Forcalquier place St Michel ©M. BoutinForcalquier place St Michel ©M. Boutin

Forcalquier, a city of Provence

Getting an eyeful > Forcalquier > Forcalquier, a city of Provence

Forcalquier has a rich history as a county town. The streets of the historical centre are an invitation to wander around.

With its narrow streets and squares, the Gothic fountain and mansions and its cathedral and chapels, there is a wide heritage to be discovered in the atmosphere of a Provencal village.

Did you know that the cinema occupies what was once a Visitandine convent?

If you like markets, Monday mornings in Forcalquier are for you! This is said to be the biggest market in the region. It is spread all over the town and has a really good atmosphere.

Awakening of the senses

The Couvent des Cordeliers is home to the Université Européenne des Senteurs et des Saveurs (the European University of Scents and Flavours), a training cluster.

Awaken your senses and discover the uses and properties of plants in the sensory workshops such as the perfumer’s workshop, the aperitif workshop, etc. in this 12th century Franciscan convent with its magnificent cloister and gardens.

Panoramic view from the Citadel

A 360° view awaits you at the top of the Citadel hill. Your eyes can scan the roofs of the town and see as far as the first peaks of the Alps to the Durance valley and to the nearby Montagne de Lure and the Luberon.

The Citadel was built on the former location of the castle of the Counts of Forcalquier and is a group of fortifications topped by the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Provence.

Your ears will also get a treat! The chapel houses one of the rare hand-operated carillons in Provence which are played by striking the keys with your fists. On Sunday morning and on feast days you can hear its bells playing traditional music.

And as music goes, the organ of the Cathedral of Notre Dame du Bourguet is every bit as remarkable.

Forcalquier carillon ©Teddy Verneuil

Domitian Way (Via Domitia)

Remains of the Via Domitia, or Domitian Way can be seen not far from Forcalquier. The great Roman Way which went from Rome to the south of Spain has left us relay stops, structures, milestones and places of worship which are all nelong to our rich past.

And it is also the path followed by the pilgrims and hikers who take the way to Saint James of Compostella and Rome.

La ronde des crèches

In winter, the Cathedral of Notre Dame du Bourguet exhibits a Provencal crib with more than 100 figurines in a county town scene.

This historic crib is part of the “Ronde des crèches where young and old marvel from one location to the next around Forcalquier thanks to the passionate men and women who help to perpetuate Christmas traditions.

The homeland of author Pierre Magnan

In this town where he lived and wrote many of his novels, find yourself a book by Pierre Magnan.

His stories all take place in Forcalquier and the surrounding area: the listed cemetery with its sculpted yew trees, the strange shape of the Mourres rocks, the Montagne de Lure and its herbalists.

You could even visit the area with his books!

Forcalquier Les Mourres ©Teddy Verneuil

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