Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Yesterday we hauled ourselves out of the house and drove to the Luberon Valley to visit the lovely village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie perched amongst the limestone cliffs

A 200-odd metre chain is strung between two rock masses over the town, from which a golden star is suspended. The legend says it was hung in the 10th century by the Knight of Blacas, who vowed to do so if he ever escaped his captors (during the Crusades).

The golden star strung above the French village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

The original star is long gone - apparently the chain and etoile are replaced every 50 years or so.

Views over Moustiers-Sainte-Marie from the Chapelle above the village

The main tourist attraction in Moustiers is climbing up to the Chapelle Notre Dame de Beauvoir perched above the town.

But before we did that, we had a bite to eat and enjoyed walking around the picturesque streets.

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There were some really unique artisan wares:

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And of course, the usual touristy stuff:

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Moustiers is well known for its faïence china and there are plenty of shops stocking many variations (there is also a museum on the subject near the mairie).

Faïence pottery in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

You can even find lovely examples of it adorning residences:

Faïence tiles decorating a house in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

The walk up the the Chapelle must not be missed. It's not a steep incline and there are handrails almost all the way up.

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The Chapelle in the distance, from about half way up

You'll pass the 14 Stations of the Cross as you go:

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A warning - the rocks steps have been worn smooth by the feet of a million tourists (and pilgrims) and are really, really slippery. The handrails were a necessity on the way down.

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You will also want to keep your little ones nearby for although there are walls/rails, there are also a few spots where they could take a tumble.

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I'm really not sure what Mary is up to in this scene:

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The views on the way are spectacular:

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The church itself is small and cosy:

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Inside the Chapelle Notre Dame de Beauvoir in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, France
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But the real reason to make the climb is to look back down on the village and the land beyond.

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Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a gorgeous spot to visit if you love cobblestone streets, crockery or tourist attractions that help you burn off all those crème brulées.

We recommend it!

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Linking up with Love the Place You Live over on Design Mom. Love the place I live - what an understatement!



24 comments:

  1. Very nice! I always enjoy your travelogues.

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  2. We're heading to the Luberon at Toussaint. Adding this to our list! Have to see the hula hooping Mary for myself!

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  3. Having visited this area (but not Moustier) several times, I am glad to see you include a good number of photos to help give the viewer a sense of the place. Your photos are well composed and it brings back good memories of trips past and trips to come!
    Thank you.

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  4. Your attention to detail is wonderful! I think Mary is giving out haloes! All children are perfect, according to the parents of those I teach! Lol!

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  6. A spectacular view from the Church!
    Your photos definitely gave me a "sense of place" - a charming village to add to my list!
    Useful tip about the slippery surface on the way down too - good things to pass on to others who will attempt the climb!
    Merci
    Shane in New Zealand - Wish it was FRANCE!!!!

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  7. Hi! Clicked on over here from Design Mom's link-up- and I'm really into your blog! Anything travel related speaks to my heart, especially Europe. As I perused your pics I recalled my month spent in France three years ago. Lovely post :)

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  8. Oh wow, how have we missed this place before?! Love the idea of the star, and the view is fab. Another one to add to the 'to visit' list!

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  9. I just found your blog and I love it! I'm planning to devote some time to going through your earlier posts one of these days... Meanwhile, I'm joining the chorus: must keep this place in mind. BTW, the landscape very much resembles that around the Monasterio de Montserrat in the Barcelona Province we visited in May. I haven't posted anything about that yet so your post served as a reminder, too.

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  10. fabulous post and pics. I would like to add this to my "must see" travel list.
    Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

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  11. What great photos! Thanks for your comment on my blog--when I clicked back I immediately recognized your blog. I've pinned a few of your tutorials--I'm new to quilting but definitely want to have a go at your chevron baby quilt some day. :)

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  12. Fantastic photos! Would love to go there someday!

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  13. Ah, Kirsty, you've done it again....a great set of pics with the usual amusing dialog. Personally I think Mary bought 3 rings for a $ and if she gets it over the child she wins! Another place to add to my list. (You are going to cost me a fortune)!

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  14. It's like taking a walk around the town! Those cobbles! The pink roofs! I'll have to remember this town for our next trip to France :-)

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  15. Merci pour tes impressions merveilleuses - j'ai visité ce village pittoresque il y a quelques années.

    Meilleures salutations de la Suisse
    Stéphanie

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  16. What gorgeous views from the top. Well worth the climb if you've got sticky feet.

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  17. Beautiful! I love looking through all of your pictures! I have to live my traveling dreams vicariously through you until one day I can afford it ;)

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  18. You are so good about getting out and visiting the villages here in Provence. I have some dishes from this town, but have never been there. Need to go!

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  19. I'm with AL. I think Mary is playing quoits. Gorgeous pics again by the way.

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  20. What's Mary doing with those Livestrong bracelets? Another enjoyable travel post Kirsty!

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  21. Beautiful! Such a lovely place and the landscape really is amazing. It really is a privilege living somewhere close to so much beauty and cultural heritage. Here in Finland there's a lot of natural beauty, but the landscapes are quite uniform here in the south and there aren't that many nice cities or villages to explore. When we visit Germany, we really enjoy the opportunity to take a little trip and see some sights, something I didn't really appreciate when I lived there.

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  22. I loved Moustiers the few times we visited - so pretty and I was very taken with all the china, indeed Mark and I had a length argument over my desire for a teapot as I recall! I'm with the others - quoits or horseshoes were all the rage back in. biblical times weren't they??

    Beautiful photos, as always.

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Hi there, I love getting comments, so let her rip! I do my very best to reply (by email) so please make sure your account is set up to show email, so that I can get back to you. Cheers, Kirsty

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