History of La Madelène
La Madelène was originally a Benedictine priory dating from the late 12th century. The monks - the Saint-Benoit de Capella - arrived here from Lyons and stayed until the 15th century.
Built on a mound formed from sandstone (in French saffre, reflecting its pleasing saffron colored hue) the priory commanded views of the surrounding vineyards, the medieval hill top village of Crestet and the giant of Provence, Mt. Ventoux. The arched chapel, which now serves as a dining room, is the dominant relic of that era. In more recent times the property has served as a silk farm, was the birthplace of the current mayor of Malaucène, and was for twenty years the home of one of France's most celebrated novelists Marie Cardinal.