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Last Updated: 1 April 2024

Discovering Maubec was a serendipitous moment that unfolded in a supermarket in Coustellet, where a captivating poster of the village caught my eye amidst a quest for hidden gems in the Luberon. 

Intrigued by this picturesque portrayal, I was drawn to uncover the layers of this lesser-known sanctuary.

My journey through Maubec reached its zenith last October, on a day when clouds adorned the Provençal sky, lending a dramatic backdrop to the village's timeless beauty.

Armed with my camera, I ventured through its streets, capturing the essence of Maubec not just through my lens but also through a guided tour film now shared with the world on YouTube. 

This visit wasn't merely a passage through a physical space but a deep dive into the soul of Provence, where every stone, doorway, and shadow tells a story.

Maubec, with its medieval allure and the tranquillity of the Luberon, left an indelible mark on me, embodying the spirit of discovery and the joy of uncovering the stories woven into the fabric of this small yet enchanting village.

Watch this short video on the Luberon!

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Maubec: A Bit of History

The first known mention of the village dates back to the 13th century, more precisely to the 1250s.

Indeed, a document listing the rights and bans of Alphonse of Poitiers mentioned the village Castrum de Malbec for the first time.

Through his wife Jeanne's inheritance, this brother of King Saint Louis became Count of Toulouse and acquired the Marquisate of Provence.

No earlier document mentioning the village has been found, so it's unknown when it was established.

In 1274, three years after Alphonse of Poitiers' death, the Comtat Venaissin was ceded by King Philip III to Pope Gregory X.

Maubec, then part of the papal domain, would henceforth depend on his representative in Avignon, the Vice-Legate.

This political situation lasted until 1791 when the Comtat was integrated into France.

During this time, Maubec was divided among various co-lords who succeeded each other in the region.

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

The old village © French Moments

The development of Coustellet

The road from Cavaillon to Apt passes through the commune north of the old village.

This is the site of the Coustellet district, which did not exist before the 19th century.

There were no houses there, and the area was reserved for agriculture.

However, by the end of the 19th century, constructing the railway line from Cavaillon to Forcalquier via Apt changed everything.

A station was built, followed by houses and businesses sprouting up rapidly.

Today, the train no longer runs, but people from all the surrounding villages come here to shop at the two supermarkets and numerous stores.

Super U Coustellet © French Moments

The local supermarket in Coustellet © French Moments

From abandonment to restoration

The old village was gradually deserted, and it was especially from the mid-19th century that the phenomenon of rural exodus intensified. 

This led to the progressive abandonment of the old village and the creation of factories and houses on the plain. 

The houses were abandoned, and their roofs collapsed in on themselves. 

It was decided to sell them in the early 1960s for restoration. 

Thus, the houses between the Belfry and the old castle are modern.

The houses of the Bourgeois district, on the east side of the Belfry, are more faithful witnesses to the past.

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

The old village of Maubec © French Moments

The Discovery Guide of Maubec

Here's some tourist information to help you explore the Provencal village.

🎦 Check out my guided walk on YouTube to explore Maubec with me:

Understanding the Village

There are several districts in Maubec: the historic village and the modern village in the plains. 

The commune brings together nearly 2,000 residents, most of whom live in the plains. 

To the southwest of the commune, the old village of Maubec sits atop a long hill stretching parallel to the Luberon. 

It's a tiny village, and you'll see that the visit won't take long. 

However, it will still be very interesting. 

Maubec © French Moments

Old doorway © French Moments

Here, you will find a 17th-century church, a beautiful belfry, old houses, and, if you look closely, some remnants of the ancient fortifications.

The old village is divided into two parts by the belfry. 

  • The Rue de l’Église, which we follow, is part of the bourgeois district. 
  • To the west of the belfry lies the lord's domain, complete with the castle. 

St Maurice Church

At the north-east entrance of the old village, the Baroque church of Saint-Maurice dates back to the mid-18th century. 

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

St Maurice church © French Moments

In 1745, the church of the old village had to be closed to worship because lack of maintenance had made it dangerous. 

After fierce discussions, the new church was built and consecrated in 1753.

The church has a nave with buttresses, a three-sided apse, and an octagonal pointed bell tower, which seems a little undersized compared to the rest of the building.

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

The bell tower of the church © French Moments

Its elegant facade of pilasters and flamed pots overlooks a pretty stone-paved square.

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

The façade of the church © French Moments

The Rue de l'Église

To ascend to the old village, you will walk on the picturesque Rue de l’Église

This provides an opportunity to discover charming old houses with blue shutters and old doors beautifully weathered by time. 

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

Rue de l'église © French Moments

Rue de l'église © French Moments

Old doorways in Rue de l'église © French Moments

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

Colourful house in the Rue de l'église © French Moments

Rue de l'église © French Moments

Rue de l'église © French Moments


The Rue de l'Église is continued by L’Allée, which follows the old ramparts.

L'Allée © French Moments

L'Allée © French Moments

The Belfry

The belfry is the symbol of the old village. 

Belfry of Maubec © French Moments

The belfry © French Moments

Constructed in the 18th century, it was an integral part of the old town hall. 

Its bell, referred to as the tocsin in the Middle Ages, would ring the alarm to warn of a severe event, like a fire or an external threat, but also to announce festivities. 

The Belfry of Maubec © French Moments

Maubec belfry © French Moments

Particularly distinctive about this belfry is the statue of the Virgin that tops it, watching over the inhabitants of Maubec. 

Belfry of Maubec © French Moments

Under the Belfry © French Moments

Maubec © French Moments

A quiet corner near the belfry © French Moments

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

Under the belfry © French Moments

Place du 19 Mars 1962

The belfry square (Place du 19 mars 1962) is named in memory of the Algerian War.

Maubec © French Moments

Place du 19 Mars 1962 © French Moments

Maubec © French Moments

Place du 19 Mars 1962 © French Moments

The Castle

To glimpse the southern façade of the castle, descend a few metres down the Rue des Pompes.

Maubec, Provence © French Moments

The castle from Rue des Pompes © French Moments

Despite its name, the castle with its Gothic balcony and Renaissance windows is a recent addition to the village. 

The neo-Renaissance-style castle was built in the 1960s by a lover of this architectural style.

He even added gigantic gargoyles worthy of Notre Dame in Paris

Gargoyles in Maubec © French Moments

The castle's gargoyles © French Moments

La Calade

To reach the bottom of the village, go down via the Rue de la Calade

Calade © French Moments

The Calade © French Moments

This charming, picturesque little street allows us to reach the Chemin du Puits.

Calade © French Moments

Going down the Calade © French Moments

Calade © French Moments

Stairs of the Calade © French Moments

Calade © French Moments

The Calade © French Moments

From there, you can reach the Salle des Fêtes car park while enjoying uninterrupted views of the village when walking along the lavender fields.

Maubec © French Moments

Maubec © French Moments

Find out more

Here are some pages from our blog and other websites to find out more about this Provencal destination.

Where to stay in Maubec

Maubec and surroundings have a high capacity for holiday accommodation. The commune has hotels, bed and breakfasts (covering all price ranges), estate agencies offering seasonal rentals and gîtes.

Click here to book your accommodation in the Luberon or browse the map below:

What to do in the Luberon

Be inspired by a list of things to do in the Luberon:

Pin Maubec on Pinterest

Maubec for Pinterest © French Moments
Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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