Situated in the Luberon National Park area of Provence, the medieval village sits on a hillside overlooking Bonnieux across the valley. Crowning the village at the top of the hill, is the Chateau de Lacoste, one of three former residences of the Marquis de Sade.
By the end of the Second World War the village was pretty much deserted. In 1970, American painter and art professor, Bernard Pfriem recognized what had drawn artists to Lacoste for centuries and established the Lacoste School of Arts, and in doing so started the rejuvenation of Lacoste. The school was ultimately taken over by the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2002. The majority of buildings in Lacoste are now owned by SCAD.
Another sizeable portion of buildings, including the Chateau, are owned by Pierre Cardin. Much of the rebuilding and refurbishing of Lacoste, would not have happened without the interest and significant monetary investment of Cardin.
With only a small number of full time residents, most businesses in Lacoste have not survived. There are two cafes but not much else. For the traveller, that adds to the charm of Lacoste. It is like time has stood still. Many of the surrounding towns bustle with cafes and trendy shops designed to attract tourists. In Lacoste, when the stream of tourists visiting during the day ends, the streets are virtually deserted at night. If you want a place full of nightlife, Lacoste is not for you. But if you want a quiet retreat at the end of a day visiting towns and cities in Provence, you could not find a better spot than Lacoste. Marseilles, Avignon, and Aix-en-Provence are all within an hour and a half drive. Towns like Bonnieux, Lourmarin and Gordes are within a 10 to 30 minute drive.
Rather than babble on endlessly about Lacoste, I will let you view the village through the lens of my camera. This series of shots were taken in my first couple of days in Lacoste. Just click on any photo to open the gallery in an enlarged format.