Grospierres a village that was renamed and relocated several times

Grospierres Travel Blog

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Le Chatelas

After another long drive through the French countryside I had safely arrived in the village of Grospierres yesterday evening.

Grospierres is a small and very picturesque village in the Ardeche region in the south of France. Its population counts about 850 souls. Although small the village has an interesting and turbulent history. In the course of history it moved down from the mountains 276 meters above sea level into the valley. The mountain part, now called Le Chatelas, which was gradually abandoned and partly destroyed since 1591 is still there. The present Grospierres consist of two parts, the new (but still old) part and Grospierres la Gare. The latter was constructed near the station of the train that has been discontinued by now. The name of the village evolved from "Gurgite Petra", "Gurgitis Petra", "Gorpeiras", "Gourpierre", "Gropierre", "Groppiere" into "Grospierres" .

Grospierres

Willem and Lot had rented a stunning gite at the edge of the village at the lower part of the mountains. More about that in my blog for January 2nd.

Since Willem did not feel well today Lot and I made a nice hike in these mountains just above the gite. After an ascent of about 225 meters with increasing views we made our way over the mountain ridge. I was impressed by the trail markers. Not just the simple trail blazers I am used to in the US, but also signposts with distances, headings and often a small map.

On our way down we passed the centuries old Chapel of Our lady of Dreams (Chapelle Notre Dame des Songes). Parts of this chapel date back as far as 1256. The chapel is said to be built by the wife of a crusader and must have served the ancient Le Chatelas community.

Next to the chapel all of a sudden the ruins of Le Chatelas appear. The predecessor of Grospierres. It is just beautiful. For a fan of ghost towns the ultimate way to make the last hike in a memorable hiking year.

More pictures below.

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Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Grospierres
Grospierres
The vineyard near the gite, early …
The vineyard near the gite, early…
At the start of the hike, this hor…
At the start of the hike, this ho…
The high tech trail markers
The high tech trail markers
Chapelle Notre Dame des Songes
Chapelle Notre Dame des Songes
Chapelle Notre Dame des Songes
Chapelle Notre Dame des Songes
Nice landscape to hike in
Nice landscape to hike in
One of the ancient wall of Le Chat…
One of the ancient wall of Le Cha…
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
Le Chatelas
A road cross near Le Chatelas
A road cross near Le Chatelas
Nice landscape to hike in
Nice landscape to hike in
Grospierres
Grospierres
Grospierres
Grospierres
GPS profile of the hike (rendered …
GPS profile of the hike (rendered…
GPS height profile of the hike
GPS height profile of the hike
Le Chatelas around 1920 (photo: ch…
Le Chatelas around 1920 (photo: c…
Le Chatelas around 1920 (photo: ch…
Le Chatelas around 1920 (photo: c…
Grospierres
photo by: mdalamers