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My Languedoc village


St. Jean de Valeriscle (30960)

St. Jean de Valeriscle

St. Jean de Valeriscle can be found at the foot of the southern Cevennes, just 20 minutes north of Ales.  Our population is 746 but despite being small, we have a Music School and Concert Hall that sees over a hundred people watching their children play their instruments at concerts.   

St. Jean is famous for its medieval quarter and it is (apparently) the only village in France that is built downwards from the main road to the river.  Villages are usually nestled on hilltops!   We have an old mining railway as the area used to be a mining area, the mines having shut down some 50 years ago.  Now we have many people from abroad buying property here and the medieval quarter has several gites, an Auberge serving delicious local food and France's only Flag Museum 'Musee des Blasons.'   Houses are 700 years old (ours is among those!) - access by foot through intriguing passageways and under stone arches.  The view from the 'Eglise Ancienne' is superb and from the hill opposite the village, the view of the mediaeval quarter is stunning.  We welcome tourists and school trips regularly, looking at the history and architecture of our village.  

Last year the main part of the village was renovated and we had a grand opening this year with the maires of Ales and surrounding villages present.  We have a post office, a tabac, epicerie, boulangerie and primary school.  For walkers, it is a paradise - walks start from the village centre or riverside.   Our village has a large swimming pool which is in a stunning location at the foot of the valley, just a five minute walk from the medieval quarter.   The people of St. Jean are very warm and friendly.  The population varies from young families and couples who want cheaper property out of Ales to the elderly who have lived here all their lives.  

We hope to welcome many more visitors to this relatively unknown village (unknown by the British - the Dutch and Belgians discovered it a long time ago!).   A warm welcome awaits all!

Stephanie Morley

Inhabitant of St. Jean de Valeriscle




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