Between the Vercors massif and the Baronnies massif, Le Poët-Laval is a picturesque village in Provençale Drôme where time seems to have stood still in the medieval era. There are no cars or roads here. A peaceful atmosphere reigns in the cobbled side streets lined with old houses, a nice place for a stroll. Full of charm and authenticity, it's no surprise that Le Poët-Laval is listed among the Most Beautiful Villages in France!
The hillside village was founded in the 12th century by the Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Back then, a castle stood at the top of the village, and the imposing feudal keep and ramparts are its last remnants. From here, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the wooded Jabron Valley! Parts of a 12th-century Romanesque building still remain near the keep. The nave and choir of the Chapel of St. John of the Commanders can still be seen today.
Le Poët-Laval was a Protestant stronghold for a long time. Based in an old 15th-century home that was converted into a temple in the 17th century, the Museum of Dauphinois Protestantism tells the story of Protestantism in the region. The village is also home to the Yvon Morin art centre, devoted to various cultural activities such as exhibitions, concerts and lectures.
Charming little village in the Drôme, between the Vercors and the Baronnies, Le Poët-Laval takes place about sixty kilometers from Valence. It is located between groves and broom and lavender fields, not far from Dieulefit, Montjoux and Aleyrac.
Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Le Poët-Laval has a history closely related to that of its castle and chapel built by the Hospitallers of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. Very important, the Commandery has indeed governed the life of the city for several years. Very touched by the wars of religion with many seats, the village experienced a certain economic boom in the late nineteenth century with the arrival of the railway to Valencia.
Today, Le Poët-Laval is mainly oriented towards tourism thanks to an exceptional architectural and natural heritage.
Built by the Hospitallers of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, the medieval donjon dates from the beginning of the 13th century. Built on a rocky hillock, it consisted of two vaulted vaulted rooms and a defensive terrace. Enlarged in the sixteenth century, the castle becomes property of the town in the late 1980s and is then listed as a Historical Monument. Restored in the 1990s, it is the subject of guided tours during the year.
Not far away, the chapel of Saint-Jean-des-Commandeurs is also the work of the Hospitallers of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. Also built in the early 13th century, it was badly damaged by the wars of religion. Partly rebuilt in the 17th century, it was restored in the 1960s. The nave and adjoining sacristy collapsed in the 1930s and were never rebuilt.
Built in the course of the sixteenth century, the Commandery is a castle whose origin is poorly known. Built on the ramparts of the fourteenth century, it was restored in the 1950s and now belongs to private individuals.
Housed at the beginning of the 17th century in an old dwelling house, the temple now houses the Museum of Protestantism Dauphinois. There are many documents and objects related to religion and persecution suffered after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
Walking enthusiasts can take the hiking trail in the footsteps of the Huguenots connecting Le Poët-Laval to Bad Karlshafen, Germany. It is also possible to walk on the cornices, the hole of the Ferret and the plains.
The Center of Art and Animation Raymond du Puy is an opportunity to discover many exhibitions and other cultural activities.