The name Mollans-sur-Ouvèze first appears in the written record in 992 AD. The castle and fortified village of Mollans, was first mentioned in 1122 AD. The village is part of the Baronnies, a range between the Drome and the Haute Alpes.
From Entrechaux, park along the avenue. Wander a few yards and discover the beautiful Dolphin fountain from 1713 and its semicircular covered wash-house, which are all emblematic of Mollans. This large fountain is topped by a dolphin, a reference to the village being a part of the Dauphiné. It all faces the medieval tower that supports the belfry.
Cross the bridge and you’ll come to the medieval part of the village. You will notice, directly on your right side, the Chapel of the Bridge also known as Notre-Dame-de-Compassion (Our Lady of Compassion), remarkable for its cantilever over the Ouvèze.
Continue to meander through the old village and its narrow streets, and you will come to understand the importance of water for Mollans. Follow the marked trail of the fountains. Opposite the covered wash-house, the former Chapel of the Penitents currently serves as an exhibition space. Climb up to the Saint-Marcel church which has furnishings listed as Historic Monument. A worthwhile visit.
The village is crowned by its castle, one of the most imposing fortresses of the Baronnies. Now reduced to a single keep, it dates from the 12th century.. It cannot be visited.
Did Hannibal pass by here in 218 BC, crossing the Alps on his great march to Italy? Archaeological artefacts dating from the 3rd century BC found in the rock shelters of Eyguiers,and a drawing of an elephant in a cavity of the Toulourenc gorges, support the legend of Hannibal crossing the Alps with his elephants.
Every third weekend in July the event “Les Peintres dans la Rue (Painters in the Street)” is held. Over a whole weekend, the village becomes an open-air art gallery, where shutters, walls, doors and facades are adorned with paintings, drawings, and artwork by professional and amateur artists.
All year round, daily.
Through Office de tourisme du Pays de Vaison Ventoux en Provence