Thouzon priory church, l'Isle sur la SorgueThouzon priory church, l'Isle sur la Sorgue

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  • Off the path Explo
    92 %
    Off the path Explo rate
    Score
    4.6 / 5
    Comments
    This church is not famous! Very off the math and nice trip!
  • Article Quality
    70 %
    Article Quality rate
    • Score
      3 / 5
      Comments
      Cool description Fritz. Any tip for a unique visit?
    • Score
      3 / 5
      Comments
      Yes. A plan would be useful!
    • Score
      4 / 5
      Comments
      Yes, 4 pics.
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Comments
      Yes!
    • Score
      2.5 / 5
      Comments
      Yep. Maybe an other article for the cave might be cool!
  • Explo Popularity
    %

Dominating the plain irrigated by the Sorgue river, some ruins stand on a rocky eminence. By far they look like a castle. But actually, they are a fortified priory, containing a church and a chapel. From the esplanade, there is a magnificent sight on the Avignon and Contat plains, and on the bald and brilliant summit of the Ventoux mountain...

My experience, Explo description: 

Thouzon hill was a property of the Benedictines congregation since 1014. In 1171, Raymond V (the Toulouse Count) fortified the monastery, which became a castle.

In 1396, buildings are destroyed by the Turenne Viscount. During the 15th century, the monks re-built and fortified their domain. New damages (1563) were caused by Huguenot (Protestant) troupes during the Wars of Religion in Europe

The place was restored at the end of the 16th century.

All along its history, this site was a really popular place, with for instance a yearly pilgrimage. The domain is sold to a private property in 1696. The building are not maintained any more and start to look like ruins...

In 1987, an association was created to preserve the site and maintain the ruins.

Inside the strengthened surrounding walls, we find what remains of the monastic buildings : a tank and especially the Holy Marie church, one of the purest Romanic constructions of Provence. In the centre, a vast grassy esplanade creates a space of peace and tranquillity.
Outside, the small Romanic chapel Saint Pierre (dating from 11th century) has been restored and has pleasant proportions.

The church was formerly richly decorated. We found 2 of the 3 shutters of a triptych dating from 1410 and attributed to the school of Avignon. It represents on the one hand Saint André’s miracle, and on the other hand the martyr of Saint Sebastien. These pieces both are kept to the Louvre museum in Paris.

Down the hill we can visit the attractive cave of Thouzon which presents fine concretions like fistulous stalactites (being able to reach 2 metres high for a diameter of only 3 millimetres)...

How getting there: 

Coordinates : 43° 56’ 42" N - 4° 59’ 10" E

Reach Le Thor (big village 5km on the West of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue). Then take D16 road northward in the direction of Orange, on 2km. Little before Thouzon caves, park the car and to go up (10 minutes) by feet on the south side of the hill, among lovely olive trees and oaks.

Useful information: 
Visit duration: 

2 hours.

Entry fees: 

Access to the hill and the priory church is free of charge.
Access to the cave :

  • Adult : €8
  • Kids : €5.50