In the heart and soul of the Gard terroirs

Aigues-Mortes-in-Camargue Abbey-Church-of-Saint-Gilles

Abbatiale of Saint-Gilles

Aigues-Mortes, city of Saint Louis

What is it that makes up the soul of a territory? In the multi-facetted Gard, searching for a reply is worth the while. Exceptional sights, vestiges of history, popular heritage, museums and of course the local Gardois inhabitants will all guide you on the way to finding the answer.

It shouldn’t take you long to realize that the Gard has its very own territorial identity. At the start, you’ll be struck by the amazingly diversified landscapes, testimony of past history, and then you’ll be charmed by the extensive man-made heritage. Solitary mas farmhouses, humble abodes, manor houses, factories, chapels, dry-stone capitelle cabins or simple low stone walls… these soil-tinted structures of numerous hues – creams, ochres and greys – will help you to seize the spirit of the land. And especially the local inhabitants, the Gardois, reputed to be reserved but ever hospitable, will open doors to the heart of their land so that you too can discover and share in their subtle traditions.

Authenticity indeed involves a past that we can touch with our eyes and feel through our senses when facing exceptional sites. Among them, three gems of gardois beauty stand out, honoured with a ranking as UNESCO world heritage sites: Pont du Gard, Saint Gilles Abbey (on the route to Santiago de Compostela), and the Cévennes Causses plateaux, known for their emblematic Mediterranean farming and herding landscapes. In France, nine cities or villages are listed: Nîmes the Roman, Uzès the Renaissance city and medieval Beaucaire are part of the Villes d’Art et d’Histoire; Aiguèze, La Roque-sur-Cèze and Montclus are among the Plus beaux villages de France; whereas Lussan, Vézénobres and Barjac are denoted as Villages de caractère.

But from the medieval ramparts of Aigues-Mortes to the Carthusian monastery of Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, and from the troglodyte abbey of Saint-Roman to Beaucaire, the historical splendour is not limited to lists and official sites. In actual fact, the Gard has over 500 “protected” edifices, of which one third are classified monuments. It is a given that the Gard will satisfy your curiosity thanks to dozens of museums and other places of art, history and terroir embodying this splendour. The list is almost endless. Simply note that ancient and more recent pasts conjugate in such places as: Rousson’s Préhistorama, the Sacred Art Museum in Pont-Saint-Esprit and the very contemporary Carré d’Art in Nîmes.


« “Behind each stone, there’s a human being. We help tourists feel that they’re not simply encountering stones, but our direct ancestors. Patrimony is just that, with its root of patres monium: that which comes from fathers.” »

Alain Girard, curator of the Gard Sacred Art Museum in Pont-Saint-Esprit

Read the full interview

To discover more, go to our INTERACTIVE MAP

“Nemausus, the birth of Nîmes”*



The intent of the “Nemausus, the Birth of Nîmes” film (produced by Culturespaces and crafted by Gédéon Programmes) shown to visitors at the Maison Carré in Nîmes is to better explain the city’s historical origins.
Filmed in autumn 2013 in Nîmes and neighbouring areas under the direction of Pierre Stine, this production required extensive technical resources as well as the active participation of nearly 200 actors.
The work depicts the period from 55 B.C. to 90 A.D. and enables visitors to track the fate of a family while exploring the past and the wealth of Nîmes’ heritage.

Don’t miss it !

*At the Maison Carrée, screened continually every 30 minutes.

Le Musée du Désert where the tale of Protestant history is told …


Located in the very centre of a typical Cevennes hamlet, in the house where Rolland, the Camisard chief, was born, this museum evokes the history of the Huguenots and Camisards in the Cévennes region in the 17th and 18th centuries. The 2,000 objects displayed throughout its 15 rooms imaginatively convey how the Cévennes soul was forged.

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