The first written notion of the town dates back to 1024! But people settled in these places much earlier, as the data of archeologists’ excavations testify. (They found here stone megalithic shrines dating back to 6000 B.C., and objects of the bronze age dating back to 3000 B.C., and even the remains of Neanderthal men who lived here about 70 thousand years ago).
In the 11th century the community of ‘Knights of Tourrettes-sur-Loup’ made a steady lodgment in this place. It was at that time that a castle of their chieftain Insarou Palyole was erected at the top of the hill. Nearby his faithful vassals settled in modest stone houses. (And up to this day Tourrettes-sur-Loup remained practically the same, in the unchanged shape. Not accidentally the town was called ‘… the remains of crushed Middle Ages’, according to a well-known writer Steven Steven Lehár).
Nowadays this small town became a ’safe haven’ and a kind of Mecca for those, who need creative mood and quiet, leisure and pleasant walks…
Hard-working people of Tourrettes-sur-Loup patiently grow on the rocky soils oranges and lavender, vegetables and grapes, breed goats (to make tasty cheese of their milk). So, one can always get an excellent dinner in local cozy restaurants!
Besides, in the present-day Tourrettes-sur-Loup you’ll find tiny jewelry and craftsmen’s shops and art-galleries! (More than 30 art shops, studios and galleries can be found in the main street - Grand Rue).
Many talented famous people favour Tourrettes-sur-Loup: here, away from the noise and bustle of other towns, they get inspiration for their creative work. Suffice it to name Claude Lelouch, Alfred Hitchcock, Marta Keller, Guy Bedos and Marcel Carné. Many of them even settled here, like the English painter Martin Rees-Jones, and also his Swiss colleagues Lilly and Robert Cobbler.
It is easy to understand these people. One can find enough to look at here – it will just suffice to mention a fascinating view of the river Loup valley, which one can enjoy from the mountain!
Having come here, be sure to walk about the town on foot and visit Clock Square to have a look at the recently restored castle, crowned with a donjon tower built before the French Revolution period by the Villeneuve family). At present the castle houses an exhibition hall; here is also the place of the town magistrate. Don’t miss Saint-Grégoire Church in Liberation Square (with the priceless works of the 15th-century artist Bry and Ralph Soupault’s frescos inside).
And if you visit this small town in March, you will watch a real spear running: knights fighting to honour fair ladies! The tournament is held here annually, during the Violet Festival. The holiday is crowned with a parade of ancient carriages, which look like real flower-beds, - because of their rich decoration with wonderful delicate flowers!