Cotignac’s history can be traced back to Roman times but came alive particularly in the 1100s with the building of their very first chapel, the Chapel St Martin which will soon be given a full renovation to show off its one-of-a-kind old painted frescos which will attract tourists world-wide.
The village concentrated around the production of silk and leather tanning (like many others in the region from the 1400s) and became a celebrity hide-out in the 1950s with the coming-to-fame of actresses like Brigitte Bardot and French singer Joe Dassin who built a house here. Cotignac is still known as “Le Petit St Tropez” but without show-offy “bling” and more authentic Provençale flavour. Local agriculture today concentrates around the production of fabulous wine and tasty olive oil. Our mild weather and stunning limescale cliffs attract tourists from all over France and the world.
There is a wonderfully hand-written (in French cursive) book called Un Village en Provence COTIGNAC by Gabriel Henry Blanc, complete with beautiful illustrations by the artist/historian. The book is tedious and long but made alive by Blanc’s drawings. Anyone can visit the museum Cotignac Autre Fois et Aujourd’hui located in the middle of the village and open most days during the tourist season. It’s a great place to understand how the village survived for many hundreds of years and until today. More info about the museum here: http://www.la-provence-verte.net/decouvrir/patrimoine-association-cotignac-autrefois-aujourd-hui_312.html