Dominated by the ruins of its castle, the village of Vézénobres clings to the heights of a cliff and watches over the approaches to the Regordane Way, once the mandatory route for Crusaders leaving for the Holy Land and pilgrims going to Saint-Gilles. Labelled "Village of Character”, it enjoys exceptional views over the garrigue and the Cévennes.
The medieval town holds much evidence of Vézénobres' importance as a strategic crossroads in the Piedmont of the Cévennes, 10 kilomertes from Alès and at the frontier with Provence and the Mediterranean coast.
To visit the village, it's best to leave your car in the parking lot at the foot of the village and muster the courage to climb its maze of steep lanes. The beauty of the village and the warm welcome offered by the villagers will reward your efforts.
The village of Vézénobres at the gateway to the Cévennes
The Hôtel de Montfaucon, called the "House of Adam and Eve" in Vezenobres
The street Rue du Porche in Vezenobres
The inner courtyard of the Château de Girard in Vezenobres
Chateau de Girard in Vezenobres
The calabert house in Vezenobres
The Saracen chimney in Vezenobres
The Hôtel de Montfaucon, called the "House of Adam and Eve"
On the Rue Basse, where the Regordane Way once passed, the façades are characteristic of different periods. The most sumptuous of them is that of the Hôtel de Montfaucon, called the "House of Adam and Eve". From the Renaissance, the decision to construct this private mansion was made in 1547 by the Baroness Françoise de Montfaucon. The façade also presents beautiful mullion windows and a very elegant polygon tower surmounted by a terrace. The pediment is ornamented with scrolls and daisies and framed to the right by two figures of Italian inspiration that represent Prudence and Strength.
The Saint-André parish church
The Saint-André Church was built in the lower part of the village just after the wars of religion. Its apse is decorated with a superb restored 18th century mural.
You reach the upper part of the village through the Sabran gate (early 13th century) also called the Clock Tower, the only vestige of the medieval town walls.
The town developed along three parallel streets connected by endrounes – narrow and steep passages – that give everything its medieval charm.
The Château de Girard
From the Tourist Office, take the street Rue du Porche and you will cross the old inner courtyard of the Château de Girard and exit by the Viterne gate to arrive on the château's terrace.
Built by the Girard family in the 14th century, the château was integrated into the fortifications.
It was given to the town by the Marquis de Thoiras in the 17th century and today houses the Town Hall and the Tourist Office, where an enthusiastic team will help you with all your requests.
On the southern side, the château's rear façade overlooks the fig tree orchard-conservatory, a thousand trees representing more than 100 varieties planted under the aegis of the National Conservatory of Porquerolles.
Each year, Vézénobres renews with tradition and hosts the Figoulade, the fresh fig market on the 3rd Sunday of August and the Mediterranean Days of the Fig during the last weekend of October.
The Saracen chimney
On the Place de la Mairie, you will see on the Hôtel de Ville (the town hall), a “saracen” chimney cap of middle eastern inspiration and of which the origins are unknown. It is the only of its kind in the Gard while many can be seen in the Bresse (Ain department).
The street of Romanesque houses
Vézénobres has preserved an architectural heritage from the 12th and 13th centuries that can be admired on the Rue des Maisons Romanes. They undoubtably belonged to merchants from Pisa and Genoa who established a trading post on this commercial route between the Massif Central and the Mediterranean.
The calabert house
On the village heights, in the direction of the Château de Montanègre, of which only the ruins remain, you will see the house of "calaberts". For many centuries, Vézénobres specialized in figs, which were dried on the "calaberts", sheltered terraces on some houses where the lattices used for drying the fruit were placed. The dried figs were then sold in autumn at the Saint-André market fair.
The orientation table
Going along the street Rue de la Porte du Fort, at the end of the Rue du Haut-Plan, a stairway on the right leads to the orientation table where a breathtaking panorama rewards all the effort put into getting there.
Back at the town hall square, you can rest your weary feet at the village café or enjoy a delicious house-made ice cream from the "Clos des Gourmandises" that offers no less than 65 flavours in summer and a generous home-made cuisine the rest of the year.
Vézénobres is the ideal departure point for visiting the Cévennes and is just 30 minutes from Alès, Anduze and the Grotte de Trabuc cave, 27 km from Uzès and 35km from Nîmes.