In Village des Bories, wandering the streets of a ghost town

village des bories
The exit of Village des Bories

On my way down the Luberon mount, a stone’s throw away from stunning Gordes, my attention was captured by a modest sign pointing towards a tiny entrance: Village des bories

I was accessing the mysteries of Village des Bories.

Being from Sardinia, dotted with stone towers all over its territory, the whole stone village looked pretty familiar. Our stone towers are called “nuraghi” because they date back to nuragic times. Stones are not glued to one another, but simply lean against each other, and have managed to hold this way for some 3,000 years.

Stone hut in Village des Bories

The bories, compared to the nuraghi, are made with smaller and sharper stones. Their aspect is as austere as Sardinian bronze-age towers, and while I strolled about what seemed like a ghost village I had the impression to be stepping back in a remote time.

The different stone huts have different purposes: they can be houses, caves, sheep-pens, or just different working areas. Journeying through the village is a little like journeying across the history of Provence, and understanding the evolution of its society through its working tools and dwelling habits.

village des bories
Hut used as a oven

A stroll around this otherworldly place is very fascinating as the village is kept in its original settings, making it easier for us to imagine the daily life of these huts dwellers who, judging from the way they built their village and the fact that their houses are still there despite passing centuries and different weather conditions, must have been pretty clever.

village des bories
View of Village des Bories

The tour is completed with a small photo gallery that puts the visitor in a geographical and historical journey following the creation of similar stone buildings all over the world, from Sardinia, to Turkey, to California, almost to suggest that after all we all belong to the same planet.

One of my favorite aspects of traveling is indeed the possibility to appreciate first hand the common characters in every country. I know all human beings inhabit the same planet and share the same resources, but it’s still nice to see it remarked.

  1. Molto interessante! Chi l’avrebbe detto! Complimenti per l’articolo

  2. Article très interessant! c’est la première fois que j’entends parler du ” Village des Bories “,et c’est dommage, car j’ai été en Provence plusieurs fois et si j’avais su j’aurais visité ce site! Je dois y retourner! Continue à nous surprendre

  3. This is amazing, you managed to bring this to life really well, and it sounds like a fascinating place.

    Looks like it’s pretty accessible from Marseille and Aix-en-Provence as well, so would be worth an excursion next time I go there.

    • Yes it’s quite close to Marseille, the only thing is that I didn’t find public transportation very helpful. Your best bet is to rent a car, otherwise make sure you check very well the timetable of the very few buses that connect Bories and Gordes with cities like Avignon, Cavaillon or Marseille. It’s very interesting though, definitely worth an excursion.

  4. First,thanks very much for your comment on the glamour granny. Second,I truly enjoyed this fascinating story and your way of telling it.I’d love to visit one day.

  5. is great and fantastic.i like it

  6. Interesting. This is a place I’ve never heard of but it seems like it’s definitely worth a visit. I love old places!!

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Chasing The Unexpected