The Saint Martin Wall

27 Jul 2024 au 9 Aug 2024

Place : Pernes les Fontaines (Vaucluse)

Participants: Adults

Workcamp description:

The commune of Pernes les Fontaines has been restoring its rich and important architectural heritage for many years. For the third year running, the ancient capital of the Comtat Venaissin has entrusted us with the restoration of a 14-metre section of the dry-stone retaining wall at the south-western entrance to the town. You'll learn all about the ancestral technique of dry stone, which consists in building a stone wall without mortar, and its many architectural applications in the surrounding landscape and villages: terraces, bories, aiguiers, staircases...

Workcamp programme:

  • Dismantling the existing wall
  • Manual excavation
  • Reconstruction of dry-stone wall

Building technique: Dry stone masonry

Special bonus: The workcamp is located between Mont Ventoux and Luberon, home to some of the most beautiful villages in Provence!

Event during the workcamp: The street arts festival, Font'Arts, brings the historic centre of Pernes les Fontaines to life each year. About thirty companies perform here and there, at the bend in the squares and gardens, wandering through the streets to meet the public.

Accommodation: In tents at the rugby stadium, with access to sanitary facilities and changing rooms. The stadium is a 5 minute drive from the workcamp. You can bring your own tent, cot or mattress.

Workcamp life: You will take care of daily life tasks (preparation of meals, cleaning) in turn.
Building work in the mornings, Mon-Fri. Free time in afternoons and weekends, with a choice of group excursions and activities.

Some ideas for excursions: Visit of the old Pernes, Isle sur la Sorgue, Fontaine de Vaucluse or the Château de Thouzon, hikes in the Espace Naturel Sensible des Gypières, the Dentelles de Montmirail, on the Mont Ventoux, in the Monts de Vaucluse , the Nesque river valley, swimming and canoeing in the Sorgue.

A bit of history:

This small town lies between Mont Ventoux and the Luberon Valley and has managed to keep its traditional appearance of a medieval fortified settlement, with the remains of its stone ramparts, cobblestone streets and shaded squares.

Pernes boasts an impressive abundance of heritage, with more than 22 sites that are either listed or classified as historic monuments. It has 40 public fountains (8 of which are listed) and about double that in private ownership, not to mention 13 chapels, 7 public gardens and 3 museums. The town was the capital of the Comtat Venaissin for two hundred years.

In 1720, Pernes, just like many other town in the area, helped build the “Mur de la Peste” (the Plague wall) to contain the spread of the Black Death.

The town also has a host of awards including  “Ville et Métiers d'Art”(applied arts), “Plus beaux détours de France”(France off the beaten track), “Ville fleurie 3 fleurs”(France in bloom, level 3), Ville et vélo touristique” (cycle-tourism) and APIcité 3 abeilles (bee-friendly, level 3).

Conditions of participation

Participation fee: €150

Registration fees: see the website