and its Castrum

Rougiers is a charming little village surrounded by vineyards and crops in a wonderful natural setting. It is very attached to its rural character. The main square is welcoming and the fountain offers an opportunity cool off. You have to climb the hill to reach the castrum. The remains of a chateau and a fortified village, erected in the 12th century, are now the goal for a walk because the magnificent view stretches from Sainte Victoire to the Bessillons.


In the 11th century, a first castrum was built on the Rougiers hill by the viscounts of Marseille. Joint lords of the estate, they ceded part of it to the Abbey of Saint-Victor in Marseille. In 1166, the Signes lords became its sole masters. Towards the end of the 13th century, there was a general movement of the population down to the plain. However, a glass-making activity remained there. After the plague epidemic hit in 1348, only 13 “tax fires” (households) were left in the medieval village. In 1496, during the Wars of Religion, the lord of Rougiers, allied with the lord of Chastreuil, was defeated by the lord of Carcès who forced him to fill in his towers: it was the final abandonment of the chateau and the village that depended on it. The deserted castrum gradually fell into ruins.

Excavations carried out between 1961 and 1968 brought to light the chateau, its farmyard and the feudal village: the buildings were consolidated and rehabilitated from the 1980s. A large number of objects were discovered: iron, bronze, glass, bone, currency and pottery fragments. They are witness to the villagers’ occupations. At the time the farmers cultivated cereals, vines, olive trees and raised sheep, goats, some pigs and poultry. Since 1860, a chapel dedicated to Saint John the Baptist has occupied the part of the old farmyard that dominates the village.


Rougiers chickpeas are highly prized by connoisseurs. Their superb flavour come from being grown on the very light volcanic soil on the outskirts of the village. It has place of honour during the festival on the 2nd weekend in September: a fraternity parade and induction of new members, top-quality exhibitors, gastronomic meals, games and a chickpea soufflé competition are on the menu during this extraordinary day.