From Cavaillon to Carpentras, passing by Pernes les Fontaines and Isle sur la Sorgue, discovering Jewish "quarries" (streets), synagogues, mikvés (Jewish baths), cemeteries and museums. A leap in the often forgotten history of the Provence from the Vaucluse...
LOOP BY CAR / BUS FROM THE AVIGNON DEPARTURE - 80 km
In 1307, and again in 1498, the Jews were banished from the Kingdom of France and found refuge in Vaucluse, in the Comtat Venaissin. Nicknamed the "Jews of the Pope", it is in this region that Jewish communities from the 14th to the 15th were the best protected, benefiting from the presence of the Popes of Avignon who granted them freedom of worship and right of residence.
First stop - Synagogue & Jewish Museum Comtadin de Cavaillon
Avignon - Cavaillon (N7 then D973 - 27.3 km - 40mn with fluid circulation)
Masterpiece of Comtadin art of the eighteenth, it is one of the most remarkable Jewish prayer houses known. The Synagogue was rebuilt in the 18th century, is situated in the heart of the old Jewish "Carrière" of Cavaillon and is both a place of prayer and a museum.
Guided tours with the Tourist Office.
Timetables and prices: https://www.luberoncoeurdeprovence.com/discover/cultural-sites/synagogue-de-cavaillon
Tourist Office Luberon Heart of Provence
Incoming service: Bianca Ogel email@example.com +33 (0) 4 90 71 63 65
2nd stop - Jewish Quarter of Isle sur la Sorgue
Cavaillon - Isle sur la Sorgue (D938 - 10.3 km - 15 minutes with fluid circulation)
Today, there are few remains of the time of the Pope's Jews at Isle sur la Sorgue. But at the turn of a stroll in the small Venice of the Vaucluse, one can appreciate the beauty of the old "quarry" or Jewish quarter.
Free walk or guided tours with the Tourist Office.
Tourist Office Pays des Sorgues & Monts de Vaucluse
3rd stop - the Mikvé of Pernes les Fontaines
Isle sur la Sorgue - Pernes les Fontaines (D938 - 12.9 km - 16 min with fluid circulation)
Located in the beautiful Hotel de Cheylus, this bath is unique: in the heart of a private property, it is not connected to a synagogue. Travel back in time to discover this Jewish community that would have built this bath around 1504.
Guided tours with the Tourist Office, fare between € 3 and € 6.
Tourist Office of Pernes les Fontaines
Step 4 - the synagogue and the cemetery of Carpentras
Pernes les Fontaines - Carpentras (D938 - 6.7 km - 15 minutes with fluid circulation)
The synagogue of Carpentras is the oldest of France still in activity and one of oldest in Europe, classified Historical Monument. Built in 1367 and enlarged in the eighteenth century, excavations have found elements dating back to Roman and medieval times.
The Israelite Cemetery is also listed as a Historical Monument. Dating from the 14th century, it is one of the oldest in France. More than 900 burials were counted.
Synagogue: Visits at fixed times from Monday to Friday excluding holidays and Hebrew holidays. Full price 5 €.
Israelite Cemetery: Guided tour with the Tourist Office, coupled with the synagogue. Full price 5 € (5 € supplement entries sites).
Tourist Office of Carpentras - Ventoux-Provence
5th stop - return to Avignon and visit the synagogue
Carpentras - Avignon (D942 then D925 - 26.5 km - 30 minutes with fluid traffic)
This religious building rebuilt after a fire in 1846, testifies to a multi-secular presence of a Jewish community in Avignon. The old ghetto was at the top of the current district of La Balance. It is classified since 1990 as an Historic Monuments.
Visit Monday to Friday by reservation, excluding public holidays, from 9h to 11h.
Avignon Tourist Office
Israelite Cultural Association of Avignon
www.aci-avignon.com or +33 (0) 4 90 85 21 24