Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, Gard: tourism & sightseeing
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Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres is one of a group of small picturesque villages in the north-east of the Gard department close to La Roque-sur-Cèze.
Although it is a small village, the centre of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres is very pretty and is dominated by its historic monuments so a visit is very recommended.
France This Way comment: in many places in France you will find sprawling historic villages set around the ruins of the original castle. Here in Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres it is slightly different, with much of the castle still intact and the village not very extensive - so you get the impression it is how a village would have been in medieval times when it first started to develop outside the castle walls.
There are three important historic monuments that dominate the village centre and a small network of unspoiled streets lined with stone cottages and small historic features to see. The monuments are:
- The fortified Church of Saint-Laurent: as much a castle as a church this building has extensive fortifications that were added to the original roman style church in the 14th century
- The ancient castle keep, the Tour Jacques-Deuze: the lower level of the this tower dates from the 12th century while the upper levels were added in the 14th century. The keep is very well maintained with gothic style windows and interesting architectural features and a look-out platform at the upper levels
- The Tour de Ribas: close to the other monuments and now almost overshadowed by ancient cedar trees the Tour de Ribas is another substantial tower in the roman style of architecture
In the ground floor of the Tour de Ribas you can find the Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres tourist office that we found to be very efficient at providing information about the village and also suggested routes to follow when exploring the region.
In the tourist office you can also see a large model of the town as it was in medieval times which is useful in understanding the layout of the original village. Full marks to Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres for this model: it was very well done and much more interesting than most models of this type that we have seen and must have taken someone ages to put together so do be sure to go in and have a look!
You can also see an attractive and nicely renovated traditional lavoir with stone columns and interesting carpentry work. This lavoir is more recent than you might think, having been built in 1866.
The weekly market in Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres takes place each Friday morning and during the summer months various small festivals, events and art exhibitions are also held in the village.
Attractions close to Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres
I think this area probably gets less visitors than it might if it were elsewhere, because of the many famous regions that surround it (the Luberon to the east, the Gorges de l'Ardeche to the north, Avignon and Arles to the south...) but there are several interesting places close to Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres and a day or two spent exploring here is very worthwhile (we were based near La Roque-sur-Cèze, one of the 'most beautiful villages in France' and a short distance north of here) when we visited.
We followed the route suggested by the tourist office which passed through Lirac, Tavel, Saint-Victor-la-Coste, Gaujac and Laudun (these two known for their ancient Roman monuments) and was very pleasant. The village at Saint-Victor-la-Coste was our favourite of these villages because of its dramatic fortress. We also incorporated a visit to the larger town of Uzès, which we thought was a very impressive town and only a short distance west of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres.
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Map of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres and places to visit
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Address: Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, Roquemaure, Nîmes, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, 30126, France || GPS: latitude 44.0553, longitude 4.7006
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Fort Saint-Andre: national monument (12 km)
- Orange Roman Theatre: heritage site (13 km)
- Villeneuve-les-Avignon: secteur sauvegarde (13 km)
- Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Repos de Montfavet (Avignon): religious monument (15 km)
- Avignon Centre: heritage site (15 km)
- Jardin du château de Brantes: remarkable garden (15 km)
- Avignon: secteur sauvegarde (15 km)
- Pont du Gard: grand site of france (18 km)
- Cascades du Sautadet: site of natural beauty (20 km)
- La Roque-sur-Ceze: most beautiful village (21 km)
- Uzes: town of art and history (23 km)
- Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit et Fenestrelle Tower (Uzes): religious monument (23 km)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres (Francais)