You can now come and explore Bollène’s historic hydroelectric power plant on the Rhone river! This masterpiece of industrial architecture was one of the last massive infrastructure projects to be built in post-war France. Commissioned in 1952, it boasts a gigantic turbine hall bathed in light through the geometric lattice of openings in its imposing Art Deco facade. Both are listed as Historic Monuments and can be visited during the newly launched 2-hour tour.
At the Roman Theatre of Orange, visitors can now extend the traditional tour of this ancient monument with a seven-minute Virtual Reality experience that immerses them in its two thousand years of history. This is a real bonus, while the inner façade of its famous stage wall is temporarily undergoing essential renovation works.
Connoisseurs of French-made quality blankets will know the name Brun de Vian-Tiran, the oldest cloth-weaving factory still running in France. For eight generations and down two centuries, the Brun family has been travelling the world in search of the finest wools to weave at its l’Isle sur la Sorgue manufactory. Now they’ve opened a new museum to showcase the wonderful saga of their family business.
Vibrations is the name of the brand new 360-degree show held in the main courtyard of the Popes’ Palace from mid-August to mid-October. To be enjoyed again in 2019!
Lovers of culture, old stonework and contemporary art will love this hidden treasure of Cavaillon. It alone justifies a detour via the ancient town along the Domitian Way. L’Hôtel d’Agar has the oldest garden in France, containing famous remains, a private 12th c. /15th c. mansion housing a magnificent collection of objects in a “cabinet of curiosities” style, all mixed with exhibitions by famous photographers and artists.
It’s one of the world’s major contemporary art collections and has just acquired a new space, commensurate with its stature: the Lambert Collection, which opened in 2000 in Avignon’s splendid Hôtel de Caumont, is just settling into its new, wider home; in 2015, the gallery doubled its floor space, extending to the adjoining Hôtel de Montfaucon. The Hôtel de Caumont is now devoted exclusively to temporary exhibitions and the Hôtel de Montfaucon houses the permanent collections belonging to Parisian collector and gallery owner, Yvon Lambert. This new complex also boasts an auditorium, restaurant, bookshop, two open courtyards and runs teaching workshops. The venue can also be hired for private functions. So come on, let’s go!
Stroll through Gordes with a guide, visit a melon farm in Cavaillon, find out about the Vaudois’ tragic destiny in South Luberon, learn the story of the ‘Pope’s Jews’, or take in the Mediterranean flora and fauna on the borders of the Durance River with a naturalist bird-loving guide. The Luberon-Monts de Vaucluse Tourist Information Office lays on themed tours all year round for individuals and groups. A great way of getting to know this famous mountain and Nature Park better.
Every Monday and Friday morning, a guide takes your individual English-speaking clients on a 3-hr tour of the historic centre of Avignon, and into the Palace of the Popes (with a priority-access ticket). A regular tour, that’s easily booked, telling the full story of when the Papal seat was in Avignon. And the icing on the cake: pre-lunch drinks in an unusual setting to round the morning off.
New in Avignon in 2015: the Collection Lambert, one of the finest contemporary art collections in France, re-opens after being closed for a year and a half for works, with a floor space doubled. Les Luminessences Sound and Light show, which offers a powerful 3-D vision of the history of Avignon, will run sessions in English. Lastly, the town will have its official, prestigious venue to show off the wines of the Rhône Valley: le Carré du Palais.