Romanesque Church Hunt Looking for churches and other France adventures.

May 23, 2007

Dining at the Chapel

I found this list of interesting nice restaurants, in case we decide to venture out for some local dining. There’s some lovely options, but in the spirit of this blog I must note in particular this one:–note the “small vaulted dining room” –perhaps a little more than we like to spend but 3 courses plus “vault” might be worth a splurge! Or maybe we could sample a lunch there (for research purposes of course.)

La Chapelle, Saint Paul Trois Ch̢teaux, a busy town (pop. approx 31,000) in the Rh̫ne Valley, but the historic part will enchant you. Ever wondered what a real tiny restaurant located in a former chapel looks like? Try this one; small vaulted dining room inside, tiny shaded terrace outside. But Chef Eric Rolland knows his business. Lovingly prepared dishes, Southern flavor with innovative touch. Prices: Euro 32 Р48. Impasse Ludovic de Bimard, 26130 St.Paul Trois Ch̢teau, Tel: 04 75 96 60 88.

More Restaurants:

Le Clair de la Plume, Grignan, the tea room of this charming boutique hotel near the famous lavoir in Grignan. They offer during lunch time a limited menu of light meals, salads, quiches. Great place to have your afternoon tea, enjoy an ice cream or fruit juice. Wonderful inner courtyard. Prices: Euro 12 – 20. Place du Mail, 26320 Grignan, Tel: +33 (0)4 75 91 81 30.

l’Eau à la Bouche, Grignan, a tiny restaurant in what looks like a doll house with its blue rimmed windows, flowers and all. They serve wonderful Provençal food; charming service. Prices: Euro 24 – 38, Rue St. Louis, 26230 Grignan, Tel: 04 75 46 57 37.

Le Probus, Grignan, another favorite in Grignan; a clear, precise concept of Southern cooking using products in season. The restaurant is named after the Roman Emperor Probus who chased the Teutonic tribes out of the Provence. The decor tries to fit the name. Prices: Euro 18 Р35, Espace la Tuili̬re, 26230 Grignan, Tel: 04 75 46 13 34.

Relais de Grignan, Grignan on the road to Mont̩limar, the restaurant of the Hotel Bastide de Grignan. Traditional regional cooking, nice outside terrace. An excellent price/quality relationship and friendly service. Prices: Euro 25 Р40, Rte. de Mont̩limar 26230 Grignan, Tel: 04 75 46 57 22.

Une Autre Maison, Nyons, a charming boutique hotel, which offers dinner for non-residents (reservations a must). Creative regional dishes lovingly prepared. Prices: Euro 35 (dinner only). Place de la République, 26110 Nyons, Tel : 04 75 26 43 09.

Le Petit Caveau, Nyons, intimate restaurant in the historic center behind the Place des Arcades. Creative cuisine with a Southern touch, carefully prepared by Chef Laurent Lecompte and served by charming Laure. Good wine list. Prices: Euro 25 – 50. 9 Rue Victor Hugo, 26110 Nyons, Tel: 04 75 26 20 21.

La Fleur de Thym, les Pilles a small place in a tiny village not far from Nyons offers a great dining experience in a very charming setting. Creative dishes rooted in local traditions combined with a welcoming service. The restaurant is located one the right side 100m after the tunnel, turn right to park the car. Prices: Euro 38 -50. Le Village, 26110 Les Pilles, Tel : 04 75 27 77 91
Domaine Les M̩j̩onnes, Valaurie restaurant of a small hotel located in an old farmhouse in Valaurie on the road from Grignan to Mont̩limar. Charming dining room and shaded outside terrace. Creative regional cooking, highly appreciated by locals and visitors alike. The place is always full. Prices: Euro 22 Р30. 26230 Valaurie, Tel: 04 75 98 60 60.

Le Moulin de Valaurie, Valaurie, the restaurant of this tranquil and luxurious hotel in a lovingly restored old mill outside of Valaurie is a sure bet. Elegant dining room, shaded outside terrace. Classic and regional cuisine carefully prepared, a well chosen wine cellar with Southern vintages. Balance, taste, dedication … a peaceful place. Prices: Euro 30 – 45. Le Foulon, 26230 Valaurie, Tel: 04 75 97 21 90.

Au D̩lice de Provence, Valr̩as a long time favorite of locals. Valr̩as is the largest town in the Enclave des Papes. Located in a historic townhouse in the center of Valr̩as. They offer Proven̤al cooking you have seen many times, but well made. Prices: Euro 18 Р42. 6, la Placette, 84600 Valreas, Tel: 04 90 28 16 91.

May 21, 2007

Le Poet-Laval

Filed under: Drome - Churches — Karen @ 2:52 am

poet2.jpgThis town has been proclaimed one the the “most beautiful villages of France” and this fractured Romanesque church is surely of interest.

Most of the village dates from medieval times. This village was part of a Knights of Malta commanderie.

The village also retains remnants of its medieval past in that until recently there was only a single port of entry into the town.

The golden stone rises in a pyramidal form, contrasting with the mostly azure skies of Drome Provencale. Although this Romanesque fragment is in a pitiful state, the bell tower steadfastly served a defensive purpose throughout the ages.

Below is an another view from a 1900 postcard of the town.


May 20, 2007

Rousset le Vignes

Filed under: Drome - Churches — Karen @ 3:34 pm

 Church Preview

Working on this one too–for more info.
One site mentions “the priory with its beautiful renaissance facade and the Romanesque church.” I think this is a picture of it below. The village itself sounds lovely, as do many in the Baronnies.



Filed under: Drome - Churches — Karen @ 3:30 pm

Mirabel-aux-Baronnies is a small village in the Baronnies, the wild natural area to the east of our location. The Drome website notes that you can visit the ruins of the castle, the fortifications and a 12th-century lookout tower, the Chapelle du Calvaire, the chapel Notre-Dame de Beaulieu. Another site mentions Eglise St-Julien. Don’t get too excited, I’m not sure any of these are Romanesque. I will be researching further.

May 18, 2007

More Aleyrac

Filed under: Church Previews,Drome - Churches — Karen @ 6:05 am

 Church Preview

Prieure d’Aleyrac - MapAleyrac seems to be a truly magical place. It became a ruin
wayback in 1389 but still possesses many notable features
and is located in a wild and beautiful site.

Prieure d’Aleyrac

Prieure d’Aleyrac

  • The western facade with its three windows surmounted by a bell tower.
  • The pentagonal apse.
  • Interior ornamentation of the nave and the cornices.

Under the first span of the nave spouts a spring that pilgrims to the site believe to be miraculous especially for the cure of headaches and skin diseases.

Prieure d’Aleyrac - Miraculous spring


May 16, 2007

Prieure d’Aleyrac

 Church Preview

Prieure d’Aleyrac

All I can say is ‘Wow!’


Just found this photo and I’ll need to get some more information, but it is sure interesting.  More later.

L’Abbaye Aiguebelle

Filed under: Drome - Churches — Karen @ 11:56 am

In nearby Montjoyer, there is a whole medieval abbey complex, unlike most abbeys in France, which still functions as a monastery. There are over 30 monks in residence and although there has been a lot of restoration, there is still many of the medieval buildings. There’s also a gift shop with soap, oils, religious objects.

Abbaye Aiguebelle

Quick Wiki history:
Aiguebelle Abbey or Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Aiguebelle is a Cistercian monastery founded by Morimond Abbey in 1137, situated in the communes of Montjoyer and Réauville in the département of Drôme, on the borders of the Dauphiné and of Provence, France. The monks were dispersed when the abbey was dissolved in the French Revolution but from 1815 the community was revived by the Trappists (Cistercians of the Strict Order), who are still here.

April 12, 2007


Filed under: Drome - Churches — Tags: , , — Karen @ 12:10 pm

Church Preview

Coming soon! Stay tuned for this medieval perched village that has some very interesting features–details to come this weekend:

  • Templar tower!
  • Pilgrimage spot!
  • 11th century church!
  • 13th century Templar chapel!
  • Roman roads
  • and more–

This town is about 5 miles from our rental house.
Clansayes, view of church

April 9, 2007

St Restitut

Filed under: Drome - Churches,Google Map - Drome Provencale — Karen @ 5:53 am

St Restitut is about 2 miles from our rental house and will probably be the all-important “bread stop” and walking destination. There are two churches there, one Romanesque and the other is a funny little mushroom of a Gothic chapel that will be profiled later.

Here’s the pertinent info on the Eglise de St Restitut:
The church of Saint Restitut, the saint which gives his name to the village of Saint Restitut, is located 4 kilometers from Saint Paul Trois Chateaux in the southern part of Drome. This church is comprised of two parts, to the west, above of the tomb of the “tour funeraire” of St Restitut, 11th century and to the East, the church proper from the 12th century. The plan of the church is rectangular with one nave. The porch is ancient, surmounted by a great arc inspired by Roman steles.

Interior of St Restitut
Before entering, note the capitals portraying old men, one laughing, the other serious.


April 7, 2007

Map of the Tricastin Romanesque Churches

Filed under: Church Previews,Drome - Churches — Karen @ 11:58 pm

Church Preview

The churches in our immediate area close to our house are below. Click the map icon to see them on a Google map. For the St Restitut churches and St Paul Cathedrale, double clicking to center the map on the marker and then using the controls in satellite view to zoom in will enable you to see the actual aerial view of the hotel. Unfortunately, the Garde d’Adhemar satellite picture is too poor to find the actual building.

Map of Churches

Here are the towns with their chapels.

  • La Garde Adhemar
    Chapelle du Val des Nymphes
  • Saint Restitut
    Eglise de Saint Restitut
    Chapelle du St Sepulcre
  • St-Paul Trois Chateaux
    Cathedrale Saint Paul
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