A Brief History
There is evidence that the area around Mollans was first settled in the Chalcolithic Era, around 2500 BC, just to the south of where the current village stands. There is also evidence of a later settlement, on a rock just to the north of the village, between the 7th and 1stcentruies BC. Little is then known until the Romans arrived in the 1st century BC. The attraction of settlement here would seem to be the plentiful supply of water, both from the river and the many springs in the surrounding hills, which made agriculture feasible. Later, Mollans easily defensible position as a gateway through the river valley to the Alps provided income for its inhabitants from taxes extracted from merchants passing through.
The Romans made nearby Vaison La Romaine an administrative centre and the remains of a Roman villa have been found just to the south of the current village. The first documented mention of Mollans occurs in 1014 as Castrum De Mollanis, indicating a fortified village.
It is only from the late Middle Ages onwards that much is known of Mollans history. The village was owned by the barons of Mévouillon, one of whom sold it to Albert Medici, a Florentine nobleman, in 1293. From then on, through the turbulent years of the wars of religion in the 16th century and the French revolution later on, the history of Mollans is well documented and, indeed, is the subject matter of a booklet that can be purchased in the village bars and the Mairie. The narrative of the booklet follows a guided tour of the village that highlights the buildings and monuments of historical interest and is freely available at weekends in July and August.
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A Brief History