Rich colors in cliffs of Roussillon

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Description

Roussillon is famous for the rich deposits of ochre pigments found in the clay near the village. The large quarries of Roussillon were mined from the end of the 18th century until 1930

During the 18th century, increasing demand for pigments in the textile industry led to intensified mining of ochres in Roussillon. Numerous quarries and ochre factories, some of which can still be seen today, were situated near the village. One example of an ochre factory, the “Usine Mathieu”, is named for the family that owned it from 1870 to 1901. It has been formed into a “Conservatoire”: a workshop serving as a museum. The quarries and factories were established in the villages of Roussillon, Gargas and Rustrel (with its Colorado provençal) and Gignac.