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Uzès, first Duchy of France

Uzès is a charming small town in the north of the Gard department (about 9000 inhabitants) built on a promontory above the river Alzon's. The old town is surrounded by boulevards shaded by plane trees that have replaced the old medieval walls. It is a meandering streets where there are beautiful old houses and abundance of mansions from the Renaissance to the 18th century. The vast "Place aux Herbes" is the heart of the city, also protected from the summer sun by plane trees and lined with arcaded houses of the Renaissance in which shops settled.


Facing the Town Hall, the castle of the Dukes of Uzès far exceeds the pink roof tiles of the old town. In its center an imposing medieval tower square emerges top of forty meters, called the Tower Bermonde the name of the Lord Uzes Bermond which was erected in the 11th century. This is the only castle in France to carry the honorary title of "Duchy". The title of Duchy was granted by King Charles IX to Antoine Crussol Viscount Uzès in 1565 as a reward for his loyalty and bravery. The Duchy is still inhabited by the family of Crussol. However, it is open to visitors.


Beside the Brémonde Tower, the Tower of the bishop emerges almost as high as the roofs of the old town and he challenges his supremacy. A third mediaeval tower is this: the Tower of King reminds the Lord Bishop and the power of the King of France..

These three rounds illustrate the quarrels between the Middle Ages and the Lord Bishop of Uzès to impose its authority over the city and the authority of the King of France after the Albigensian Crusade in 1226. Despite the unrest, Uzes prosperous. The violent and deadly disputes of religious wars in the 16th century leave indelible traces a city tempted by the reformed religion. The prohibition of religious freedom after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and the Revolution feed a confrontational atmosphere sometimes violent quarrels.


The most beautiful tower in Uzès is Fenestrelle Tower, elegant cylindrical tower Romanesque 12th century, pierced windows whose appearance recalls the Tower of Pisa. Fenestrelle Tower is adjacent to the St. Théodorit Church rebuilt in the 17th century wars of religion.


With the decline of local industries of weaving from the mid 19th, the city declines and loses its luster. Uzes has a rehabilitation plan in 1965, and restoration supported by the state, which has given the city an economic boost. It is a city of tourism and culture, the Festival of Contemporary Dance was established in 1996 which is held in June in an international echo.


The "Place aux herbes" is the center of a very famous market in the region. The Uzes market includes local producers in the region, the Uzes is particularly rich in local products of quality: olive oil, wine (Cotes du Rhone wines), herbs, tasty fruit and vegetables season. The Uzes region is also known for the quality pottery, the village of Saint-Quentin-la-pottery few kilometers away. Around the Place aux Herbes, the market is spread over much of the streets of the old city.

Northeast of Uzes, the Fountain of Eure is the source which supplied Nimes to ancient times. The Romans built an aqueduct fifty miles long including the famous Pont du Gard is the most spectacular part. There are still vestiges of the work in the countryside around Uzès. In Roman times, "Ucetia" was a satellite city of Nimes, where patricians lived. La Fontaine d'Eure is still caught today it supplies the town of Uzes.

Accommodation near Uzes and practical information :

UzèsSelection of bed and breakfast near Uzes on the portal of the B&B in Provence

Uzes city web site : www.uzes.fr

La Maison Blanche Uzès La Maison Blanche
Three guest rooms, Dinner and cooking courses at La Bastide d'Engras


Coming to Uzes

GPS coordinates N 44°00'43'' - E 4°25'11''

The town of Uzes in the Gard department, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

Uzes position : altitude 138 meters, 9000 inhabitants, 6 km from Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie, 11 km from Collias, 14 km from the Pont du Gard , 19 km from Lussan, 24 km from Nîmes, 28 km from Saint-Laurent-les-Arbres, 32 km from Alès, 39 km from Villeneuve-les-Avignon, 40 km from Avignon.

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