Historical center - Tournon sur Rhône
Beautifully situated along the Rhône Valley, nestling amid the vines of a famed winegrowing area, Tournon sur Rhone is a town with a Mediterranean feel.
Behind the impressive castle on its granite rock, seigneurial home of the Comtes de Tournon, is a maze of narrow streets meandering through the historic center. Since the Early Middle Ages to the 18th century the Tournons have left a great cultural heritage thanks to different monuments such as the
Château de Tournon but also the Collegiate Church Saint Julien.
The town is then strongly fortified during the Hundred Years’ War, but it will expand beyond the wall after it quickly became prosperous again. In the
south, the Porte de Mauves can be admired, the last stable door which once closed the town (there used to be 4). 2 watchtowers are left in the north and the south of the Sentier des Tours, a marked walking path which goes uphill between the towers.
Up Rue Gabriel Faure the Passerelle Marc Seguin, an improved replica of the first cable suspension bridge built on the Rhône in Tournon in 1825 can be seen.
Not far from the Passerelle, there is the Lycée Gabriel Faure (high school), “direct descendant” of the Collège founded by François de Tournon at the time
of the Renaissance (1536), François I’s counsellor. That made it one of the most ancient high schools in France. It is in 817 that we find the first written trace of Tournon, under the name of " Turnone", thus marking the beginning ot is official history. It was at this time that a rich family of lords later called " Comtes de Tournon" moved in. They will choose to install their fort on this granite rock overlooking the Rhone Valley. In 1308, the northern Vivarais was annexed by the Kingdom of France after having been Empire since the 11th century.
The seigneury of Tournon had a very extensive domain and enjoyed a great reputation throughout the region, among other things by the numerous offices that some counts could have left rich testimonies through various monuments such as the castle that stands today masterfully in the heart of the city. They beautifully embellished it from the 13th to the 16th century, the primitive construction of the castle dating back to the year 1000.
At the foot is the old towqn with the collegiate Church of St Julien, the Porte de Mauves once marking the southern limit of the city, one of the oldest colleges in France ( today Gabriel Faure High School), the Marc Seguin bridge: 1st bridge suspended by iron cables...
From a remarkable point of view, the Tours trail ( connecting the 2 old watchovers of the old ramparts of the 16th century), flanked by hillsides, or the viewpoint even higher with its orientation table where it is easy to contemplate the magnificent panorama of the Rhone Valley.
Very recently, the city has just inauguarated the " Chemin de l'Air", a path with small terraces to reach the Tours trail ( behnd the Tourist Office) accessible during the guided tours programmed by the TO).
Group tour average time: 90min
Individual tour average time: 90min
Grouped tourUnguided group tours available permanently, Guided group tours on request
Individual tourUnguided individual tours available permanently, Guided individual tours on request
Groups size: from 10 to 35 people
Throughout the year : open daily.
- Car park
- Coach parking
- Pets welcome
Group rate available for > 10 people.