La Madelène’s History


La Madelène was originally a Benedictine priory dating from the late 12th century. The monks – the Saint-Benoit de Capella – arrived here from Lyons and stayed until the 15th century.

Built on a mound formed from sandstone (in French “saffre”, reflecting its pleasing saffron colored hue) the priory commanded views of the surrounding vineyards, the medieval hill top village of Crestet and the giant of Provence, Mt. Ventoux. The arched chapel, which now serves as a dining room, is the dominant relic of that era. In more recent times the property has served as a farm, was the birthplace of the current mayor of Malaucène, and was for twenty years the home of one of France’s most celebrated novelists Marie Cardinal.

La Madelène Today

La Madelène has undergone a major renovation project, though one sympathetic to the Provencal integrity of the building. You will stay in one of our six double bedrooms each with en suite shower rooms.

Our guests are welcome to relax on our lawn, around the swimming pool, enjoy an apéritif at a number of shaded seating areas in the garden, or enjoy the views from one of our roof terraces. The house occupies a peaceful position surrounded by feilds of fruit trees (cherry, apricot and plum) as well as vines. Entirely secluded by trees including ancient parisol pines and cypress trees, chestnuts, oaks, and olives, the garden of La Madelène closely resembles the “retreat” that attracted its original inhabitants.

In the sunshine the air hums to the sound of the cicada as well as our resident woodpeckers, whilst at nighttime you will find the star-gazing is superb – there is virtually no light pollution. On our north wall we have had peregrine falcons nesting for the last few years.

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