The table is oak, the fire is an insert (glass window), and the fire place is made of stone from the Pont du Gard area. To the right of the table are two soft chairs and a settee. As well the fire there are two full wall height radiators in this room, heating and fuel for the fire are included for the cost. You are looking from the entrance to the gite: French-windows. When leaving the gite you go into a small private court yard which is also vaulted and always in the shade a very important feature for our region. There is a teak-bench for your use.
As you enter the courtyard the entrance to the apartment is on your left and the entrance to our property is on the right. Notice the vaulted ceiling and the `calade`: the flooring made of pebbles. There is a door just to your right as you enter, you will find cleaning equipment and it is where we store the wood for the fire, there is no extra charge for this.
The kitchen is just to your right as you enter the gite, it comprises of: sink unit, refrigerator, electric hobs (above the refrigerator), dishwasher, microwave/oven on the trolley, stainless steel hood. The kitchen is connected to the buildings ventilation system, which is driven by a two speed extractor. The doors are of oak.
There is a door which leaves the lounge/dining room, just to the right of the fireplace, and takes you to a small hall. The hall leads to a separate toilet, connected to the ventilation system, to the shower room and the bedroom. The view of the room is reduced because the photograph was taken from the corner where the washing machine is. On the wall to the left of the hand basin is a radiator/towel dryer and room is connected to the ventilation system. All of the water for the gite passes through a water softener.
You can see the size of the radiators used in the gite. The photo shows the double bed. You can see some exposed stonework which is part of an old vault we do not know the exact age of the building which has been modified many times.
There is a sleeping alcove next to the kitchen, with two single beds and oak-doors.
We have sunshine for 300 days of the year here.
Mairie (town hall)
This was the private chapel of the Palejay family.
Village and our Vineyards.
Another view of the village with Le Castelas (fortified church) on the skyline.
Notre Dame de Grace
The 12th-19C charity chapel on a hillock at the edge of the Rochefort Forest is of interest not for its architecture but for its remarkable collection of ex votos (more than 100 dating from 17-20C ), including one offered by Anne of Austria for the birth of the future Louis XIV in 1638 after 23 years of childless marriage (ex voto dated 1666 on the south pillar of the chancel). Off the cloisters is an echo-chamber where two people standing in opposite corners facing the wall, and speaking quietly, can hear each other distinctly. It was used for hearing the confessions of lepers.
The Pont (bridge) St Benezet
The bridge of the song, which spanned the river by way of the island, was 900m-975yds long when completed in 1190 and was for years, the only crossing so far down the Rhone. The twenty-two arches have been reduced with the passage of time, by storm and floodwater, to four. On one of the piers stands St Nicolas Chapel, with two storys, one Romanesque, one Gothic.
Legend has it that in 1177, a young shepherd boy, Benezet, was commanded by voices from heaven to build a bridge across the river at a spot indicated by an angel. Everyone thought him crazy until he `proved` that he was inspired by miraculously lifting a huge block of stone. Bishops gave money, funds flowed in, volunteers appeared and formed themselves into a Bridge Brotherhood (Frers Pontifes) and in less than eight years construction was complete. By 15C it had been fortified: the Philippe-le Bel Tower still stands in Villeneuve but the defences at the southern end have disappearded beneath more modern constructions.
St Benezet`s Bridge was a narrow bridge - a bridge for people on foot or horseback; it was never one on which one could dance in a ring - the dancing took place on the island in midstream, possibly around one of the bridge piers, in other words, not
but "Sous le pont d`Avignon/On y danse, tous en rond."
In the 14th century, Avignon became the centre of Christianity. On this trail you will come across a host of edifices that reflect the hectic endeavor of the pontifical court during this era. The imposing Palais de Papes, the famous Pont du Saint Benezet, the superbly conserved city ramparts, and the many churches and chapels, are true architectural gems. Avignon is now the capital of Cotes du Rhone region, and becomes alive each summer for a theatre festival that becomes the citys pulse. Your expedition will continue to Chateauneuf du Pape, where the supreme pontiffs built their summer residence. Or to Chateauneuf de Gagne, where writer Frederic Mistral breathed fresh life into the Provencal language.
The Pont du Gard
The Gard aqueduct was constructed by Agrippa in about 19 BC to carry the water of the Eure near Uzes to Nimes some 25 miles away. A covered canal was constructed entirely of stone, with openings for ventilation and maintenance, an incline of 34cm per km or 1:300 falling more steeply just before the valley to reduce the height of the bridge. The maximum daily flow was 20.000 cubic m. 44 million gallons which provided 400 litres of water per person.
Whenever Nimes was besieged, as often happened, the aqueduct was breached. From 4C it ceased to be maintained, so that lime deposits built up, until finally by 9C the course had become blocked and had fallen into disuse. Land holders along the course thereupon began to remove the dressed stones for their own use. In 19C, after 1,000 years of neglect, it was restored by Napoleon III.