Un village en Pierre de Fontvieille
Mairie de Fontvieille

Un village en Pierre de Fontvieille

Historic site and monument

Fontvieille possède une architecture relativement singulière et homogène, du fait de l’utilisation de la pierre de taille dans la construction. Le village s’est développé à partir du XV° siècle autour de l’exploitation de carrières de pierre.

Fontvieille has relatively distinctive and homogeneous architecture, due to the use of dressed stone in construction. The village actually grew up in the 15th century around the operation of the stone quarries. The early part of the century saw the construction of the Château Royal de Provence in Tarascon, a huge and lengthy project which launched the quarry industry in Fontvieille. Originally located on the small plateau of Le Castelet, the village moved to the Vieille Font district around this time and thus got its name. Stone extraction provided employment for more than 200 workers at the time; they came and settled here with their families and were at the origin of the large-scale growth of the village. Over the centuries, the village developed the amenities required for its expansion. In 1765, Saint Pierre Church replaced Saint-Jean-du-Grès, which had become too small and in the 19th century, a huge covered wash house was built near the Vieille Font. This flourishing industry prospered until 1914, when almost all the labour force was requisitioned. After the War, the new materials which came onto the market supplanted dressed stone, which was very expensive.
To a certain extent, the current village was shaped by the presence of the quarries. Very simply laid out, the old houses of Fontvieille, most of them quarriers' houses, are cubic and relatively low (one or two storeys). The dressed stone used is generally exposed. The two storeys are sometimes separated by a slightly protruding string course.
Take the time to stroll through the old streets and discover this local architecture.

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