The legend of La Coulobre

On the church square of Fontaine de Vaucluse stands a fountain-sculpture representing Saint-Véran striking down a monster. This monster, the Coulobre, whose name comes from the Latin "coluber", snake. This giant winged salamander lived under a rock covered by the waters of the Sorgue and mated with passing dragons who then abandoned it, unappeased by its ugliness.
She terrorized the region and its inhabitants, slitting the throats of men and cattle.
In the 6th century, Saint-Véran, bishop of Cavaillon, confronted the foul beast and brought it down, then catapulted it into the Luberon.

The legend varies on the name Véran. Indeed, according to some, he is really a bishop, for others a hermit.

The legend also wants that Véran, answering the call of the inhabitants, would have watched the monster during many days and would have overcome it by a sign of Cross which would have wounded it. The monster would have flown away for a long time then would have crashed on the heights of the Alps, near a hamlet which still bears today the name of Saint-Véran, in honor of the hero of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.
Another version of the legend says that the monster crashed in the present Combre de Lourmarin, a place marked by a deep gash, "the Combe de Lourmarin".

The Coulobre resurfaced in people's minds when, according to the legend, in the 15th century, Petrarch was attacked by the creature while walking along the Sorgues river with his beloved Laure. At the end of a frontal fight he killed the monster of a blow of sword which for revenge,

projected its pestilential breath. Laure, breathing this nauseating breath died then of the plague. Petrarch never recovered from it, but the Coulobre has well and truly disappeared from history...


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