Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux is a town in the Drôme next to Suze-la-Rousse and Pierrelatte. Belonging to the Rhône Alpes region, it is situated on the left bank of the Rhône River. The main economic activity there is linked to the Tricastin nuclear power plant and a majority of the town's 9241 inhabitants work there.
Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux enjoys a privileged environment and geographic situation.
Between the plains, the hills and the Rhône, the land flourishes in a Mediterranean climate.
Summers are hot and very dry; the winters are quite cold because of the strong Mistral wind. The rainy season occurs in spring and autumn.
The environment is rich and varied, surrounded by vineyards, lavender fields, truffle oaks and olive orchards. Farming has been for a long time a part of the community and the activity is still vigorously developed. You can discover it in the gastronomy, in which the AOC Grignan-les-Adhémar wines and the Tricastin Truffle hold pride of place.
Saint-Paul-Trois Châteaux has a rich cultural heritage, its history goes back to the Neolithic period. In the 1st century, a Gallic tribe called the Tricastins occupied more than 42 hectares of the territory.
During the Middle Ages, defensive ramparts with three fortified gates town surrounded the town.
Starting in the 18th century, after the Wars of Religion, private town mansions were built.
The town's economy developed with the construction of the nuclear power plant in the 1950s.
Today, Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux is the ideal place for discovering the Tricastin and the Drôme Provençale.
The town boasts beautiful edifices such as the 12th century Notre Dame cathedral, a veritable gem of Romanesque art listed as a historic monument since 1841, the private mansions, the archaeological collections including the big mosaic of Saint-Paul and the ruins of the ramparts.
During your visit along its small streets, you will discover the town's buildings, the façades, the whiteness of its stones.
The stones came from the Sainte-Juste Quarries, closed down at the beginning of the 20th century. Today you can visit them: marked walking trails have ben set out within the quarries where you can admire the beautiful white stone that want into building Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.
The town's attractions are many and vary between its local produce and technologies.
You absolutely must visit the House of the Truffle and the Tricastin as well as the Tricastin Archaeological Museum.
Amongst the events and festivities not to be missed are the Musicales en Tricastin music festival, the farmers' market that takes place on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month and the truffle market open from mid-December to mid-March where, in addition to buying the most beautiful truffles, you can enjoy truffle ravioli accompanied by the region's famous wines.
To note on your calender: the truffle festival celebrates its 30 years in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux on February 12, 13 and 14, 2016.
In the area around Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux:
Saint-Restitut: the church, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, and wine tasting in the cathedral caves.
Clansayes: hilltop village with a keep, the Saint-Michel church
La Garde Adhémar: remarkable herb garden, the White Penitents Chapel, the Val des Nymphes priory and the Saint-Michel church.