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Carte Rhône-Alpes
Flag region Rhône-Alpes

Administration & Statistics

Region Rhône-Alpes
Departement Drôme
Postal code 26000

Elevation 106-191 m
land area 37 km2
Population 66,981 (2009)
Density 1,826 /km2
The town of Valence in south eastern France, is the capital of the Drome department in the Rhône-Alpes. It is located on the left bank of the Rhone River.

Valence is over 2000 years old, but nearby in the Soyons prehistoric caves there is evidence of habitation and human history going back 150,000 years.

Valence’s location between Paris and the Mediterranean combined with its position on the Rhone River and its many sites of historical interest make it popular with tourists.

The town is dominated by the ancient Cathedral of Saint-Apollinaire, in the heart of Old Town. The cathedral was consecrated by Pope Urban 2nd in 1095 and completed early in the 12th century. Damage caused to it during the Wars of Religion (1569–98) was repaired in the 17th century. An original carved tympanum of Christ administering the Benediction can be seen at the southern portal.

In the Crussol Mountains sits the ruins of the ninth century Crussol Castle. The Castle overlooks the beautiful Rhone Valley and has spectacular views.

Places to visit include, the Maison des Tetes, a unique 16th century building. It has a historic façade and courtyard with fascinating sculpted heads of Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Homer. The Fine Arts Museum has paintings from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. South of the Cathedral is the Champ de Mars, a beautiful esplanade, offering a lovely view of the Jouvet Park and the Crussol mountain range. The Town hall is a 19th century building situated in the pedestrian streets of Old Town, which contrasts with the older buildings surrounding it.

The magnificent vineyards where the renowned red wines from Crozes-Hermitage, Saint Joseph, and Cote-Rotie are produced are open for visitors to tour. Visitors can see how the wine is made and can enjoy sampling it afterwards.

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