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Unlike a lot of Provençal villages, Oppède is not comfortably settled in the sun on a South-facing sheltered hill side. As witnesses its name coming from oppidum, generally evoking a defensive ancient settlement, safety was there more important than comfort. The Middle Ages castle and its hill village are now ruined. From the XVIth to the XVIIIth century, a new village was built at the hill’s foot, facing northwards, and nowadays, a modern habitat of farms and detached houses is spreading in the sun in the broad Calavon valley.
We park at Maubec, a nearby locality. Like Oppède, this old village looks northwards and the recent houses are straggling more comfortably further in the sun. A path at the Luberon mountain’s foot offers a view of Maubec church that zooming makes appear closer, and leads us to Oppède West end where we enjoy a look at this old calvary.
We cross this archway to the square, then we turn right and head eastwards to a small tower. We walk down the old cobbled alley that seems full of mystery and before the arch (below), 150 m after the aforesaid archway, on our left, we have a look at this engraved stone in the wall:
Here is an example of the famous palindromic Sator Square that has been puzzling the esotericism lovers since the discovery of a specimen in searching the ruins of Pompeii. Its geometrical perfection has made gallons of ink flow and some people, replacing the letters by figures, enjoy trying to make the square disclose its “secrets”. Only the Sator squares that are prior to that Pompeii discovery in the 1920s are interesting. Oppède’s is certainly at least decades old, but I can’t find a reliable source about it and it seems difficult in those deserted old alleys to find a villager and ask him whether he has a knowledge about this square’s history. See on Wikipedia. I know another Sator Square, certainly older, in Tarascon castle. See HERE.
On our way up to the castle, we have a look at the Pénitents Blancs chapel and Notre-Dame d’Alidon church.
A few views of the castle. As you can see, some facilities are still well recognizable, and even usable, with the fine sight of the Luberon mountain.
Two more views of the castle and the village.
Blossoms’ white begins to supplant Mount Ventoux’s.
We have a last look at Oppède, clinging to its mountain already plunged in the shade, on our way back to Maubec, where we are greeted by this cat that seems keeping watch on the premises. Huberaime