Chabeuil: the Remarkable Village And Its Surroundings
Welcome to Chabeuil
Chabeuil is one of the many cities in the plain of Valence that grew from the initial settlements organized around Molassic hills. Despite the lack of historical data, it seems that the settlement from which Chabeuil developed was located at the very top of the Gontarde hill.
Chabeuil, located between Provence and the Vercors near our campsite in the Drome, and famous for its idyllic nature and rich history, is the perfect place to relax, while relishing the culture and savouring the local cuisine. After all, Chabeuil is well-known for its specialty – the regional meat dish caillette.
The Middle Ages were the most turbulent and exciting part of Chabeuil’s history: during the medieval military conflicts, the village was repeatedly passed between France, Spain and Monaco. The village’s architecture mirrors its tumultuous history.
The most remarkable sites in and around Chabeuil
The place that is equal parts bizarre and stunning is a cave dwelling preserved from the Middle Ages. Built in the hill of Gontarde, the dwelling has a door, two windows and, peculiarly, a board for pigeons, placed under the ceiling and most probably added at a much later date.
Chabeuil has a vast underground part comprised of labyrinths and galleries built in the Middle Ages. The underground structures were carved within the rocky surface that Chabeuil rests upon. The underground tunnels connected and still connect the most important locations of the old city. Some of them are easily noticeable: you can spot them under the old houses of the old village and in the hill of Gontarde. In the Middle Ages, they were used for a variety of purposes: as storage spaces, barns, coolers, or as accommodation and workshops. The underground constructions proved to be useful centuries after they were built when, during the Second World War, people of Chabeuil repurposed them as shelters and hideouts.
Enjoy the panoramic views of Chabeuil : head to the terrace at the top of the Gontarde hill, that offers a magnificent view of the village’s western part and the hills of Vivarais in the distance. To further immerse into the village’s history make sure to visit its main architectural attractions Chabeuil has. Go see the remnants of its monumental gate with its remaining original porch. Then, admire the former Ursuline convent with its remarkable door in the style of Louis XVIII and walk up to the Saint John’s Church built in the 19th century. Its design was inspired by the shape of the Greek cross, while its bell tower belonged to an older church.