History of Aiguèze
Nowadays visitors experience Aiguèze as a peaceful, friendly village with its 200 inhabitants. So it is hard to imagine it’s violent war-torn past. In its splendour days, the population counted some 1000 inhabitants and 500 men at arms. During the 100 year war, around 1382, the population was reduced to only 9 living souls! All the houses were razed to the first floor, which explains the uniqueness of medieval ground floors with renaissance upper fronts.
Charles Martel founded around 732 the first stones of a fortress, after the battle of Poitiers, on the heights of a basin of rich water, «Aigo» in the Occitan language, where the village gets the name from.
The Sarrasine tower is one of the oldest monuments in Aiguèze, built to defend the frequent attacks from the arabo-berber tribes, « the Sarrasins », since the XI century.
In the '60s, the young family of the Ventajols had the great idea to reopen the vaults of the Sarrasine, which served in ancient times as a stable for noble’s horses. «L’Auberge Sarrasine», the restaurant which the family set up had a high reputation and was recommended all the way to Lyon!
Well, today Family Scheer breathes new life into the old stones.