Place : Pernes les Fontaines (Vaucluse)
For several years now, the town of Pernes les Fontaines has been restoring its heritage, including the Les Gipières nature reserve, its large plaster kilns or its architectural and intangible heritage. Pernes also organises an annual street art festival and is also listed as one of the “Plus beaux détours de France” (France off the beaten track). For 2021, the town wants to reinstate the ancient technique of building dry stone walls as part of local culture.
The cemetery wall is one of the last in the town made this way and many old walls alongside roads are often replaced.
Building technique: Dry stone masonry
Special bonus: As this workcamp is at the entrance to the town, you’ll be able to share your knowledge with the local people who will be there to support you and lend a hand.
Accommodation: Tents at the municipal sportsground, with access to toilets/showers and changing rooms. The sportsground is just 10 minutes by car from the workcamp.
Workcamp life: Restoration work in the mornings from Monday to Friday and help with daily tasks, such as preparing meals and cleaning (taking turns). Free time in the afternoons and at weekends, with a choice of group excursions and activities.
Some ideas for excursions: Hikes in the Dentelles de Montmirail, Mont Ventoux and Monts de Vaucluse hills, swimming and kayaking along the Sorgue River.
A bit of history:
This small town lies between Mont Ventoux and the Luberon Valley and has managed to keep its traditional appearance of a medieval fortified settlement, with the remains of its stone ramparts, cobblestone streets and shaded squares.
Pernes boasts an impressive abundance of heritage, with more than 22 sites that are either listed or classified as historic monuments. It has 40 public fountains (8 of which are listed) and about double that in private ownership, not to mention 13 chapels, 7 public gardens and 3 museums. The town was the capital of the Comtat Venaissin for two hundred years.
In 1720, Pernes, just like many other town in the area, helped build the “Mur de la Peste” (the Plague wall) to contain the spread of the Black Death.
The town also has a host of awards including “Ville et Métiers d'Art”(applied arts), “Plus beaux détours de France”(France off the beaten track), “Ville fleurie 3 fleurs”(France in bloom, level 3), Ville et vélo touristique” (cycle-tourism) and APIcité 3 abeilles (bee-friendly, level 3).