Gard Provençal :: page d'accueil
Sites and monuments
A region rich in history  
The Gard Provençal is a land where you encounter history at every step. The Rhône Valley has always been a thoroughfare, and the interior areas witnessed the struggles between the Catholics and the Camisards. Everywhere you turn, you can see the traces of humans who have inhabited these lands since prehistoric times. Different civilizations have left their mark, but the most important remains are from the Roman era. There is, or course, the immense monument of the Pont du Gard, part of our world heritage, but other sites also bear the traces of Roman occupation, such as the oppidum in the village of Gaujac and Caesar's Camp in Laudun.

The Middle Ages left their stamp on two sites: the ancient village of Saint Victor la Coste, with its fortified castle named "le Castellas" that stands high on a hill, and, facing Provence, the castle of Gicon, whose restoration is underway. Many bridges date from this period; the most important one is the Bridge of Saint Esprit, which crosses the Rhône.
  Le Saint André Fort in Villeneuve les Avignon is an excellent example of defensive architecture. Two beautiful Carthusian monasteries, the Val de Bénédiction in Villeneuve les Avignon and Valbonne in Saint Paulet de Caisson, as well as the Romanesque chapel of Tresques; the church of Roquemaure; and the Sainte Baume of Lirac, a place of pilgrimage, demonstrate, by their size and their beauty, the fervor of Christian sentiment in this area. You can also admire the castle of Lascours in Laudun, which is the region's only example of a moated castle. In Bagnols sur Cèze, you can enjoy the harmony of Mallet square, with its arcades and hôtels particuliers.

The region's rural heritage is visible in the architecture of villages, particularly in the quiet presence of the mill of Vénéjan. Everywhere you look, you will be charmed by small monuments which are masterpieces in their own right, such as the wash-houses, numerous Romanesque chapels, stone bridges, fountains, tree-lined squares, porches, Renaissance windows, ramparts, and old alleyways. They are all worth the visit.