Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is a medieval village tucked in a “closed valley” at the southwestern corner of a mountainous Plateau de Vaucluse, 25kms east of Avignon. A key feature of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is the truly amazing and unique sight of a river gushing out of the ground.
At the base of high, rocky cliffs, a deep pool of seemingly still water is actually a full-fledged river gushing up out of the depths. A few meters from this pool, the white water rapids crash down over black rocks, giving away the truth of the “still waters” of the source of the Sorgue River. Below the rapids, the river settles down to a wide expanse in fromt of dams and waterwheels, passing under the bridge at the center of the village, and then flowing on downstream as a lovely river.
The source pool is fed by collective rainfall in the Plateau de Vaucluse. If the season is dry, there won’t be much water, but at a maximum this is on me of the most powerful resurgent springs in the world! The banks of the river are lined with overhanging trees, parks, houses with lovely gardens, a few old factories and mills and usually a scattering of fishermen. Just downstream from the village is the high multi-arched 19th Century Aqueduct de Galas.
Paper Mill: One of the attractions in the village is a paper mill. Now a site for tourists to visit, this has been a driving industrial force here since the 15th Century.