Grignan is a cute little town in the area of Drome. It's a bit difficult to access this area without public transport but its about half an hour by car from the motorway from Avignon to Valence. Grignan is built on a hill and once you reach it, you get to see a beautiful sight of all the people, all together, in the countryside.
There are 1500 inhabitants, many of who are dedicated to growing lavender, finding local truffles, wine making and growing sunflowers. The city is famous for its Renaissance-style castle, where the Marquise de Sevigne lived and where she died in 1696. You can spend a full day in Grignan, but generally there are many interesting towns in the region. The center is partly pedestrianized, and has all necessary services that include a bank a small supermarket, a post office, as well as many hotels and restaurants. Keep in mind that during the first week of July there is a festival and the people are very busy, you have to book in advance.
The Grignan Castle dominates the backdrop of this beautiful provencal village. You'll see it all the way from the main road when you get to Grignan. It is built on top of the hill next to the old town, which was built for purposes of defense around the castle, protected by a medieval wall.
The castle is especially famous for one of its residents, the Marquise de Sevigne, who lived in Grignan in the late seventeenth century. Her letters, which were written to her daughter were published and are a prime example of the French literature of the period. There has been a fort here since the twelfth century and it was built on a hill. It was rebuilt during the sixteenth century and was visited by Francois I, King of France. Now the castle belongs to the community of the Drome.
The San Salvador de Grignan Church was built between 1535 and 1543, just bellow the castle. This is in the Gothic style with a single nave and a pentagonal choir. Its two square towers are also typical of this era. Inside, the tribune of the north wall connected with the castle. This allowed the Nobles to attend mass without having to enter through the main entrance.
The construction of the altarpiece and the organ began in the seventeenth century. The main facade was constructed into two parts, the first was the bell tower, and it was followed by a second tower for a symmetrical work. The Renaissance-style façade contrasts with the interior of the building, but it similar to the construction of the castle and the courtyard, built in 1543. From the patio, you can get a good view of the region, where it is a little higher than the valley.
This object is the gate tower of Tricot, and is also called belfry. It was raised up in 1600 in order to place there the city's first public clock. It is a beautiful medieval tower with a bell to let people know what time it is. The part of the watch is quite simple, but it hasn't changed at all since the 17th century. The Belfry is a tradition that began in northern France, and was a very strong symbol for medieval villages. In earlier times, the church bell was the only clock on the town, and represented a symbol of religious power and feudal, the belfry, with its clock tower and public generally equal or higher than the church steeple, announcing the independence of a people to its medieval lord. You can go under the belfry to climb to the castle of Grignan.
This fountain is located in the historic heart of Grignan and represents the Marquise de Sevigne. Its in the clock of the old square. The part from the fountain was built in 1840 and the statue of the Marquise was added in 1857. It was the most famous of characters during that time, who lived in the Gringnan castle, and died there in the late seventeenth century. Grignan's big event was the festival of the correspondence, which celebrates the Marquesa De Sévigné. The Marquise was famous for her letters written to her daughter, the Marquise de Grignan. The festival of correspondence is celebrated the first week of July, and brings plays in the castle.
The Lavoir is where people in Grignan village wash their clothes publicly. This was built quite late, in 1840, which explains then its neoclassical columns and central dome. The work was created as part of a series of improvements to the city, decided by the mayor of Grignan-Auguste Francois Ducros, between 1828 and 1868. It was made in the old plaza of the Clock, and the neoclassical City Hall, where there was a covered market and carnage. The source of the temple was inspired by love the Petit Trianon, in Versailles. Currently, the public battery still works but they have created a system to save the water.
The Grignan defensive wall is located in the beautiful provencal village in the Drome region. This area is notable for its Renaissance-style castle, where the famous Marquise de Sevigne lived and died in the late seventeenth century. The eleventh century village was built around the castle, and was fortified in the twelfth century. It was greatly expanded in the thirteenth century, with the installation of Adhemar de Grignan family. The new wall is supported on top of twelve defensive towers. The village extends to the current limits of the old town, with the exception of small villages that have developed outside the fortified city from the sixteenth century. The walls were well-cared-for until the eighteenth century, but were partially destroyed during the nineteenth century when town went through an economic expansion and outgrew its walls.