Roussillon and the Ochre Trail

The village seen from the Ochre Trail parking lot

The village seen from the Ochre Trail parking lot

Click on any image to see a larger (1500 x 1000 pixel) version!

The Village

Roussillon is famous for the rich deposits of ochre found in the clay near the village. Ochre is a natural earth pigment containing hydrated iron oxide, which ranges in color from yellow to deep orange or brown. This explains why Roussillon is such a colorful village: the walls of virtually every house are covered with a plaster that is tinted with various shades of ochre. A visit had been recommended to us by a colleague, and a few weeks after that, we saw some footage of Roussillon on television. A visit was becoming inescapable, and on October 26, 2013, we finally managed to take a day trip to this truly wonderful place that is sometimes called Le Colorado provençal.

We began our visitby exploring the village, enjoying a tasty lunch on a sun-drenched terrace, and finally walking along the sentier des ocres, Ochre Trail.


Carpe Diem 'Place Jean Eynard'

Carpe Diem

Place Jean Eynard


'Rue de la Poste' Ochre cliffs seen from the village

Rue de la Poste

Ochre cliffs seen from the village


Garage doors 'Rue Casteau'

Garage doors

Rue Casteau


Town Hall Heading up Looking out

Town Hall

Heading up

Looking out


Looking up at the clock tower Village view

Looking up at the clock tower

Village view


Leafy canopy Textures

Leafy canopy

Textures


Roussillon colors Ochre wall

Roussillon colors

Ochre wall


Looking down into the village... ...and to the northeast.

Looking down into the village...

...and to the northeast.


'Place de la Mairie' 'Place de l'Eglise'

Place de la Mairie

Place de l'Eglise


The view from the top The plain

The view from the top

The plain


The clock tower Narrow village street

The clock tower

Narrow village street


Heading back down The view from our lunch table

Heading back down

The view from our lunch table


'Faustine en Janvier' End of summer

Faustine en Janvier

End of summer


Village street Rough and smooth

Village street

Rough and smooth


Past and present The village from the beginning of the Ochre Trail

Past and present

The village from the beginning of the Ochre Trail

The Ochre Trail

During the 18th century, as the textile industry became more and more industrialized, the demand for pigments rose dramatically. Ochre mining in Roussillon intensified, and ochre quarries employed several thousand workers. By 1930, all mining activity had stopped, and today ochre mining is strictly prohibited in order to protect a truly beautiful site. The Ochre Trail has been set up to allow visitors to walk through the old quarries and take in the colorful formations.


In the middle of the old ochre quarry The color is stunning

In the middle of the old ochre quarry

The color is stunning


The deep red... ...and the bright orange...

The deep red...

...and the bright orange...


..contrast beautifully with the green vegetation. Some of the ochre is almost purple

...contrast beautifully with the green vegetation.

Some of the ochre is almost purple


The trails are coated with a fine ochre powder The terrain is tricky, so one has to stay on the trails

The trails are coated with a fine ochre powder

The terrain is tricky, so one has to stay on the trails


Depending on the light, the colors change dramatically It's a long way down!

Depending on the light, the colors change dramatically

It's a long way down!


On the Ochre Trail A last look at the end of the trail

On the Ochre Trail

A last look at the end of the trail

These, as well as a few other photographs taken in Roussillon, are available in one of our web galleries.
Among other things, the gallery allows viewing the photos as a slide show. Check it out!




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