Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Provence titbits

During her gastronomic travels in Provence which she writes about in CNTraveler, Patrica Storace sprinkles the article with interesting historical titbits:
"As always, Paradise has its snakes. Provence is filled with the evidence of both settled and unfinished quarrels: the feudal family struggles that continued even after the region was incorporated into the French kingdom in 1481; the wars of religion between Protestants and Catholics; the mortal battles between the French throne and the Knights Templar, the Christian military order whose wealth the French king coveted; the disputes between monarchists and republicans during the Revolution; the hydra-headed conflicts of the Second World War; and the ongoing spats between village and village, vineyard and vineyard, neighbor and neighbor, over water."
"The exquisite illusion of peace along this route [the road to Cabrières d'Aigues] is in conflict with the remains of the plague wall to the north of the village, a wishful safeguard against the eighteenth-century epidemic that terrorized the countryside. It is also at odds with the brutal history outlined at Cabrières's Protestant church. For centuries, the Provençal mountains have been a refuge for resisters and dissidents of various kinds, and the sweet valleys have seen atrocities perpetrated on the pre-Protestant Vaudois sect, Catholics, royalists, republicans, Protestants, Jews, and anti-Fascists."

Haven't been to Provence - yet.

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