Le Rouret, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France

Le Rouret is a French commune located in the department of Alpes-Maritimes in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Le Rouret is an example of a typical Provençal village undergoing modern development: evidence of its agricultural present and past remains clear despite increased tourism, cultural activities and housing developments.

Le Rouret is a village located in the Alpes-Maritimes (06), halfway between the two agglomerations of Cannes (26 km ) and Nice (28 km ). Grasse is about ten kilometers away.Parts of Le Rouret sit on a south-facing elevation, providing a view to the Mediterranean Sea ranging from Monaco to Saint-Tropez.

Created in 1793, the commune of Rouret is made up of several hamlets, spread out in districts within a rich Mediterranean vegetation. In the center of the village, buildings with a typical Provençal character join forces with the Town Hall and the Place des Plane Trees to create a happy atmosphere imbued with authenticity. The parish church of Saint Pons, with groin vaults painted with starry frescoes, is positioned as the unifying signal with its square which sees all the festive village events pass throughout the year, which reinforce the identity of the village. and strengthen the feeling of belonging to the municipality.

The commune is largely residential, but a number of shops and a local tourist information office can be found in the centre of the village. The surrounding areas are interspersed with flower farms, used by the perfume distilleries of Grasse.

The commune of Rouret was officially created in 1793 but its history began long before and would date from 2000 BC. Towards the end of the Bronze Age, the men came together in communities and built “oppida” on the hills, often called Camps. In Le Rouret, at an altitude of 480 m, the place called “Camp Romain” overlooking the Loup valley, is a remarkable place classified as an archaeological site.

Inside a walled enclosure made of Cyclopean stone blocks, fragments of Massaliète amphorae and pottery from different eras have been discovered, which show that the site was occupied from the Iron Age to the end of the Roman period. On a similar site, the Castellaras, a monolith, now blown down, suggests a presence from the Neolithic or the Bronze Age, but no other trace of occupation from this period has been found on the site.. Only furniture from the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD (Antonine and Severan centuries) as well as from late Antiquity has been discovered.

With the Romans, the logics of establishment have evolved Maison du Terroir in Rouret and the presence of dwellings lower on the slopes, was attested by the discovery of burials at the level of the Saint Pons and Colombier districts. From the 5th century, some villas like that of Castellaras, were fortified and concentrated the population.

In the 11th century, Rainouard, lord of the place, had a castle built at the top of the Bois but it was destroyed in 1229 by the army of the Count of Provence, who had a bastide built in the north of the territory on the site of the current castle. The crises of the fourteenth century, plagues, wars, famines, lead to the disappearance of the community and in 1400, the territory is considered uninhabited. It will then repopulate with difficulty. The last lord of the place, Joseph Louis Geoffroy du Rouret, who distinguished himself during the United States War of Independence, emigrated during the Revolution and his seigneury officially became the commune of Rouret.

In 1830, the territory grew considerably with the attachment of the hamlet of Bergier previously belonging to the town of Châteauneuf. During the second half of the 19th century, the population, mainly made up of farmers, fell again and it would be necessary to wait for the improvement of the water supply to see a demographic increase. At that time, the habitat still scattered between the different hamlets, began to refocus towards the south, in the part of the old Bergier, which has today become the real heart of the town.

In the 1900s, the Rouret had around 600 inhabitants, most of whom worked the land. We cultivate wheat, vines, olive trees, lavandin, and then perfume plants such as jasmine and rose. Communal wood is rented for crops or grazing. Soon the hamlets of Saint Pons, Collet and Bergier will be served by the Cagnes-Grasse tram line and little by little, depending on the development of the regional economy, the population will turn away from the primary sector in favor of the tertiary sector, abandoning thus cultures to work on the coast and the large neighboring cities.

During the Great War of 1914-1918, many young people from the town were recruited into the army. In Grasse, the hotels were transformed into military hospitals for soldiers wounded at the front. After the war, the Roaring Twenties were accompanied by the birth of popular festivals such as St Pons and St Pierre. Le Rouret benefits from the tourist and economic impetus; beautiful villas appear on the hillside, children are more numerous in schools.

In May 1928, the tram stopped its activity for lack of travelers. The rails are abandoned, but the automobile develops.

In 1939 the Second World War struck France; at the end of this period, the number of inhabitants fell again to less than 550. Work in the fields then resumed their course (jasmine cultivation, harvest, figs, perfume flowers, olives, etc.)

In 1954, the Algerian war again mobilized the young people called up. A main road must soon be built to join the town to Grasse. The company was slowed down in 1956 because of a harsh winter where it snows for 15 days, making the work impossible. A new dynamism is emerging and taking hold without however forgetting the roots of the village, which remain sources of inspiration for preparing for the future and maintaining the quality of life. At the dawn of the Fifth Republic, the baby boom is rejuvenating the country. The main road is finished but marks a crack in the unity of the old village. Little by little, the inhabitants are abandoning the work of the land to go to work in town, in factories, in the office or on construction sites. It is modernity.

The restanques are abandoned, but the desire to preserve the tradition and the terroir remains very present. The town is being built and welcomes many new homes. The quality of life attracts families; in 1968 the Rouret had 1,208 inhabitants. The “Bouis” perfume factory runs the village economy.

In 2000, 3,460 inhabitants now live in the village. A village heart project was born in order to create in particular a beautiful shopping area, while preserving the calm and Provençal architecture. At the time of the last census, the town had more than 4,100 inhabitants. New facilities have emerged, such as the Maison du Terroir, the multi-sports platform and the Associative and Cultural Space. The “heart of the village” project is gradually being implemented.

Because life requires space, with the arrival of new populations, the town is developing through new neighborhoods, for example the residential complex “Les Pierres de Provence”, which offers itself to the eye as an example of architectural integration. In this logic of a living and prosperous village, an associative and cultural space, located in the village center, welcomes associations and a performance hall which provides opportunities for outings throughout the year, conducive to meeting and mixing generations together..

To complete this lively atmosphere, the schools 500 pupils, who brighten up the village center with their laughter and their children’s games, are educated in primary and kindergarten. Every day the school canteen serves them meals from organic farming. Later, after elementary school, it is the college “Le Pré des Roures” which welcomes our young people. This magnificent ship, with its soft but daring architecture, remains a place of success for the quality of the teaching. To complete this welcoming range, many shops, services, restaurants, guest rooms and cottages are available to all.

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At the heart of the village there is also the Maison du Terroir, with an agricultural cooperative “The market of our hills, which offers you authentic local products that delight consumers, all combined with a local restaurant, a central hall, and exhibition halls.

20 minutes from the sea and 10 minutes from Grasse, Le Rouret welcomes you in the heart of the beautiful Provencal country. The town set on hills preserved from massive urbanization, enjoys a privileged location in the heart of nature. Olive trees, cypresses and oaks dot the landscape. The old dry stone terraces which bear witness to the town’s agricultural past, highlight the curves of the hillsides. The peaceful village offers to the eyes of lovers of authenticity, its wash houses, its fountains, its old buildings, its typical church and its magnificent Provencal square covered with hundred-year-old plane trees.

On the occasion of the many festivals which punctuate the seasons, the village and the plane trees of its place are dressed in joy, thus allowing to immerse yourself in its authentic, friendly and convivial atmospheres. With its notoriety as a “departmental cradle of truffles” and its “agritouristic” image, Le Rouret is delighted with this mysterious mushroom with such a delicate aroma, which many call “the black diamond”, and animates and organizes festive moments of flavor in this terroir.

With its old stones in the village center and ancient hamlets, and beyond its architectural heritage, the town remains very attached to its olive trees, and all the shrub vegetation that characterizes it as a village in Provence. Thus, while strolling around the bend of the village paths, one can discover magnificent olive groves, old washhouses, and, secretly hidden at the foot of the hills, streams with names evocative of truant…

Higher up on the slopes, a remarkable site, fully owned by the municipality: the Bois Communal, a fine example of a natural area planted with trees, where it is good to come and relax, take a walk, and for more sporty people enjoy the fitness and health course. This space, a real window open to the horizon, hosts at its summit an archaeological site which dominates the village and offers a remarkable view of the Mediterranean Sea and the French Alps.

Le Rouret, a Provençal village with a harmonious and peaceful character, likes to welcome, as evidenced by the benevolent and endearing personality of the Rourétanes and the Rourétans, all proud to be from Rouret and to carry in their heart the emblem of their village, the oak, and its motto “semper robur” (always strong).

Historical heritage
A sloping Roman road passing at the edge of a forest and plains (known as “Camp Romain”), with the ruins of a stone building on the edge (currently under renovation in 2006). Accessible by Chemin du Castellet. The Château du Rouret is classified and listed as a historical monument

The Parish Church of Saint Pons
The building located in the heart of the village was originally the chapel of the parish of Châteauneuf. It will become the church of Rouret when the territory of Bergier is attached to the Municipality in 1830. The inhabitants have a bell tower erected there in 1852. The building, with a single nave and a flat apse, is simple and typical of the time. Paintings, statues and of course a stained glass window of Saint Pons, adorn the church.

The Village Center
Its old Provencal buildings, its squares, its fountains and its wash-houses, are the witnesses of the history of the village. Strolling through the alleys and paths of Rouret, discover these enchanting places imbued with serenity. A heritage full of emotions.

Cultural heritage

La Maison du Terroir
La Maison du Terroir opened its doors in 2013 under the impetus of the Municipality and the cooperative of local producers, with the aim of promoting local agriculture and the Provençal tradition. A place for meetings, conviviality and the transmission of know-how, it promotes the land, sustainable development and environmental protection.

The Market of our Hills
Its Provencal market, animated in turn by producers, allows you to buy fresh products for direct sale: seasonal vegetables and fruits, meat, organic fish, olive oil, cheese, wine, honey… all from local agriculture and which will make you rediscover the taste and scents of real products.

The Bistro of Clos
The warm atmosphere of Bistro du Clos will welcome you to savor dishes with Mediterranean flavors, made from local products. A stone’s throw from the center, in this space to discover for your meals with friends or family, you can enjoy the sunny terrace of the Bistro.

Professional Space
On the first floor of the Maison du Terroir, the Frédéric Mistral room can be rented for seminars, work meetings or conferences. Particularly equipped with a video projector and a large screen, it can accommodate up to 60 people.

Natural heritage

The Old Bergerie
Built in 1854, when the plots of land were leased to farmers. The latter maintained the land and cultivated wheat, rye, meslin, vetches, peas and other dried vegetables. Gradually, the herders took over from the farmers and they built this stone shelter on the hill. Abandoned for many years, the sheepfold has recently been the subject of a beautiful restoration which allows it to be found as it was of yesteryear.

The Roman Camp and the Communal Wood
On the heights of Rouret, take the time to recharge your batteries in the communal wood. Very beautiful preserved natural space, it offers walkers a gentle stroll among almond trees, olive trees and truffle oaks. In absolute calm, nature reveals its secrets to those who take the time to observe it and soak up its scents and colors. At the top of the hill, like a gift offered after the effort, walkers can admire the breathtaking view of the big blue…

The Grotte Beaume Robert
Among the hidden treasures of Rouret, caving enthusiasts will be surprised to discover an exceptional underground site: the Beaume Robert cave, whose underground surface reaches 4 km2 on 3 levels. Christian Verduci, passionate caver, discoverer and explorer of the Beaume Robert cave,

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