Gordes


Gordes is a commune in the Vaucluse département in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. The residents are known as Gordiens. The nearest big city is Avignon; smaller cities nearby include Cavaillon, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Apt.

Topography

Located between two geographic area, Gordes is one of the biggest communes of the area with 4,804 hectares. The north is defined by the southern edge of the Vaucluse Mountains. The highest point of the commune (635 meters) is in this area, next to la Pouraque and les Trois Termes.

The south of the commune is made by the Calavon valley, also called the Luberon Valley, and a few hills in the area. The lowest height of the commune, at 111 meters, is in the south in the area called plan de l’Alba.

The village itself is located in the center of the commune, on a giant calcareous rock from the Vaucluse Mountains, dominating the valley.

Geology

With a wide variation of the land, geology of the commune is divided into several distinct zones.

In the north, on the Vaucluse Mountains, are soils dating mainly from Upper Jurassic with urgonian limestone and calcareous clay. There are also, in very low amounts and primarily localized over the Senanque Abbey, soils dating from the Eocene / Oligocene, composed of limestone, sand, and clay.

Geology in the south of the village is more complex. The plain in Gordes (southeast) is composed of soil dating from the Quaternary (fluvial deposits, colluvium and scree) and soils of the Late Jurassic period (calcareous clay and blue marl). The hills area of “les garrigues” (in the south) is composed of soil dating from the Cretaceous – Paleocene period (calcareous sandstone, calcareous lacustrine clay, colorful, white and ocher sands and some ferruginous) and from the Miocene period (molasses limestone, sand and marl). Finally, the soil of the territory down to the plain of Calavon with some slightly higher ground dating from the Miocene and one lower from the Quaternary.