MAZAN a village of 5500 inhabitants is almost in the centre of the Vaucluse area, between, the “Monts de Vaucluse” in the south and the “Mont ventoux” in the North. This territory of 3840 ha is crossed by the “Auzon” river and is situated at 6 Km from Carpentras and 30 Km from Avignon. We are in the “Comtat Venaissin” area.
In 50 before J.C. (Roman period), Mazan was a “Memini” Territory, and the capital was “Carpentocrate”. In the 1st century, some big Gallo-Roman estates appeared. Our region is based on the Roman land register of Orange’s Colonial, founded in 1950. In now-a days we still can see the “centuriation” traces (Approximately 50 ha) in the country between the path. Two Romans path: The “Mercadier” path in the North and the “Banaï” path in the south cover the country before climbing into the Alpes. Some important houses, dated from the Ist to the 5th century, were found in some villages, and were searched in 1936 by 2 archaeologists. Then 66 Christian sarcophaguses were found from the 5th to the 6th century, which surrounded the actual cemetery until the 17th century, like an «acropolis». that shows the importance of the village and the religious life. The name of Mazan was first spelt in 982 “MADAZANUM”, which came from a Roman person called “MATACIUS”.
In 1998 were discovered 3 potters oven in function between 40 before J.C. and 50 after J.C. Then, a “wine amphora” was found in 40 before J.C. which permitted to conclude that the wine of Mazan will be the oldest wine exported at this period.
During the “Barbarous” invasion, the region was depopulated, but in the 7th century, Mazan was included in “Charlemagne” Empire. The country was managed by counts and Bishops; it was also the Province or Arles Kingdom.
In 1125, the region was own by a Count of Toulouse.
In 1248, He gave the “Co-Seigniorial” of Mazan to his Chancellor Pons Astoaud during 20 years. After being put out of the Church, having supported the “Catharses”, the actual count of Toulouse, Raymond VII, gave the “Comtat” which became a «Pope» land in 1274.
The Astoaud family kept it until the 15th century.
During the 14th century, an other family, the “Retronchin”, had the Co-Seigniorial of Mazan for one century.
Then during 2 years, Cardinal Della Rovère, rebought it. He became 10 years later, in 1505, Pope Jules II, the Arts Protector.
In 1498, an other family inherits of the Co-Seigniorial and kept it with the “Astoaud” and the “Causans” family until the revolution.
From the 16th century, Mazan was several times besieged and looted by the Protestants from the Baron of Adrets and Lord of Montbrun.
During 200 years, to the XVII and XVIII century, Mazan was in peace, it was a rich village, but the plagues, the famine, and bad harvests made the population angry.
It is around the year 1725 that started the famous “Càrri de Mazan” (Càrri = Car): Day of claims accorded to the people by the 2 Co-Seigneurs every 20 years. The last Càrri celebration was in 2000.
Before the revolution, the agriculture of Mazan was essentially based on cereals, cherries; olives, garance, hemp and vines.
The revolution of 1789 did not spare Mazan: Noblemen emigrated, the people were tyrannised. The village will have several Republican Municipality, Revolutionary, Papist, and Royalist. Churches were closed, sold, desecrated, Priest were purchased and said the mass secretly.
In 1801, Napoleon restored the religion, Mazan’s inhabitants, very practising, and pounce on the forbidden sacrament. They are now in good spirit, the farming was developed under the second Empire, inspite of the decline of the sericulture, the competition of the chemical colours in front of the garance. In 1880 the phylloxera destroyed the wines. Some wine growers replanted vines and it become a good investment. The wealth of Mazan restarts, inspite of the 1st and 2nd world war.
In 1950 the village is repopulated and in 2000, more than 5500 inhabitants live in Mazan.
Mazan is twined with Moudon (Switzerland).
A lot of monuments and the museum recall the entire rich story Of Mazan.
A few years ago Mazan, like Carpentras, received the label “Country of art and history”.
Mazan had some celebrities:
Jacques Bernus (1705-1778), sculptor
Alexis Peyrotte (1699-1769), painter
Jacques, François, Paul de Sade (1705-1778), Priest of Sade, Poet
Donation Alfonse François “Marquis de Sade” (1740-1814)
Mazan has the biggest quarry of “gyps”, open air, in Europe.
The prettiest thing about Mazan is for sure is vines and his “crus” of “Côtes du Rhône” that can be appreciated in the 9 different cellars.
It is a country where it is good to live under the sun and where people are friendly.