Visit Alba-la-Romaine (Rhone-Alpes, France)
Alba-la-Romaine is situated about 30km east of Aubenas, and is classified as an Ardeche 'village of character'. First impressions when you arrive at Alba are not great - the parking is behind an estate of new-build houses - but persist and you will soon discover a village with a lovely historical centre.
The main 'commercial centre' has two interlinked squares where the market is held and there are various shops and cafes.
From here you can continue in to the old part of the village, grouped around and below the castle, and where you will find an extremely attractive series of alleys and streets, all interlinked, often via vaulted passageways, and lined with very attractive ancient houses and overflowing with plants. Most of the houses date from the 16th and 17th century.
On exploring this historical part of Alba-la-Romaine the village rapidly became one of my favourites among the Ardeche villages of character. There are numerous small features such as balconies, small statues, carefully carved window surrounds and aging shutters that further contribute to Alba-la-Romaine's great appeal.
A significant amount of the original 13th century town fortifications can also be seen, and the 17th century Church of Saint-André.
The castle itself was originally constructed for defensive purposes, although little is known of the original castle at Alba-la-Romaine. From the Middle Ages until the 17th century numerous modifications and additions were made, the defensive purpose was lost, and there are now few traces of the original castle.
Even getting a good view of the castle is not always easy - it seems to be always slightly out of sight behind a hedge or other building. Follow the small street called the Portail de la Trappe that emerges through the 13th century ramparts around the village to give the best view. The castle at Alba-la-Romaine is open to the public.
The region around Alba-la-Romaine contains lots of picturesque villages, including some of the other 'Ardeche villages of character'. If your time is limited we particularly recommend Saint-Montan to the south and Balazuc and Vogué to the west.
Photos of Alba-la-Romaine
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Address: Alba-la-Romaine, Viviers, Privas, Ardeche, Rhone-Alpes, 7400 || GPS: latitude 44.5556, longitude 4.59889
Map of Alba-la-Romaine & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Alba-la-Romaine, France
- Viviers - secteur sauvegarde (11km)
- Vogue - most beautiful village (15km)
- Abbatiale Sainte-Marie (Cruas) - religious monument (17km)
- Balazuc - most beautiful village (19km)
- Jardin des herbes - remarkable garden (22km)
- Eglise de Saint Michel (La Garde-Adhemar) - religious monument (22km)
- Abbaye d'Aiguebelle (Montjoyer) - religious monument (22km)
- Vals-les-Bains - recommended detour (22km)
- La Ferme aux crocodiles - zoo or wildlife park (24km)
- Gorges de l'Ardeche - grand site of france (24km)
The French version of this page is at Alba-la-Romaine (Francais)