Tourrettes-sur-Loup is one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in the region
Tourrettes-sur-Loup clings to the cliffs between two deep gorges and is located in a stunning landscape, a well-appointed resort for both cultural and active unfolding.
The City of Violets
Tourrettes-sur-Loup goes by the name of “City of Violets” and it is certainly not a coincidence. What the May rose and jasmine are for Grasse, it is the violet for Tourrettes-sur-Loup.
This flower has been grown for centuries and it is still one of the main activities in the city. The violet is celebrated every year in early March during a large-scale flower festival, which marks the end of the harvest. There is also a special museum for the violet, La Bastide aux Violettes, which provides an excellent insight into both the history and the production of these fine delicate fragrant flowers.
The history of Tourrettes-sur-Loup
Like many of the cities in the region, their history goes far back in time, so does Tourrettes-Sur-Loup. We have to go all the way back to the year 900 BC. when Celtic Ligurians settled in the area.
Later around the year 262 BC the Romans arrived and they were there until the year 476 BC. The name of the city dates from this period. The Romans regarded the place as a kind of lookout post, “turres altea” and thus the city got its name.
After the Romans came the Saracens, who were expelled in the year 972.
In 1387 the town was handed over to Guichard Villeneuve, who kept it in the family until the French Revolution in 1789.
In the time leading up to the Revolution, the town was named Tourettes-lès-Vence and in 1894 the town was renamed Tourettes-Sur-Loup, partly to avoid confusion with the town of Tourettes-Levens and partly to indicate the city’s outer border to the Loup river.
The city behind the walls
Tourrettes-sur-Loup was a fortified town in the Middle Ages. There are still three vaulted passages, which lead under the houses and into the old town center. The old town is best described as one charming jumble. Nothing is the same, everything is different and there is no straight line anywhere in the city.
Grand Rue – the heart of the city
Surrounding the heart of the old town is the horseshoe-shaped Grand Rue, which is packed with art galleries and craft shops. There are a lot of artists living in the city, who here find the peace and inspiration they need.
In the center of the village is Château des Villeneuves from the 15th century, which today serves as a town hall, and which also houses various exhibitions throughout the year. The building also includes a watchtower with 11th-century roots and a small patio with a fountain.
TIP: You should park your car outside the city at the Madeleine / Ecole car park, as it can be quite impossible to find space inside the city during summer.
By Tommy Sverre – 2022
Gallery of Tourrettes-sur-Loup: