View of Lourmarin with vineyards and orchards
|Intercommunality||Portes du Luberon|
|• Mayor (2001–2008)||Blaise Diagne|
|Area1||20.18 km2 (7.79 sq mi)|
|• Density||52/km2 (140/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||84068 / 84160|
|Elevation||169–818 m (554–2,684 ft)
(avg. 200 m or 660 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Lourmarin is located in the French region of Provence, at the foot of the Luberon Massif where a southern pass debouches over the Luberon from Apt on the northern side of the Luberon. The pass divides the Grand Luberon from the Petit Luberon range, an area rich in Neolithic remains and noted for its dramatic massifs and rockscapes. The Aigues Brun brook comes out of the pass and runs just to the west of the village (Aigue is a Provençal word for "water", coming from Latin aqua).
Lourmarin has been settled for at least a thousand years, and was probably a Neolithic campsite before that.
A fortress was first built at the site in the 12th century, and was rebuilt by Foulques d'Agoult in the 15th century on the foundations of the earlier castle. It was restored in 1920.
Its present mayor (2001-2008, 2008-2014) is Blaise Diagne, grandson of the like-named first Black African deputy and member of a French government.
Extremely picturesque, the village is a magnet for tourists. Prominent sites are the village itself, the pretty Renaissance castle, the Catholic and Protestant churches and the view from the village of the Proches Bastides, a large fortified farmhouse dating to the Middle Ages. From the village itself it is 20 minute drive down to the Durance River and then about 40 minutes on to Aix-en-Provence.
Lourmarin was the birthplace of Philippe de Girard (1775–1845), an engineer and inventor of the linen spinning mill, as well as the name-sake for the town of Żyrardów in Poland (a toponym derived from the polonised spelling of Girard's name). Żyrardów is Lourmarin's twin town.
Another famous writer, British expatriate Peter Mayle today lives in Lourmarin. One of his books, A Year in Provence, giving the chronicle of a British expatriate who settled in the village of Ménerbes, was made into a TV series and a film. Another of his books was also made into the film A Good Year (2006) directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, which was filmed nearby in the same region. As a result, in recent decades Luberon and its towns and villages like Lourmarin and Ménerbes, which probably were the lesser known parts of Provence, even in France, became better known in the English-speaking world.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Lourmarin is twinned with:
Pont à la Coquille over Aigue Brun. The bridge is on the territory of the commune of Bonnieux.
- Corinne Deriot, "Entretien avec Blaise Diagne, maire de Lourmarin", Africultures, 5 December 2005
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