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Tour: Discover Vaucluse’s Jewish heritage
Leisure, Tourist routes in Avignon
Warning: Unsecured hours
From Cavaillon to Carpentras, via Pernes les Fontaines and L’Isle sur la Sorgue, discover the "carrières" (streets) where the Jewish population resided, the synagogues, mikvehs (Jewish baths), cemeteries and museums.
Banished from the kingdom of France during the Middle Ages, Jewish communities sought refuge in the Comtat Venaissin – the part of Provence that became Vaucluse after the Revolution, but up until then had been property of the Popes. It was in this region that the Jewish communities were best protected before France was reunified, as they benefitted from the presence of the popes in Avignon who granted them freedom of religion and right of residence.
Step 1 – Cavaillon Synagogue & Jewish...Banished from the kingdom of France during the Middle Ages, Jewish communities sought refuge in the Comtat Venaissin – the part of Provence that became Vaucluse after the Revolution, but up until then had been property of the Popes. It was in this region that the Jewish communities were best protected before France was reunified, as they benefitted from the presence of the popes in Avignon who granted them freedom of religion and right of residence.
Step 1 – Cavaillon Synagogue & Jewish Comtadin Museum
Avignon to Cavaillon (N7 then D973 – 27 km – 40 mins)
Masterpiece of 18th-century Comtadin art, this old synagogue, now a museum, is one of the most spectacular Jewish prayer houses known. Its current version was constructed in the 18th century in the heart of Cavaillon’s former Jewish quarters, whose streets were known as "carrières". It continues to impress its visitors with its incredible combination of Jewish traditions and Provençal Baroque architecture.
Guided tours with the Luberon Cœur de Provence Tourist Office
Timetable and prices: https://www.luberoncoeurdeprovence.com/decouvrir/sites-culturels/synagogue-de-cavaillon
Contact details: email@example.com +33(0)4 90 71 63 65
Step 2 – L’Isle sur la Sorgue Jewish district
Cavaillon to l’Isle sur la Sorgue (D938 – 10 km – 15 mins)
Today, there are few remains from the time of the Pope’s Jews in L’Isle sur la Sorgue. But while strolling through the little Venice of Vaucluse, you can appreciate the beauty of the old Jewish district.
Explore independently or go on a guided tour with the Pays des Sorgues & Monts de Vaucluse Tourist Office
Step 3 –Mikveh in Pernes les Fontaines
L’Isle sur la Sorgue to Pernes les Fontaines (D938 – 12 km – 16 mins)
Located in the magnificent Hôtel de Cheylus, this bath is unique – in the heart of a private property, it is not linked to a synagogue. Go back in time to discover the Jewish community that would have built this bath around 1504.
Guided tours with Pernes les Fontaines Tourist Office
Step 4 – Carpentras synagogue and cemetery
Pernes les Fontaines to Carpentras (D938 – 7 km – 15 mins)
Carpentras Synagogue, a classified Historical Monument, is the oldest synagogue in France that is still being used today. Built in 1367 and extended in the 18th century, excavations have uncovered elements dating from the Roman and medieval periods.
The Israelite cemetery is also listed as a Historical Monument. Dating from the 14th century, it is one of the oldest cemeteries in France still in use. More than 900 burials are counted there.
Synagogue: Tours at fixed times from Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays and Jewish holidays
Israelite Cemetery: Guided tour with Carpentras – Ventoux-Provence Tourist Office
Step 5 – return to Avignon and visit the synagogue
Carpentras to Avignon (D942 then D925 – 26 km – 30 mins)
This religious building was rebuilt after a fire in 1846 and bears witness to the centuries-old presence of the Jews in Avignon. The former Jewish quarter was located at the top of the current Quartier de la Balance, opposite the Popes’ Palace, until the Bishop of Avignon ordered it to be moved to its current location in 1221, and the "carrière" was established along the current rue Jacob, just opposite.
2, place Jérusalem
04 90 85 21 24 – 06 09 53 72 91
. Religious office: contact the rabbi M. Sfadj Jonathan at +336 18 85 67 13 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
. Visit of the synagogue: the synagogue is open to tourists and groups from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., excluding religious holidays.
Outside these hours, possibility of visit by appointment by calling the +336 09 53 72 91 or contact email@example.com
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- All year
Monday12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday12:00 AM - 11:59 PM