Arising out of a sea of grapevines, its steep rocky outcrop, 365 metres high and crowned by an old feudal castle, stands out against the sky. At its feet, its houses are scattered about on the more hospitable plain below. As you come along on the road, a wayside cross welcomes you like a doorman at the entrance to the village. Indeed, Entrechaux is the perfect picture postcard of Provence.
Almost too pretty to be true, Entrechaux is also a veritable mini-museum of Romanesque architecture. Its castle dating from the 10th and 11th centuries is actually two castles. The first, the Petit Château, was built around the year 900 by the bishops of Vaison-la-Romaine and includes the fortified chapel of St Quentin. Not to be outdone, the lord of the village, under the protection of the Counts of Toulouse, had the Grand Château built lower down with a 20-metre high keep, the St Laurent church and strong protective walls. Finally abandoned, the castle and old village were pillage during the French Revolution and the stones were used to build the houses of the present-day town.
Still undergoing restoration, the castle is today private property but remains open to visitors in summer. From there, you have beautiful views of the village and the surroundings, all the way to the castles of Crestet and Beaumont-du-Ventoux.
A circuit will lead you to the three Romanesque chapels of Entrechaux : Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth, Saint-Laurent and Saint-André, one more remarkable the other.
To the northeast of the village, the 12th century Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth chapel is a beautiful example of Provençal romanesque art, built with the stones from a more ancient temple to Diane and inspired by the architecture of Antiquity.
Below it, the Saint-André chapel, to the east of Entrechaux, is the town's oldest religious edifice. Altered many times over the centuries, its has still kept the original apse from the 9th century.
The Saint-Laurent chapel to the west of the village was built at the end of the 11th century.
A sleepy little town, Entrechaux lives mainly from farming, asparagus, fruits, olives and, above all, grapevine, with the vineyards producing Côtes du Ventoux (AOC) wines. Entrechaux comes to life each year during the grape harvest festival in the month of September.
In the area around Entrechaux
- Vaison-la-Romaine, 6 km away, with its medieval village and Roman ruins,
- Maulacène, à 6 km, large historic village and departure point for conquering the giant of Provence, the Mont Ventoux.
- the Ouvèze Valley and the Grottes de la Masque, painted caves from the prehistoric era.
Entrechaux is also bordered by the Toulourenc river, a tributary of the Ouvèze. This river presents varying landscapes of splendid valleys and limestone gorges, refreshing cascades and pools. And also caves, of which one with an engraving of an elephant testifies to the visit by Entrechaux's first and possibly most famous tourist, Hannibal!
Entrance of the castle of Entrechaux
Vineyard around Entrechaux
The Chapel Notre Dame de Nazareth in Entrechaux
Inside the Chapel Notre Dame de Nazareth in Entrechaux
The Chapel Saint André in the heart of the orchards
The parish church of the Immaculate Conception-Saint-Laurent
The remains of the castle of Entrechaux