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5. PROVENCE REGION (GARD)
La Maison de la Terrasse

Provence region - Provence cottage - Provence village 
 Provence sight-seeing - Provence house-plans - Provence local region


 
Sightseeing in the Provence region

 
The Pont-du-Gard - 18 kms away - the aqueduct built to supply water from Uzès to Nimes 
2000 years ago is one of the most amazing Roman monuments still in existence.
Some idea of the enormous scale can be gauged from the tiny people visible - left first level. 
 
      
As the Pont-du-Gard is surrounded natural bushland with landscaped walks it is possible to see 
it from all angles - from both sides - above and below - and walking across the lower level.
A close up of one of the massive pillars showing the 2000 year old construction.
 
Avignon - the famous fortressed town in southern France where in 1309 Pope Clement V moved
the entire papal court here from Rome - and the popes ruled officially until 1377 and unofficially
until 1403. Above is the enormous and intimidating Palais-des-Papes - not to be missed.
    
Exploring the carefully restored interior of the Palais, you can see this impregnable fortress
with its 10 towers, great halls and remnants of wall frescos and mosaics. There is also the Petit Palais,
Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-Doms - the beautiful gardens with views out over the famous Pont d'Avignon.
Further east from you will pass into the landscape of the Alpilles mountain range which
inspired many writers such as Alphonse-Daudet - see Moulin-Daudet - Fredéric Mistral
and Marcel Pagnol - also artists like Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cezanne.
Passing through Beaucaire, Tarascon and St Remy you will find one of the strangest places
- the high stronghold of Les-Beaux-de-Provence perched incredibly on a precipitous rocky plateau.
In the Middle Ages Les Beaux was home to powerful feudal lords - the most famous of the Courts of Love.
      

Today Les Beaux is a tourist village with high winding little streets, old houses, many restaurants,
the ruined castle with mediaeval war machines and trebuchets - and quite amazing views out from every side
of the village - especially over the Val d'Enfer with its torturous rock formations.

Back only 13 kms from home again is the city of Nimes - a mixture of the very ancient Roman
architecture such as the Maison Carre, Les Arenes, and the gardens - Jardin-de-la-Fontaine
shown above -
and the highly modern Art Museum designed by Norman Foster.
   

Nimes is an excellent town to explore the big food market, the upmarket shopping and the many
cafes and restaurants - and most especially to see Les Arenes - the massive coliseum built in the 1st
century - still used to today for concerts, opera, performances and bullfights (the bull is not killed).

The countryside around Russan is dominated by wineries of local Vin-de-Pays and 
Appellation Côtes-de-Rhone - see here a typical Provençale village surrounded by vines - 
- and also the fruit trees - the blossoms are a blaze of pink in February.
Much of the countryside is reminiscent of of Van Gogh with cyprus trees and blossoms.    
   
Not far south from Nimes is the town of Arles - the gateway to the Camargue - possibly best known
for the associations with the artist Vincent Van Gogh. Seen above is the former hospital where he was treated
in 1889 - now Espace-Van-Gogh - a cultural centre devoted to his life and work.

   
Arles - and here is the real Cafe-Van-Gogh - the scene of the famous painting The Night Cafe.
Explore this old Provençale town to see the magnificent Roman Ampitheatre - one of the best
preserved monuments of Roman Provence - and many other impressive sights.
   
Left - and then there is the Camargue which is the Rhone Delta - an area of fragile wetlands
where a unique ecology is carefully maintained with unique flora, bird life and wild ponies.
Right - Aigues-Mortes a perfectly preserved walled town on the edge of the Camargue.
A little further on about 45 kms from our cottage is the Grau-de-Roi - a vibrant little
fishing port on the Mediterranean - this photo is taken from the bridge which swings open

to let the large fishing boats through.

 

Grau-de-Roi - you can have a great fish lunch right beside the water watching all the activity
- then stroll along the Port to watch all the boats unload their catch of the day.

The landscape all around our village is gentle hills and vines for the excellent local wines.
Here you see a distant view of the historic and elegant small town of Uzès - only 13 kms away
set on high and visible from all the surrounding villages.

Uzès is bustling with towers on many of its beautiful soft grey buildings - the churches
- the mainly 15C Duché d'Uzès - the first Duché in France built on the site of a former 
Roman fortress.  Climb the high tower for magnificent views of the countryside all around.

The wonderful market at Uzès - seen here is the arcaded Place-aux-Herbes
- this is one of the best outdoor markets in Provence.

Uzès - full of restaurants and cafés - even in the middle of winter people enjoy 
eating outside in the sun because of the excellent climate.


Provence region
- Provence cottage - Provence village 
 Provence sight-seeing - Provence house-plans - Provence local region

    Sightseeing in the Provence region

Uzès - Ducal Castle, Bishops Palace, Cathedral, arcaded Place-aux-Herbes.
The colourful Uzès Saturday market is one of the best we have seen. 
Wineries including Tavel and Bourdic - great local wines which have won many medals. 
The Pont du Gard -  c.19BC - the 2000 year old Roman aqueduct, a magnificent sight. 
The Gorges du Gardon - a marked walking trail from Russan listed in the house book. 
Collias - hire canoes there for a trip through the Gorges and Pont du Gard.
 St Quentin la Poterie - a large village devoted to artists and craftsmen.
Castillon du Gard - has at least two excellent restaurants.
Nimes is an typical Southern town  -  full of Roman statues and monuments.
Nimes - Roman Arena, Roman gardens and an excellent art gallery.
Avignon - the walled town and and the Palais-des-Papes
Arles - all the sites of Van Gogh, also the Camargue for birdlife.
Les Baux-de-Provence in the magnificent Alpilles Mountains.
St Remy-de-Provence - with some of the most important Roman ruins.
Beaucaire and Tarescon - old port towns.
The Cevennes beautiful mountain ranges and the Ardeche Gorges to the north.
Historic Aigues Mortes - then on to the Grau-de-Roi, a great fishing  port for lunch.


 
1. Lot - 2. Dordogne - 3 Tarn - 4 Gascony - 5 Provence - 6 Haute Provence - 7 Pyrenees
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