FRANCE RHONE-ALPS ARDECHE privasThere are a handful of villages on the plateau above the Gorges that are usually surrounded by lavender fields and vineyards. The most notable villages however, are Aubenas and Privas which are known more for their chestnut bounties. These villages are famous for turning their chestnut harvests into every other foodstuff possible, from chestnut creams to beers and liqueur. 

Privas (8,600) has the remains of a Roman villa on its site, but recorded history does not begin till the its medieval period when the 12th century Pont Louis XIII [rue de Pont Loius XIII] was first constructed.  The bridge and much of the village was destroyed during the Seige of Privas when Catholic Louis XIII crushed the Protestant stronghold in 1629.  Subsequently he rebuilt the bridge and it was named after him.  Today the bridge is the most historically visible monument, and you can stroll around its base amongst stone houses and slated barns of the old
quartier des Tanneurs.  In the centre of the village is the 15th century Tour de Diane [1 Place République] is also worth visiting.  The hills and valleys around Privas are pretty and should be added to your list of places to visit here



PRIVAS STREET MAP1.  Tourism Office  2. Pont Loius XIII  3. Tour de Diane

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