Visit Grignan (Rhone-Alpes, France)
Grignan is a pretty village dominated by its large chateau, in the Drome department (Rhone Alpes region) to the north of Vaison-la-Romaine.
Grignan is a hillside village which developed around its castle. The village dates back to the 11th century and was fortified in the 12th. Much of its growth took place in the 13th century when a new defensive wall with 12 defensive towers was built around the village. The ramparts were carefully maintained up until the 18th century but partially destroyed in the 19th century.
The Chateau de Grignan is famous because of visits there by Madame de Sévigné, a French writer famous for her letters many of which were to her daughter - the wife of the Count of Grignan. Madame de Sévigné visited Grignan castle three times during the 17th century and died there during her third visit. The castle was built in the 12th century but was later transformed and is now said to be one of the leading Renaissance castles in South-East France.
Also to look out for in Grignan is the 19th century Fontaine Sévigné on the Place de l'horologue, the bellfry built in 1600, the communal bread oven (four banal), the communal washing station (lavoir) and La Maison du bailli. The Maison du bailli dates back to the 13th century and has had various transformations. It has been the Maison du Justice, the home to a religous grout - the Penitents blancs, a chapel and then a boys school.
The St-Sauveur College church is also worth visiting. It is unusual in that it is built into the cliff wall.
Grignan is home to a wonderful collection of roses and as you walk round you can admire the 400 rose of more than 150 varieties. You can pick up a plan from the tourist office with some of the main planting sites marked on it. Mediterranean plants have been planted at the foot of the roses adding to the charm. Grignan is classified as one of the "Botanic Villages of the Drome".
Attractions in the region
Other villages in the Drome which have been classified as "Villages Botaniques" are:
Albon for its magical and symbolic plants; Barnave for its drought tolerant plants; Chabrillan for its scented plants and peonies, Chatillon en Diois for its climbing plants and fountains; Hauterives for its unusual vegetation, Manas for its rare shrubs, Mirmande for its plants and shrubs with decorative leaves, Montelier for its shrubs and trees with decorative berries and Montvendre for its oriental plants.
All of thes "Village Botaniques" have at least 150 different varieties of plants of their chosen theme and add an extra dimension to visits to the villages.
Photos of Grignan
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Address: Grignan, Nyons, Drome, Rhone-Alpes, 26230 || GPS: latitude 44.4203, longitude 4.9089
Map of Grignan & places nearby
Highlights close by
La Garde-Adhemar 13km
Le Poet-Laval 15km
Provencal Drome 17km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Grignan, France
- Abbaye d'Aiguebelle (Montjoyer) - religious monument (8km)
- Eglise de Saint Michel (La Garde-Adhemar) - religious monument (13km)
- Jardin des herbes - remarkable garden (13km)
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame (Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux) - religious monument (14km)
- La Ferme aux crocodiles - zoo or wildlife park (18km)
- Viviers - secteur sauvegarde (19km)
- Nyons - recommended detour (20km)
- Cathédrale Notre Dame de Nazareth (Vaison-la-Romaine) - religious monument (24km)
- Vaison-la-Romaine - town of art and history (24km)
- Seguret - most beautiful village (25km)
Market days in Grignan: Regular market(s) are held in Grignan each Tuesday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Grignan (Francais)