Our time in the Ardèche has been a delight. The countryside is wondrous, with a number of distinct microclimates, the famous Gorges d’Ardèche at Pont-de-Vallon, hills full of scotch broom, lupin, and lavender. The fruit is in season and white asparagus is available for cooking. The sun has shined each day and even the mistral has cooperated.
The Romanesque churches are very interesting on the whole, with a couple of spectacular finds. One of the most interesting is our “home” church, the Église Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens in nearby Ruoms. The church of Saint Peter in Chains was created in the 12th century as a small Benedictine abbey church belonging to Cluny, but never had more than four monks in residence at any one time.
There is a legend that says that the limestone used to build the church is the same stone that is used in the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York.
The immediate region is also filled with dolmens and burial sites from the early Bronze Age, making its inhabitants contemporary to the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt and the Aegean Bronze Age.
The old abbey in Ruoms now serves as a parish church and is clearly beloved by the residents of the town. It is filled with ex-votos and memorials, both signs of an active and devoted congregation.
Location: 44.453622° 4.341014°