Warm heart of stone, the Luberon, a world Geopark

Here, the rock is an integral part of life. It characterizes the relief, shelters wild animals and plants and shapes the life of the inhabitants. We talk to four people who are passionate about our territory and who decipher its mineral secrets.

Page updated on 17/01/2023

The Stone: unchanging shelter

Olivier: "Stone is present everywhere, in different forms and for many uses. As soon as they arrive, visitors naturally refer to geology as they contemplate a landscape rich in limestone rocks, villages clinging to the massifs, bories, wells, lime kilns, troglodyte houses... A link is instinctively established: limestone = lime, quarries = constructions."

Fabrice: "Since prehistoric times, stone has helped shape the character of the men who live in contact with it. The caves have served as a refuge at all times, including for the animal species still living in the rocks and cliffs of the Luberon today."

A rich mineral history

Stéphane: "Rock outcrops, fossils, old quarries, lime kilns... with the general public, the starting point is the observation of the terrain before moving on to the geological map. Thus, the restored kiln of Robion testifies to a time when lime, produced locally, was of great importance. There were many quarries in the villages of Les Taillades, Oppède and Ménerbes. The exploited rock, called "molasse", is composed of quartz grains, small gravels and debris of organisms deposited at the bottom of the sea 20 million years ago! This beautiful warm stone has been used for construction since antiquity..."

Classified walls

Thierry : "Walls, restanques, bories... these typical constructions are based on a technique, simple and durable, which crosses the centuries : stones are assembled the ones to the others without cement, without binder and without water. The structures, which are very solid, can be easily deconstructed for repair. Collapsed stones can also be reused."

ZOOM - International recognition

The construction of dry stone walls is a know-how classified as intangible heritage of humanity UNESCO. This recognition allows economic activity to coexist with heritage preservation.

To learn more about the Geopark and its secrets,
read this article in full in our tourism magazine!

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