Forcalquier is in eastern Provence, to the north of the larger town of Manosque. We visited on market day, which is a busy and bustling time for what must otherwise be a sleepy town.
Forcalquier’s heyday was back in the 12th century, when its counts held sway over all of Provence, when the entire region was ruled by the ruins of the citadel now at the town’s high point. There was even a local currency minted in the town.
One of those daughters, Eleanor, married Henry III of England. You can see this event commemorated on a modern plaque on the fountain of Place Bourguet.
The medieval city is fun to wander, and it was especially colorful on market day. The main cathedral, Notre-Dame, stands on the main Place Forcalquier. Its imposing, defensive exterior dominates the square and it has an impressive Romanesque nave.
We loved wandering the twisting streets with their marketplace stalls and then climbing up the steep slopes leading up to what remains of the citadel.
The ruins are a great place to observe the wooded hillside and the gentle countryside rolling out beyond the town.
The “chaos” of the marketplace didn’t exhaust us quite as much as the sign posted here to the right led us to believe, but it’s true we live amongst the daily chaos of Rome, so I suppose it’s all relative.
Plus, to be honest, nothing seems all that taxing when one is on holiday. Even less so when on holiday in Provence…
We were very pleased to explore pretty, medieval Forcalquier during its bustling market day.