Lacoste is a miracle of historic preservation. At the entrance to the village, you will notice these fabulous narrow cobbled streets, called calades, in the south. You have to climb up wending your way between the façades and inner courtyards to the medieval gates. Art features very strongly in the village of Lacoste. Dotted around town, you will come across a sculpture or painter’s workshop. This village of Lacoste had some distinctive features that attracted painters…
The Marquis de Sade Castle
It’s at the top of the village where you will find the village’s crown jewel. Its fabled castle! Partly in ruins, it has been undergoing restoration over the last ten years, but it’s a monumental task as the structure is huge and damaged. Built in the 11th century to defend this rocky outcrop and protect the village, the castle was also owned by the enigmatic Marquis de Sade in the 18th century. Between each of his periods of imprisonment for his erotic works and incitations to debauchery, the Marquis took refuge at the top of the village of Lacoste in charming company. This was his preferred residence. After multiple arrests and escapes, he spend his last years in an asylum. The château was then left abandoned before being partially destroyed during the Revolution.
Pierre Cardin invests in the Village of Lacoste
In 2001, the fashion designer, Pierre Cardin set about restoring the village and organised a music festival there every year. The famous fashion designer has also acquired dozens of historic buildings above the village of Lacoste. The esplanade in front of the castle offers a magnificent view over Mont Ventoux and Luberon.
The village of Lacoste is an outdoor museum, an architectural gem where the Middle Ages and Renaissance collide, with its houses, vaults and steep, paved streets. A lovely stroll with your family will transport you into another century. You will also find a restaurant there, the Café de Sade.