How beautiful, how majestic, perched on its rocky promontory: Grignan Castle is a must visit! From its terrace, what an incredible view of the region: located overlooking the village of Grignan, the castle offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Drôme and Provence, the montagne de la Lance, Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail!
Let yourself be guided, we set the scene:
The castle is imposing when you arrive on Grignan. We are quickly captivated by the painting before us, and if you have the opportunity to see it at sunset it is a beautiful sight. To access the castle, you take the steep alleys, which wind up to the top: you will have to park at the bottom of the village (whose alleys deserve to be lost) and walk up.
The castle is located southeast of Montelimar, between Valence and Avignon. Only 20 km from the exit of the highway of the sun in the direction of Nyons (the land of olives ;-)). A region where dominent lavender and vine, and where cicadas are constantly singing.
What is the history of Grignan Castle?
Rendered famous for the correspondence of the Marquise de Sévigné to his daughter, it is the largest Renaissance castle in southeast France. Built in the Middle Ages on a rocky peak, the castle of the Grignan family was transformed into a fortress by the Adhémar family on 13ème siècle. </In 1669, Count François de Castellane Adhémar de Monteil married the very beautiful Françoise-Marguerite de Sévigné. The couple left Paris and settled permanently in Grignan. The castle then underwent numerous developments and constructionsthe terraces and the courtyard. 1696, Madame de Sévigné died at the castle.
The castle was classified Historical Monument in 1993 and labelled Musée de France. In 1979, the castle was sold to the Conseil Général de la Drôme. The power of the Count and the letters of Madame de Sévigné have made the <chateau a major place of regional history, which nowadays, shines in the >national cultural life.
Chateau life in Grignan
The castle of Grignan has been completely renovated with very rich furniture. It is a place full of history, where each piece is unique. Some of them are reconstructed with the decor of yesteryear, and plunge us into the atmosphere of the rhythmic castle life around the stays of the Marquise de Sévigné. Today, a visit to the site allows you to discover the beauty of the private apartments : tapestries, paintings, works of art…. and the huge >reception rooms which reveal the Art de vivre of our ancestors.
After the visit, take the circular walk along the castle to join the >Colégiale Saint Sauveur which shelters the tom of the Marquise de Sévigné. This old round path will lead you down Grignan to the old lavoir neoclassical style, inspired by the Temple of Love of the Petit Trianon of Versailles.
When to visit the castle ?
The castle is open all year round (be careful, it closes at noon). The visit is free or with a guide. If you are in a hurry, you can choose to visit only the outdoors. From the terrace there is a nice view over the rooftops of the village with the stone houses and their sand-coloured tiles. To enjoy the sumptuous panorama over the valley It is better to admire it under a clear sky.
Sheltered from view… The Rochecourbière cave
2 km from the castle terrace is the stone table where the Marquise de Sévigné retired to write her famous letters in complete tranquility… This was her favourite place to walk. Don’t look for a real cave but rather a rock shelter! A nice place to have a picnic in the shade of the truffle oaks.
Festivities at Grignan Castle
Show, jazz, concert, exhibition, night market… The castle and the village of Grignan are the place of an abundant cultural program with always so much success for “the Night Festivals“: an open-air show, which takes place every summer in the courtyard of the castle with its impressive façade as background!
In memory of the Marquise de Sévigné, Grignan still perpetuates the art of literature with his “festival de la correspondance“, which attracts a loyal and passionate audience every year, early July.
Two evenings in the summer, the village of Grignan offers a true journey through time with its >a costumed night market, street and folklore shows : a guaranteed medieval atmosphere!
Adhémar and Suze-la-Rousse, the other castles of the Drôme Provençale
In spring, the castle of the Adhémar will offer you a unique view on Montélimar, famous for its Nougat.