Travel in France – Ganges

Friday was the last day in the Cevennes – on Saturday we would begin the long drive north. We needed an ‘easy day’ and decided to visit Ganges on Market Day.

Ganges market

Ganges market

In summer the town is filled with flowers.

The ‘Old Town’ is all round you! Ganges was mentioned in Roman times when it was known as d’Aganticum. Mediaeval Ganges was an important trading centre, a walled town and a labyrinth of narrow streets, traverses (vaulted passageways), and even elevated squares and gardens which are being restored and which can still be seen today.

The site of one of the gates into the town
The site of one of the gates into the town

The Grande Rue.

Grande Rue, Ganges
Grande Rue, Ganges

Chemins de Traverses are Mediaeval vaulted passageways between streets, sometimes weaving a route through houses. In Ganges there is even a ‘suspended garden’ which is now being restored.

Chemins de Traverses, Ganges

The original main square.

The original main square of Ganges
The original main square of Ganges
The original main square of Ganges
The original main square of Ganges

The Rue des Échoppes leads off the main square. In the 13C this was a covered ‘shopping mall’.

A Mediaeval chimney hidden in one of the twisting streets in the middle of the town.

The churches represent the religious conflicts of the area. The first church in Ganges was perhaps as early as the 6C and the first Church of St Pierre was probably close to the Chateau, on the site of the current covered market. Christianity was so embedded in Ganges that the Seigneur of Ganges participated in the First Crusade of 1095. The church was destroyed in the Wars of religion, 1591. The current church is the third, built 1860-66.

The Church of St Pierre, Ganges
The Church of St Pierre, Ganges

The Protestant Temple was built in 1851 on the site of a Convent of the Cordeliers.

 

Le Temple, Ganges
Le Temple, Ganges
Le Temple
Le Temple

On the hill overlooking the town is a Dominican Conventbuilt in the 19C.

The Domenican Convent
The Domenican Convent

The Square of Marianne is hidden behind the Barracks, and Le Temple.

Square of Marianne, Ganges
Square of Marianne, Ganges

The schools.

The former Barracks now houses the Tourist Office, and there is a striking War Memorial in the small square in front of the Barracks.

The Barracks, Ganges
The Barracks, Ganges
The bell tower of the barracks, Ganges
The bell tower of the barracks, Ganges
The War Memorial, Ganges
The War Memorial, Ganges

You may be interested in
A history of the Causses & Cevennes Region
Transhumance in France
Ganges in 1900 – a re-enactment at the beginning of September every year
Ganges and here and here
Protestantism in France
The murder of the Marchioness of Ganges
One aspect of living in Ganges today

 

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