Saint-Pierreville is a commune in the Ardèche, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, 32 km north-west of Privas by road... but only 13 km as the crow flies! The locality has indeed a very abrupt relief, the altitude of the territory of 20.5 km² ranging from 398 to 1005 m.
In the heart of the Eyrieux valley and the Vivarais mountains that ensure the transition between the Ardèche plateau and the Rhone valley, crossed by two rivers sometimes impetuous, especially in autumn during the Cevennes rains, the Glueyre and the Veyruègne, Saint-Pierreville offers visitors an attractive face. The terraces built over the centuries to allow culture have added to the charm of the landscape, which includes protected natural areas.
In a region that was a bastion of Protestantism, the town suffered the wars of religion in the seventeenth century before prospering through the cultivation of silkworm and especially its chestnut groves. This activity remains one of its wealth, with sheep farming and tourism, hiking enthusiasts, especially, enjoying the preserved nature of the environment of Saint-Pierreville, which has nearly 600 inhabitants.
A stay or a stage in Saint-Pierreville can begin with a discovery of its historical heritage, starting with the church dedicated to Saint Peter whose oldest parts of Romanesque style date back to the 11th century. The building was then remodeled in a Gothic style. It is inside that shelters several jewels: the altar, a Baroque altarpiece, a Romanesque baptistery and a canvas of the nineteenth century, the Deliverance of Saint Peter. The work was restored in 1989. All these elements are classified. Information on +33 4 75 66 60 14.
See also, the Protestant temple that dates from 1825, austere architecture, but we note that the building materials are granite.
A beautiful old wash-house, in the center of the village, the castles of Sibleyras and Pras, in its surroundings, also testify to the rich past of the locality which counted until 2000 inhabitants in the XIXe century.
These different sites can mark a hike or mountain bike. Many circuits are indeed available on the territory of the municipality, and at the discretion of the hamlets, we will take advantage of several protected natural areas or classified Natura 2000.
Some routes are connected to the Dragonnades road, which offers nice views of the village and its valleys. This route was drawn by order of Louis XIV in the seventeenth century to facilitate the passage of royal troops whose mission is to suppress the Protestant resistance. Maps, documentation and information on +33 4 75 64 80 97.
Also note that fishermen can enjoy rivers where trout are legion. Contact +33 4 75 37 09 68 for details of the regulations and the developed sites.
Do not hesitate to join +33 4 75 36 38 60 the Regional Natural Park of the Monts d'Ardèche which organizes hiking and activities highlighting the natural heritage of the territory.
In another register, even if by traversing the locality, this floret of the local culture is essential, a visit is essential to the House of the Chestnut tree. The site traces on three levels the secular history of this culture, and the relations between men and what they designated as their "bread trees". We understand why local chestnuts have a Denomination of Controlled Origin. Open Wednesdays and weekends from April 1st to November 30th and every day in July and August. Information on +33 4 75 66 64 33.
To see also, the Factory of the Bridge of Aleyrac arranged in an old milling. There are remarkable exhibitions of works by modern and contemporary artists, from the region or of international reputation (sculptures, photographs or paintings). Open in July and August on Friday, Saturday and Sunday or by appointment. Information on +33 4 75 66 65 25.
Finally, built on the site of an old mill, Ardelaine is a cooperative whose vocation is to develop local resources (agricultural and artisanal). Guided tours are offered. The site also includes a coffee shop and program workshops. Open all year. Information on +33 4 75 66 63 08.