Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The village of Aiguèze is perched high on the cliff adjacent to the Ardéche River. Over many millenniums the powerful force of erosion carved the French equivalent of the Grand Canyon. The river is now a tourist destination, perfect for canoeing through its moderate rapids. The imposing castle wall of Aiguéze looms above the paddlers as they approach the very end of their recreational journey. We may assume that medieval travelers down the river would have been less enthusiastic about the site, potentially the stronghold for a river tax collector.

Today the village is sustained on tourism and wine production on the gentle sloping plateau opposite the cliff. On the day we visited, we approached from the southern farm lands. It was a cool rainy day. Even so, we encountered a few other families touring the medieval highlights of the city.

The buildings are now well maintained, but over the centuries, most of the city walls were demolished. Only the tall church spire and two small castle towers project medieval strength. A nice ridge line path allows visitors to take in the sight of the ravine, and an outcropping at the west end of town provides a bit of an aerial view of the city and surroundings.


We noticed dozens of apartments for sale or rent in the city. Aiguèze would be a wonderful place to have a vacation home.
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This work by Ken Maschke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.