Sights & Attractions in Cotignac
The town hall takes pride of place in the Place de la Mairie, opposite this building is a bell tower with its distinctive wrought iron campanile. On Grand Rue just around the corner there are three cariatides high on one of the town houses. These are statues that were built on to houses to act like supporting columns. They date back to the 17th century when they were perceived as a sign of the home-owners great wealth.
The Romanesque church was built back in the 13th century and modified in the 17th century. Behind the church is an open-air theatre, Le Théâtre du Rocher that is used for concerts in the summer and is home to Les Toiles de Sud cultural festival, also in the summer.
Cours Gambetta is the main area for cafes and restaurants, with it's fountains and plane tress offering shade in the summer. This is where you'll find the market held on Tuesday mornings - in summer there is a smaller additional market on Friday mornings. Wash basins can be found at the end of Cours Gambetta and they date back to the 19th century. As in many other Provencal villages, there are fountains aplenty - 17 in total in Cotignac to tick off as you wander the lanes. All the water from the fountains is safe to drink, so no need to buy the bottled stuff here.
The town boasts a wonderful selection of architecture, ranging from the 12th to the 18th centuries. On Place Xavier Marin there is an art gallery Maison Méditerranéenne de l’Estampe, dedicated to print-making and etching. It's closed in January & February.
To the west of Cotignac is the Monastère Saint-Joseph, where, legend has it, a shepherd who was dying of thirst saw a man raise an enormous rock to unveil a natural water spring, thereby saving the shepherds life. A chapel, then a church and convent was built on the site in the 17th century. It was abandoned in 1793 but in 1977, Benedictine monks moved in and restored the building.
Also see: Attractions in Provence, France