Tournon-sur-Rhone, Ardeche: tourism & sightseeing
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Tournon-sur-Rhone is an attractive village in the Ardeche department on the river opposite Tain l'hermitage and to the north of Valence.
France This Way comment: the combination of the village centre with its castle and monuments, the views and the chance to stroll through Eden Park together make Tournon-sur-Rhone a very pleasant place to visit.
Tournon-sur-Rhone is a pretty village on the edge of the river Rhone. A walk through the village reveals various interesting buildings including Tournon's castle museum.
The castle sits on a rock overlooking the town and the river. On the right-hand side of its courtyard is the old castle Saint-Just which was built in the 10th century. The north-west wing was built in the 14th century and has been used as Tournon's magistrates court since the begining of the 19th century.
A third building here and from the 1500s has a Renaissance influence and is now home to a museum featuring the history of Tournon sur Rhone and some art exhibitions including sculptures by Marcel Gimond.
The Collegiate Church of Saint Julien has been built in gothic style and contains some excellent frescoes. Unusually a number of houses are built into the church walls. The son of King Francois I of France was buried in the church for eleven years after his death in 1536: he died in the castle at Tournon-sur-Rhone.
Another one of the houses dominating Tournon, and now home to its Tourist Office, is the mansion De La Tourette. This dates from the 18th century though its spiral staircase dates from an earlier period.
Beyond the church and tourist office is the Quay Farconnet with a large shady square and a port for river boats. It is also a stopping place for the Rhone river cruises. Behind this area is Rue du Doux which was once a very prestigious part of town where wealthy merchants and officers from the garrison had their houses. Numbers 79 and 81 are particularly stylish.
From hee you can take the path to see the Pierregourde Tower and the Hospital Tower. These were part of the 16th century fortifications built to defend against Protestant attack. Also part of the fortifications, at the other end of Tournon-sur-Rhone is the Mauves gate, the only remaining original city gate. The defensive walls that were once on either side of the gate no longer exist.
There is an attractive Suspension Bridge that can be crossed on foot to get to Tain l'Hermitage on the other side of the river and sample the excellent Valrhona chocolate and Hermitage and Crozes Hermitage wine. You can also get some excellent views of Tournon from the bridge.
A visit to the Eden Parc garden in the park of an ancient Convent rewards you not only with a look around a pleasant woodland garden but also with some fabulous views of Tournon-sur-Rhone and the river stretched out below the gardens.
Continuing the garden theme the 'Jardins 'Erik Borja' is a lovely Japanese-style garden at Beaumont-Monteux, not far from Tournon-sur-Rhone. Speak to the tourist office to arrange a visit.
Of course, you are likely to cross the river to explore Tain l'hermitage when you come to Tournon.
Map of Tournon-sur-Rhone and places nearby
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Address: Tournon-sur-Rhône, Rhone-Alpes, 7300, France || GPS: latitude 45.0681, longitude 4.8333
Plan your visit to Tournon-sur-Rhone, Ardeche
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardin japonais: remarkable garden (9 km)
- Parc Jouvet: remarkable garden (16 km)
- Valence: town of art and history (16 km)
- Cathédrale Saint-Apollinaire (Valence): religious monument (16 km)
- Montelier: ville fleurie 4* (21 km)
Market days in Tournon-sur-Rhone, France
Regular market(s) are held in Tournon-sur-Rhone each Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Tournon-sur-Rhone (Francais)