An enclosed wooded park right in the heart of the town, the Mourgues Hill offers to people out for a stroll marked paths punctuated by small shrines, picnic areas and a play area for younger children as well as great views over the Popes' Palace and Avignon, the village and monuments of Villeneuve-les-Avignon and all the way to the Mont Ventoux.
It name Mourgues comes from the Occitan language word for monk as the area had at one time been a religious property. Some vestiges still remain of the hermitage where the reverend father Crouzet-Lacombe from the Chartreuse monastery took refuge during the French Revolution. And you can still see the tomb that he had carved out of the rock for himself (but despite his wishes, he was buried in the cemetery like everyone else).
At the top of the hill, the small Notre-Dame de Consolation Chapel was restored around 2003. Inside, murals painted by an artist from Nîmes evoke rituals involving wine: the Last Supper, the Marriage at Cana, even Noah drunk on his ark and dancers of the farandole.
And evoking ancient Greece, lower down on the hill the Théatre de Verdure, an open-air theatre with stone tiers for seats, has been built to host performances in summer.
Entrances to the Colline des Mourgues can be found on the Montée de la Tour street below or by way of the soccer field at the top of the hill across from the institution Sancta-Maria. The hill and park are closed at night.
Notre-Dame de Consolation Chapel - Colline des Mourgues
Colline des Mourgues - 30400 Villeneuve-les-Avignon