Visiting Montjustin

Visiting Montjustin


Montjustin in winter

Each year in January, as part of my teaching duties at IAP, I travel with the students to the Observatoire de Haut-Provence (OHP). That is perhaps for another post. In 2016, I discovered that a certain famous photographer is buried in Montjustin, which is just a few minutes drive from OHP, so on this years’ trip I decided to make a visit.

Monjustin

Montjustin is a tiny hilltop village just off the main road between Forcalquier and Apt. Driving up the road I missed the turn-off, and had to double-back. You drive up a tiny narrow road, where there just enough space for one car. There are a few ancient houses crowded on the top of the hill. When I was there, the village was in the clutches of winter, the water was frozen in the wells and the trees were bare of leaves. I looked for the cemetery, but I could not find it, and finished giving up and going into the cafe in the town hall on the top of the hill. I said to the friendly person I found there, “So, I am going to ask the question that everyone who visits here asks”, and she replied “go ahead and ask it”!. So I did. The cemetery was just on the bottom of the hill, surrounded by tall cypresses. A beautiful location. Inside, a few plain stone graves. For one of them, I felt that I could only pictures using my 50mm lens, photographers will understand.

 

I returned later in the week, in sunshine, with a colleague, and we had a coffee on in the converted town-hall. There was some wonderful winter sunshine, too. Certainly I will return next year…

4 thoughts on “Visiting Montjustin

  1. What a beautiful story. The picture of his last place of rest is so peaceful. No I know what’s on my list for the next trip to France.Thank you!

    1. Thanks! It is a very beautiful part of Provence. You could just about get there on the way from Aix to the gorges du verdon, it might be worth detour…

  2. I’ve been enjoying your site, which I think I found through Leicaphilia. This post reminds me of a recent micro adventure I had — I was up in Pantin, just north of Paris, and I saw on the map that there was a short “rue Cartier Bresson” nearby. I decided to pay my respects. It turned out that this was a totally different, much less luminary CB — some local administrator or businessman, I can’t remember. Anyway, I’ll have to make it to Montjustin one day.

    1. Thanks! That’s interesting … I wonder if it could have been Cartier-Bresson’s family? His father was a wealthy industrialist and owned factories near Paris. In fact, a quick search reveals this article in ‘Le Parisien’ – so it was Cartier-Bresson’s family indeed! Thanks for the kind words for the blog, I am now motivated to keep posting 🙂

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