A wall constructed by "pierre seche" crowned by "la lauze"

In the Luberon and the Ventoux, farmhouses, animal shelters, walls, bridges and other structures display the ancient tradition of “pierre sèche” or dry-stone – the construction by careful stacking of stones without any adhesive or binding. Practiced worldwide, dry-stone building dates back to the introduction of agriculture at the beginning of the Neolithic period.


“La lauze” is a term that designates the large flat paving stones used to cover a structure or to crown a wall of dry-stone. By the vertical stacking of stones of unequal size and length , “la lauze” forms a jagged silhouette.


Working by hand, artisans in the region carry out the tradition of “pierre sèche”, beginning with fashioning a design, and the sourcing of stones in local quarries, followed by the tedious and timely process of putting up the structure or wall.

Constructed for a property owner last winter in the Vaucluse, the “pierre sèche” wall with “la lauze” pictured here took more than two-months to complete.

This masterpiece has its price tag: $30,000. Yet what great pleasure one derives from its simplistic functionality and from its serene beauty nestled among the green oaks.

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