A Renaissance city in a remarkable region

In the Gard, the town of Barjac sits in the Cèze Valley, midway between the Cévennes and the gorges of the Ardèche.

Besides the obvious pleasure of strolling through an old city with its cobbled streets, little squares and old stone houses that have withstood time, Barjac distinguishes itself from other villages in the area through the strong Renaissance influence on its architecture.

A beautiful example is, of course, the Château of the Counts du Roure. In 1639, a four-storey building and courtyard were added to the 12th century keep, last vestige of the former citadel. The building marks a transition, when the Lords of the time transformed their fortified castles, used for military purposes, into residences for living and pleasure with beautiful mullion windows opening out to the exterior. The bell tower that tops the old keep was added in 1649. True to Humanism, the philosophy born during the Renaissance, the castle today holds a library, in the former stables, a movie theatre in the former kitchens and hosts each year at the end of July the festival "Chansons de Paroles". 

With the “Tour Renaissance”, on the square with the town hall, the name says it all. Tall and elegant, it is part of a 17th century residence that belonged to a family of the nobility. 

And there's more. The Saint-Laurent Church was built between 1672 and 1692 and later restored and enlarged in 1862. At the Clos des Capucins (a restaurant) you can see features of the Capuchins Convent built between 1650 and 1683. In its park, the convent's chapel presents a very pretty pediment above which there is a niche holding a statue.

Arriving in Barjac, you probably passed by the Porte Basse gate situated at the southern end of the town's main street. One of the only two gates into the city from the Middle Ages up through the 17th century, it leads to the "Place de la Calade". From this square a monumental double stairway leads from the lower part of the town up to the foot of the castle. Dating from 1840, it made for an easier climb for the crowds who came for the many fairs and markets that took place there. 

Dating back to the reign of King Francis I, the fairs and markets played an important role in Barjac. Faithful to this tradition, a big antiques fair takes place twice a year, during the Easter weekend and the weekend of August 15, and brings together 430 exhibitors from the four corners of France. Festive and foodie, the Organic Fair is held on the last Sunday of July. In summer, there is also an organic market every Tuesday evening in addition to the traditional market every Friday morning throughout the year. 

In the area around Barjac

Not far away, you can visit three of the most beautiful villages of France: Aiguèze, Montclus and La Roque sur Cèze with the Sautadet Cascades. In one direction, there is also Goudargues, the Little Venice of the Gard, and in the other, the gorges of the Ardèche with Vallon-Pont d'Arc and its prehistoric wonders.

Château of Barjac - Library and Cinema

Library in the Chateau of Barjac

Chateau of Barjac and monumental stair of the Calade square

Saint-Laurent Church in Barjac

Fountain in Barjac

Renaissance Tower in Barjac

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