Ginger and NutmegInspireProvencal History & Traditions

Fontvieille Stone the Foundation of Provence

Writer Alphonse Daudet described his affection for the town of Fontvieille and its windmills as follows:

“Ce coin de roche qui m’etait une patrie et dont on retrouve la trace – êtres ou endroits – dans presque tous mes livres”

The translation: This corner of rock was a homeland to me, one which can be traced to beings or places in almost all my books.

Fierce mistral wind gusts registered 65km/hour the day that Nutmeg chose to visit the Ribet or St. Pierre windmill in Fontvieille (‘the old fountain’). This refurbished windmill sits proudly on the crest of a barren, rocky hill, in full retirement after 100+ years of operation between 1814 and 1915. Although the blades no longer turn in a howling north wind, it is easy to understand how the placement of the mill was logical at the time.

The Ribet windmill was one of four built on the same hill; Sourdon, Tisscot-Avon and Ramet, are the names of the others. The best-preserved is the Ribet, although the Sourdon is the oldest. It is a bit hard to envision now as trees and underbrush have been allowed to propagate around these ancient structures (except for Ribet). During the 1800s, these mills were crucial to feeding the growing population of stone-cutters in what is now Fontvieille.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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