One of the well kept secrets of France. Rochecolombe. A picturesque medieval village on the north, east and west sides protected by steep slopes, and on the south, making up for the lack of natural defence has a deep moat. The silence is broken only by the sound of a stream. It seems as if the time here has stopped but that is a false impression.
The village is lived in. New windows are like welcoming eyes watching us from medieval stone walls. Well cared for houses, neat pile of wood in the courtyard and that is it. We haven't met a soul during our stroll. And heard no sound, save the spring's gurgle and birds' chirping. No signs of life. No people, no children, not even a dog or a cat. Where are the inhabitants?
Before going up, we walked to the waterfall on the right bank of the spring. In the days past here was the so-called community mill belonging to the feudal segnor, for whom his serfs, in addition to other duties, were obliged to mill the grain. This mill in mentioned in the documents dating back to the XIII century. Later, other more modern mills were built. This millstone is dated XVII-XVIII.
This is the view of the village from below. One can distinctly see the belfry and the ruins of the ancient fortification on the top of the cliff.
Ruins of the old walls, scattered stones, tunnels and passages, carved into rock. A couple of restored houses and that is all (in regard specifically to the old part around the fortification)
On the streets of Rochecolombe
Revolutionaries live here
de Vogüé boasting a thousand year history amongst whose possession was also Rochecolombe.
Impregnable castle of Rochecolombe served as safe refuge during the neighbors' raids. Later, when war ceased to be a constant threat, the family moved to the spacious chateau Vogue contructed in the end of the XVI century by Melchior de Vogüé not far from Rochecolombe .
The beauty of the view was admired in June of 1786 by the seventeen old Napoléon Bonaparte, then at the beginning of his career. He was exalted by the trip and uttered these prophetic words: "I shall enjoy this ascent. I would like to rise above the horizon".