Manosque town guide
Visitors by hire car travelling to or from the south on the Auotoroute 51 will find this fair sized town signposted from the section of this road that follows the valley of the River Durance. The area featured in the "Year in Provence" series of books, the Luberon, is to the west.
This is quite a large walled town and visitors will have to look for the more interesting buildings amongst the more modern and less inspiring ones. There are clues to the old town in some of the ancient doorways and portals that remain. There are two very old gates at the North and south entries, the one at the south is particularly interesting; the Porte de Sauniere was used until the end of the eighteenth century to collect the notorious salt tax from those entering and leaving the city.
If possible, visitors by hire car should arrange to visit Monasque on a Saturday morning when the streets are packed with market stalls and shoppers. Different parts of the town are given over to food, clothing, etc.
There are excellent second hand book stalls in Monasque due to the influence of the town's favourite author, Jean Giono. This writer is relatively modern, he died in 1970, and set his novels in the area. If you are spending some time here try reading Coline published in 1929, this will give a strong flavour of life in Provence in the early twentieth century.