Massacre in Merindol Provence’s Dark History
Blinded by the hues of lavender shutters.
Gently numbed by a glass or two of chilled local rosé.
It would be easy to overlook the hamlet of Mérindol during a visit to Provence.
The Luberon region is brimming with villages laying claim to le plus beau village de France (the most beautiful villages in France) and many of those proudly display Villages Fleuris (flowering villages) emblems on street signs.
Located on the edge of the leafy Luberon massif, the town’s population barely touches 2,000 people. Mérindol is hardly a notable exit off the D973, a stretch of highway between the larger centres of Cavaillon and Pertuis, respectively known for their juicy orange melons and tricolour wine production.
The remains of the ancient village are deeply-rooted on a rocky outcrop. A faded sign marks the path indicating in the classic French style – proceed at your own risk. Missing the fine print typical in North American, it is left unsaid that appropriate footwear is recommended and that ruins from the tenth century are not safe for scaling.