A little history of Roussillon medieval city
The quarry | Landreau Patrick / CC-BY-SA
Here we are in the Colorado from Provence! A blue, blue sky, a red, orange, vermilion stone, emerald-green trees... whoa, the place is gorgeous.
We find the first mention of the city and its castle in 987. But the famous ochre was born centuries and centuries ago... the pigment is composed of marine sediments, left here 200 to 100 millions years ago!
This blend of sand, clay and iron oxide interested Jean-Etienne Astier, from Roussillon, during the French Revolution. He wanted to market the ochre powder!
No sooner said than done! Between 1920 and 1950, they exploited intensively the ochre, which was immediately exported.
But the production dropped after the World War I. Compared to, 165 people worked on the quarries in 1885... 14 in 1951!