La Garde-Adhemar, Rhone-Alpes: tourism & sightseeing
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La Garde-Adhemar is a listed 'most beautiful village of France', along the crest of a hill to the south-west of the Drome department (Rhone-Alps region of France).
Exploring La Garde-Adhemar
A small and pedestrianised village, La Garde-Adhemar has a great deal of character and also very attractive views across the surrounding countryside and the Rhone valley. The village still retains a significant part of its original defensive ramparts and two of the original stone gateways through the walls
As you enter the village you will notice a large iron cross - this was erected in the 18th century. Within La Garde-Adhemar itself there are numerous small streets and alleys that lead you past the interesting medieval houses and under the vaulted passages of the village center - this is one of the best preserved medieval villages in the region.
The highlight in the village itself is the lovely 12th century roman style Church of Saint-Michel, with an attractive octagonal bell tower containing double rows or round arches (note that the upper level is a 19th century addition to the church). See also the decorative window and round chevet of the church.
Unusually the church is also built using two different techniques, a combination of 'rough' stone walls and 'cut stone' walls.
Another unusual feature is its apse which is orientated to the west rather than the east which is very much more common with churches.
Many towns in France include a 'medieval garden', which are frequently small and uninspiring, but the botanic gardens at La Garde-Adhemar are extensive, with a very large range of medicinal and other plants and the added feature of having far-reaching views across the valley below - they are very attractive and are a highlight of a visit to the village.
Visits to La Garde-Adhemar should also include a trip along the Valley of the Nymphs to the east of the village - apart from the valley itself there is another very highly regarded example of roman style architecture at the priory of the Valley of the Nymphs. The 11th - 12th century priory is simple in design, with the facade containing a series of three blind arches and a a decorative entrance, while to the rear is a small round chevet.
The crocodile farm at nearby Pierralatte is popular with children, while another of the 'most beautiful villages in France' can be visited to the north-east of La Garde-Adhemar at Le Poet-Laval.
Map of La Garde-Adhemar and places to visit
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Address: Garde-Adhémar, Pierrelatte, Nyons, Drome, Rhone-Alpes, 26700, France || GPS: latitude 44.393889, longitude 4.754722
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardin des herbes: remarkable garden
- Eglise de Saint Michel (La Garde-Adhemar): religious monument
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame (Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux): religious monument (5km)
- La Ferme aux crocodiles: zoo or wildlife park (6km)
- Viviers: secteur sauvegarde (11km)
- Abbaye d'Aiguebelle (Montjoyer): religious monument (12km)
- Grotte de Saint-Marcel: site of natural beauty (18km)
- Aigueze: most beautiful village (19km)
- Réserve naturelle nationale des Gorges de l'Ardèche: site of natural beauty (23km)
- Aven d'Orgnac: grand site of france (28km)
The French version of this page is at La Garde-Adhemar (Francais)