The village itself spans an area of no more than a square kilometre. We’ll start on the south side, entering the village by the fire station. Immediately to our left is an open area, sometimes used for boules, and a building that looks very much like a railway station, which it once was.
The station was on a line that ran between Buis Les Baronnies and Orange and was used principally to carry agricultural produce from the region to Orange and onwards to Marseilles, Lyon and Paris but included a single passenger carriage. The line was closed in 1952 and the track to the south is now a road leading to Entrechaux. Next to the former station is one of the 11 fountains in the village.
As we proceed towards the centre of the village we find a fruit/vegetable depot to our right, where lorries load and unload to replace the function of the former train, and the Hotel St Marc on our left.
We then come to a T-junction with the Café des Sports facing us, along with the Grande Aire up some steps, and another entrance to the village entering from the right.
Opposite the Café des Sports is the Casino general grocery store and alongside it are an organic wine shop and a bakery/pâtisserie. Going left from the T-junction, just past the bakery, we see before us the bridge over the Ouvèze river and, to our right, the first fountain built in the village in 1713; the wash-house was built later that century.
It is a well-known landmark and the fountain is called the Dauphin fountain.
To the right of that the Rue des Aires climbs to an early extension of the village there and in the Rue des Granges which leads off it. As we cross the bridge we face the clock tower, the remaining one of two towers that originally formed the main gates to the mediaeval walled village. The first part of the bridge that we cross lies over a small road that was originally the railway line out of Mollans towards Buis. That part of the bridge was a drawbridge until the 18th century. Across the bridge we find ourselves in a small square, the Place de la Banche Cour.
To our immediate right is a small chapel that overhangs the river and, beyond that, the Bar Du Pont. Markings on the ground show where the second gate tower originally was. Running straight on from the side of the Bar Du Pont is the Rue Du Faubourg, two rows of former farm houses that were also an early extension of the village and lead out of the village towards Buis.
Turning left from the Place de la Banche Cour we find a butcher’s shop on our left and a bakery/pâtisserie on our right. The road then forks. Straight ahead lies the oldest, mediaeval part of the village, originally all within the village walls. A walk through here reveals the oldest houses, the church, the former library and leads eventually out of the village via the one remaining original village gate. Taking the left fork from the Place de la Banche Cour we find the hairdresser on our right, the organic food shop further down and the beauty salon down to our left. Further down on our left are the Mairie and the post office/tourist information centre. To our right, opposite these, is the olive mill and the new public library.
As we start to leave the village, we see the war memorial on our right and the local school on our left. This completes our brief walk through the village.
This post is also available in: French