Luberon

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The Luberon and its surroundings Luberon topographic map-fr.png
The Luberon and its surroundings
View of vineyards in the Luberon massif from the village of Menerbes, Vaucluse Menerbes Plaine du Luberon.JPG
View of vineyards in the Luberon massif from the village of Ménerbes, Vaucluse

The Luberon (French pronunciation:  [lyb.ʁɔ̃] ; Provençal Occitan: Leberon in classical norm or Leberoun in Mistralian norm) is a massif in central Provence in Southern France. It has a maximum elevation of 1,256 metres (4,121 ft) and an area of about 600 square kilometres (230 sq mi). It is composed of three mountain ranges (from west to east): the Lesser Luberon (Petit Luberon), the Greater Luberon (Grand Luberon) and the Eastern Luberon (Luberon oriental). The valleys north and south of them contain a number of towns and villages as well as agricultural land; the northern part is marked by the Calavon, while the southern part is characterised by the Durance.

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The Luberon is often advertised under the name Lubéron (with an acute accent on top of the "e"); some dictionaries justify that the two spellings are interchangeable. [1]

The total number of inhabitants varies greatly between winter and summer, due to a massive influx of tourists during the warm season. It is a favourite destination for French high society and British and American visitors because of the pleasant and picturesque towns and villages, comfortable way of life, agricultural wealth, historical and cultural associations, as well as hiking trails. Samuel Beckett notably lived in Cave Bonelly, a vineyard near to Roussillon, during World War II.

In the 1970s, people came from all over France to the Luberon in search of a communitarian ideal. In the last two decades the Luberon has become known in the English-speaking world especially through a series of books by British author Peter Mayle chronicling his life as an expatriate settled in the Luberon village of Ménerbes. These are titled A Year in Provence , Toujours Provence and Encore Provence. Another of Mayle's books, a novel set in the Luberon, was made into a film called A Good Year (2006) directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe and filmed in the region.

Flora and fauna

Luberon is particularly rich in biological diversity. There are known to be around 1,500 species of plants, accounting for 30% of the flora and fauna in France, 17,000 species and sub-species of insects with almost 2,300 species of Lepidoptera, or nearly 40% of species living in France, 341 species and subspecies of vertebrate wildlife, 135 species of birds and 21 species of bats or 70% of species present in France. Among the 1,500 different species of plants, there are 700 species and sub-species of higher plants and 200 species of lichens. Rich fossil deposits are also preserved here, documenting for example ancient species related to songbirds, as well as an ancestral pelican.

Nuclear facilities

The Force de frappe or French strategic nuclear arsenal used to be located on the Plateau d'Albion before being dismantled in the late 1980s. Now, the underground site where the missile controls were located is a public multidisciplinary laboratory of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, the Low Noise Underground Laboratory (LSBB) of Rustrel, Pays d'Apt. [2]

Communes in the Parc naturel régional du Luberon

In Vaucluse

Gordes from the valley Gordes 2 By JM Rosier.jpg
Gordes from the valley
The contemporary garden "a la Francaise" in Provence: the Pavillon de Galon in Cucuron Pavillon de Galon.jpg
The contemporary garden "à la Française" in Provence: the Pavillon de Galon in Cucuron

In Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Golden triangle of Luberon

Southern Luberon

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Ménerbes Commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Ménerbes is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of Southeastern France. The walled village on a hilltop in the Luberon mountains, foothills of the French Alps, constitues the main settlement in the commune. In 2017, it had a population of 990.

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Calavon

The Calavon is an 86.7-kilometre (53.9 mi) long river in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Vaucluse départements, southeastern France. Its drainage basin is 1,027 km2 (397 sq mi). Its source is near Banon. It flows generally west-southwest. It is a right tributary of the Durance into which it flows at Caumont-sur-Durance, near Cavaillon.

References

  1. Samuel, Henry (7 September 2017). "Frenchman fights to remove accent from Lubéron in Provence". The Telegraph". Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  2. Low Noise Underground Laboratory (LSBB) of Rustrel, Pays d'Apt Archived 2012-07-31 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading

Coordinates: 43°47′46″N5°13′26″E / 43.79611°N 5.22389°E / 43.79611; 5.22389