Gourdon

Looking towards the Mediterranean from the 'Place Victoria'

Looking towards the Mediterranean from the Place Victoria

Gourdon is one of the most picturesque of all the area's perched villages. It sits on a 500 meter (1,640 ft) tall cliff that towers over the hamlet of Pont-du-Loup. Perhaps Gourdon itself should not be considered a real village at all: these days, there are no stores (other than those catering to tourists), there is a rue de l'école but no school, and even the usually ubiquitous bakery is missing. Only roughly 400 people live in Gourdon, and that includes the population of Pont-du-Loup. In spite of all this, Gourdon is one of the prime tourist attractions in the area. Clearly, the main reason has to be the exceptional view one enjoys from the village's Place Victoria: In clear weather, the panorama extends for a full 50 kilometers (31 miles) of coastline. Many people claim to have seen the mountain tops of Corsica from Gourdon.

Gourdon features a château that evolved from a Saracen fortress dating back to the 9th Century; in its present form, it was built in the 13th Century and fully restored in the 17th Century. In the beginning of the 20th Century, a road linking Gourdon to Pont-du-Loup was built; before that, access to the village was by foot or via one of two mule tracks only. This begs the question of how 72-year-old Queen Victoria, by all accounts a woman of considerable heft, made it all the way up to Gourdon when she visited the village on April 19, 1891! This visit by the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India is definitely the high point of the history of Gourdon.

Click on any image to see a larger (2100 x 1400 pixel) version!


The village of Gourdon seen from the access road Zooming in for a closer look

The village of Gourdon seen from the access road

Zooming in for a closer look


The 'château' of Gourdon goes back to the 12th Century The 'château' seen from the village entrance

The château of Gourdon goes back to the 12th Century

The château seen from the village entrance


This handy tile map shows the layout  of tiny Gourdon Entering the village by the 'Place du Portail'

This handy tile map shows the layout of tiny Gourdon

Entering the village by the Place du Portail


The village fountain dates from 1852 Fountain detail

The village fountain dates from 1852

Fountain detail


Looking across the 'Place du Portail' into the 'Rue Basse' On the 'Rue Basse'

Looking across the Place du Portail into the Rue Basse

On the Rue Basse


The 'Au Vieux Four' restaurant on the 'Rue Basse' Detail view

The Au Vieux Four restaurant on the Rue Basse

Detail view


Barren tree on the 'Place Basse' The same tree back in August

Barren tree on the Place Basse

The same tree back in August


Looking from the 'Place Basse' towards the 'Gorges du Loup' On the 'Place Basse'

Looking from the Place Basse towards the Gorges du Loup

On the Place Basse


On the 'Place des marronniers' The steps leading to the 'Grande Rue'

On the Place des marronniers

The steps leading to the Grande Rue


On the 'Grande Rue' 'Rue du château'

On the Grande Rue

Rue du château


'Rue du châtea' 'Galerie de Provence' on the 'Place du château'

Rue du château

Galerie de Provence on the Place du château


The narrow 'Rue du verger' On the 'Place de la citerne'

The narrow Rue du verger

On the Place de la citerne


The 'Mairie' (town hall) on the 'Place de l'Église' The bell tower is a more recent addition to the 12th Century church

The Mairie (town hall) on the Place de l'Église

The bell tower is a more recent addition to the 12th Century church


Inside the 'Saint Vincent' church Taking a closer look at the crèche

Inside the Saint Vincent church

Taking a closer look at the crèche


Looking across the 'Place de l'Église' to the 'Pic de Courmettes' The view from the 'Place de l'Église'

Looking across the Place de l'Église to the Pic de Courmettes

The view from the Place de l'Église


The 'Place Victoria' is named in honor of... ...Queen Victoria who visited Gourdon on April 19, 1891.

The Place Victoria is named in honor of...

...Queen Victoria who visited Gourdon on April 19, 1891.


The view from the 'Place Victoria' is what people come to Gourdon for Looking to the southwest and the D3 access road

The view from the Place Victoria is what people come to Gourdon for

Looking to the southwest and the D3 access road


The 'Nid d'Aigle' restaurant has been closed for several years On 'Grande Rue', Gourdon's Main Street

The Nid d'Aigle restaurant has been closed for several years

On Grande Rue, Gourdon's Main Street


Vestiges of the early days of the area's perfume industry Souvenir shop display window

Vestiges of the early days of the area's perfume industry

Souvenir shop display window


'Place du Canton' Old perfume still in front of a shop on 'Rue de l'école'

Place du Canton

Old perfume still in front of a shop on Rue de l'école


I never did find out what colorful liquids are stored in these huge bottles Leaving Gourdon on the D3

I never did find out what colorful liquids are stored in these huge bottles

Leaving Gourdon on the D3


A last look down to the Mediterranean and the Esterel

A last look down to the Mediterranean and the Esterel

All but two of the photos on this page were taken on January 16, 2016.
They may also be viewed in a gallery or slide show.

Do you miss our old Gourdon page? You can still take a look at it here.
Navigation has been removed from the old page; simply close the browser window to get back here.




<< Previous

Area Home

Next >>

Home | Site Info | Family | The Area | Trips | France | Work | Rants | Odds & Ends




This page was last modified on February 1, 2016
Send feedback about this page to feedback@kiechle.com
http://www.kiechle.com/area/gourdon/index.htm

All contents © 1999-2017 The Kiechles