GPS: 44.3598206, 04.1112366
Banne is one of the Ardeche Villages de Caractere. The village is divided between the church and the 12th century castle, of which only the ruins remain and now serves as an entertainment venue.
A stroll through Banne allows you to discover pretty, steep alleys, old sandstone and limestone houses and stairs. Afterwards you can relax in the shade of the village square.
There is much to do and see in Banne with its exhibitions of paintings and sculptures, its shows organized in the stables of the castle, its walks in the forest, its mine trail, its unique art festival ...
Banne is in the south of the Ardèche built on a slope in the foothills of the Cévennes, situated in the canton of Les Vans, between the territories of Malbosc, Brahic, Naves, Chassagnes, Berrias, Saint-André de Cruzières and Saint-Paul le Jeune. Banne opens onto the Gard to the south towards Gagnières and Bordezac.
Evidence of inhabitation dates to the 12th century when the church of Saint-Pierre de Banne is mentioned being offered to the house of the Temple of Jalès, in the village of Berrias-et-Casteljau. The Romanesque church proudly sports its pointed bell tower, allowing it to be seen from far away from the plain.
The oldest is the "fort" district, which once housed a magnificent castle. Erected in the 16th century, it was one of the strongest and most opulent of the Middle Ages. The castle was unfortunately destroyed after the Revolution. Only the superb stables have remained intact.
The top of the fort contains a viewing platform giving views across to Mont Ventoux to the South East, the Alps to the East, the Ecrins to the North East, the Ardeche mountains to the North and North West, and the Cevennes to the South East.
In the "fort district", the houses are located under the castle ruins. Many of these old residences have the special architecture of the low Vivarais limestone. The residences are very picturesque typically with external staircases leading to the first floor to a covered terrace and to the living quarters, the ground floor being generally occupied by the stables and the cellar.
Banne is a village rich in dolmens; it has an important heritage on the Champs Grands plateau and north of the hamlet of La Lauze which bears witness to its Neolithic past. The Doulovy Viaduct, located not far from the village, testifies to the mining past of Banne which made it prosperous in other times.
The battle of Banne. Below the château lies a straight road headed for Les Vans and the Bois de Païolive. On July 29, 1944 on this precise spot the "battle of Banne" took place. It marked the first victory of the "maquisards" resistance fighters over the Nazi army in the Ardèche - the ambush of the F.F.I. caused a German convoy to retreat. The next day, the village sustained reprisals. The town was awarded the "cross of war" for this brave act of resistance.
The Museum of the Decorated Egg and the Icon brings together a splendid and rare collection of decorated eggs, unique old and contemporary pieces, works of art with various techniques, from different European countries. The Icons area includes old wooden icons, moulded and enamelled bronze icons, crosses, Russian icons from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries - a hundred different pieces.
Markets can be found in the nearby towns/villages of Beaulieu, St-Paul-Le-Jeune, Ruoms, Les Vans, and Berrias-et-Casteljau:
Beaulieu: Sunday, Allée de l'Auberge. A small market with a profusion of fruits, fresh vegetables, cheeses, and regional products
Berrias-et-Casteljau: Thursday, Place Andrée Rouveyrol. A village market where you can come to stock up on your early vegetables, fruits, goat cheese, honey (March to November).
Ruoms: Sunday, Place de la République. A summer market (April to September) of local producers which allows you to better prepare Sunday meals.
Ruoms: Friday, Place Général de Gaulle. A real Provence market, colourful and lively, where producers are there to help people discover and even taste the products of their region.
St-Paul-le-Jeune: Monday, Place du marché. A small market combining quality and diversity of the products offered.
St-Paul-le-Jeune: Friday, Avenue Jean Radier. A small market combining quality and diversity of the products offered.
Les Vans: Saturdays, Downtown streets. One of the best Ardechoise markets with many artisans and producers from the region in summer and winter.