Book online
Discover South Ardèche in video
Our newsletter, our special opening times etc.
You are here

Alba la Romaine

Alba-la-Romaine stretches out from the foot of its impressive feudal castle to the middle of the winegrowing plain and to the south of the Coiron hills.
 'A village with character'
The village of Alba la Romaine is one of the 20 "villages of character" of Ardèche. It was awarded of the label thanks to the castle site enhanced by the hilly area ; the "la Roche' quarter with its little streets and small squares ; the footpaths including one which goes through the vineyard.
The village, which today is one of France's "villages of character", was from the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD, the administrative centre of the Helvien settlement called "Alba helvorum", one of the main gallo-roman centres in the Rhône-Alpes region. Archaeological excavations have recovered traces of this large settlement together with the ruins of a Roman theatre, a monumental centre and a sanctuary. Visitors have free access to the site all year round.
Within the fortifications of the present village (13th century) lies a labyrinth of narrow, paved streets and archways, revealing the charm of two-toned architecture with checkered stones of black basalt and white limestone. Most of the houses were built in the 16th and 17th centuries but some are older still. Inscriptions, decorated lintels or biblical reliefs whisper their history to the attentive passer-by.
Throughout the village tour, clear signposting helps the visitor discover other examples of Alba's rich historical past such as the church and chapel Saint-André or the "Horloge" tower. Visible from the river Escoutay is the volcanic dyke on which the first keep of the fortified castle was built in the 11th century. The present castle dates from the 17th century when it was owned by the Beaume de Suze family. Today, the castle is privately owned and is open to the public from Easter to November 1st.
After 1947, when the painter André Lhote called on fellow artists and intellectuals to come to Alba the village became a meeting place for numerous French and foreign artists. The castle and the chapel in "La Roche" quarter were ideally used for exhibitions and cultural events.

Come and discover

PDFWalking tour : a stroll around Alba la Romaine

PDFWalking tour : Alba la Romaine - the La Roche hamlet

Want to find out more ?
Alba-cactus La Roche - La Chapelle de La Roche se prête idéale La Roche - La chapelle 1 La Roche - Porte Bressac breteche La Roche - rue 3 La Roche rue 4 La Roche - rue 6 La roche - entrée du village - Roc 1536x2048 La-Roche-portail-dela-Trappel-Roc Le Château - sommet Le Château 3 Site antique - Sanctuaire et signalétique Théatre antique - ruisseau du Massacre 2 Théâtre antique 1 Tour de l'Horloge 2 brocante-centre-village vue aérienne vue generale toîtures et château 1 Portes - Anc. Maison Prat
Retour haut de page
  • Reduce font size
  • Increase font size
  • Print
  • Contact us
  • Site plan
  • Download the page in pdf format
  • Home page