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France - Moustiers-Ste.-Marie | by Amsterdam Today
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France - Moustiers-Ste.-Marie

It lies at the western entrance to the Gorges du Verdon. The village has been a center of the pottery trade, especially faïence, for centuries.

 

The village clings a hundred or so meters up the side of a limestone cliff. A spring flows out of the cliff, creating a waterfall directly out of the center of town. At twilight, the sun strikes the south-facing cliff, creating a magical diffuse pink light for a few minutes on clear days.

 

Above the town, a gold painted star hangs on a 225m long chain suspended between two cliffs. Its origin according to a legend popularised by Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral lies in the 10th century although the original star and chain have been replaced several times since then. The current star is about 50 years old. It was rehung a month after a fall 10 years ago when the chain snapped, using a helicopter.

 

According to the legend, during the Crusades the knight Bozon de Blacas held prisoner by the Saracens vowed to hang a star over the village on his return. No one knows how it was originally hung there.

  

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Taken on July 29, 2010