Small capital of the Camisard country
Saint-Jean-du-Gard has developed over the centuries along a major communication route –the Corniche des Cévennes – which in the Middle Ages was called the “Grand chemin d’Anduze au Gévaudan”. Tanners, potters and especially wool craftsmen, gave the town its commercial vocation early on. The culture of the olivier, de la vigne et du châtaignier has long been the mainstay of the local economy. The very strong development of mulberry cultivation, silkworm breeding and silk activities from the mid-eighteenth brought work and wealth, so much so that in 1856 the commune had 23 workshops working with silk. The last of these spinning mills closed in 1965.
Marked by the Wars of Religion
It was in the middle of the 16th century that almost the entire population of Saint Jean converted to the “Reformation”. From then on, and especially after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, it experienced the throes of persecution. Clandestinity, resistance, sedition,… characterize Cevennes Protestant history, the most famous episode of which is undoubtedly the War of the Camisards.
It was on May 8, 1791 that Saint-Jean-de-Gardonnenque became Saint-Jean-du-Gard.