Chalencon : a village with oustanding character
Historic site and monument in Chalencon, Ardèche
Opening : Throughout the year : open daily.
The village unfurled around the church and was once surrounded by ramparts. Places to visit: the old "city gate" (listed as a Monument Historique), grain barrels, Tour de la Potence and more. Guided tour on Tuesday at 10am (July and August).
Between the 9th and 4th centuries B.C., the Celts installed their shelter on the promontory.
In 52 B.C., in the time of Caesar, the Romans and Gauls built a first fort and roads.
In the Middle Ages and up to the end the 1st century, Chalencon was the third of the twelve baronies of the Vivarais. Diane de Poitiers, its most famous baroness inherited it in the 16th century.
Don't leave without having visited this village and its many vestiges. Among the testimonials of the past, discover the Porte de Besse (11th gate), the tour de la Potence (Gibbet Tower), the 15th century grain measures, the mullion windows, picturesque streets.
This village of character, receiving its title in 2005, features remarkable viewpoints over the Vercors and the Cévennes mountains.
Grain measures :The grain measures of Chalencon have been exceptionally preserved. They are difficult to date but it would appear that they date back to the 15th century. They were also used to pay the barony's fees in oats and rye.
Chaire du désert :The "chaire du désert" (desert pulpit) that is preserved in the Protestant church of Chalencon, was used for the clandestine celebrations held from 1685 to 1787 during the so-called "desert" period that followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
During this period, the Protestants, who no longer existed legally, used to celebrate their clandestine services in the countryside in deserted areas at the risk of being surprised by the King's dragoons. They built pulpits that they installed during the services. This "chaire du desert" recalls that painful page in the history of the Protestants of France.
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