Roussillon, Vaucluse

Roussillon, Vaucluse

French Commune
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Roussillon, Vaucluse

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Description:
Roussillon is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.

Roussillon lies within the borders of the Parc Naturel Régional de Luberon. In the French natural regional parks, new economic activities may be developed only if they are sustainable.

It is noted for its large ochre deposits found in the clay surrounding the village. Ochres are pigments ranging from yellow and orange to red. One of the former ochre quarries can be visited and is known as the Colorado Provençal.

Geography

The village is situated in the northern valley of the mountains of Luberon. The nearest railway station is in Cavaillon; the nearest TGV station is in Avignon.

The river Calavon forms part of the commune's southern border.

Geology

Roussillon is famous for the rich deposits of ochre pigments found in the clay near the village. The large quarries of Roussillon were mined from the end of the eighteenth century until 1930. Thousands of people found work in the quarries and factories. Nowadays the mining of ochre is prohibited here, in order to protect the sites from degradation or even complete destruction.

Mining ochre

Because during the 18th century the demand rose for pigments to be used in the textile industry, the mining of ochres in Roussillon intensified. Numerous quarries and ochre factories, some of which can still be seen today, were situated near the village. An example of an ochre factory, named Mathieu,...
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