Santon Museum in Fontaine de Vaucluse

 I highly encourage you to visit the Santon museum in Fontaine de Vaucluse.  Santons are a rich Provençal tradition that started with the French revolution.  In 1789, churches became state property and in 1792 the National Assembly decided to close them all.  With this act, the people were no longer able to enter churches and missed seeing nativity scenes at Christmastime.  And so people in Provence began to make santon figurines in their homes since they were forbidden.  The reason they were so small was that they were easy to hide as being caught could result in the guillotine.  Santons got their name because the first figurines were saints.  As time went on, the santons grew in size and now there is a wide variety.  Today there are about 100 santon makers in Provence.  They represent not just nativity scenes, but the people of the villages, and the old trades and occupations.  The museum can be found at Place de la colonne in Fontaine de Vaucluse.  Tel : +33(0)4 90 20 20 83 

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