Saint Jean du GardDive on the Gardon and its mountainous environment in Saint-Jean-du-Gard, village considered as the pearl of the Cevennes, in the department of Gard in Occitanie region, France.
©Dive on the Gardon and its mountainous environment in Saint-Jean-du-Gard, village considered as the pearl of the Cevennes, in the department of Gard in Occitanie region, France.|didier Salou
A famous village in the Gardons valley


At the crossroads of history and hiking trails

Small capital of the Camisard country and renowned village which stretches along the Gardon, Saint-Jean-du-Gard is at the crossroads of history and hiking trails. Keep your senses alert, the Cevennes culture is expressed here everywhere. Architecture, museums, events, local products, crafts, trails and exceptional landscapes… This picturesque place of the Gardons valley will take you on a journey between art of living and authenticity!


Unmissable in the Cevennes

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.

The Anecdote

It was on May 8, 1791 that Saint-Jean-de-Gardonnenque became Saint-Jean-du-Gard.

Did you know that?

Today, Saint-Jean-du-Gard is a village known to hikers but also to writers.

Current starting point of 150 km of trails, Saint-Jean-du-Gard was the last stop of the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, who ended here, in 1878, the journey of his famous “Journey to the Cevennes with a donkey”.

A cultural wealth

The emblematic monuments of Saint-Jean-du-Gard

Red House

Built in 1838, with its large semicircular bays favoring maximum light, this filature remains very representative of the workshops where silk was pulled.

By its architectural qualities and its decoration – monumental horseshoe staircase, molded archivolts with sculpted keys – it constitutes a major element of the Cevennes industrial heritage and carries on its own a good part of the silk memory of the Cevennes.

First site in France to be equipped with the Gensoul process, which enabled the industrialization of silk thread production, Maison Rouge was also the last French silk spinning mill, closing definitively in 1965.

Since the end of 2017, Maison Rouge has been home to the Cévennes valleys museum.

An environment of character

Take a walk through Protestant history, in the footsteps of the Huguenots and those of the silk industry, while enjoying the sumptuous panoramas that the writer Robert Louis Stevenson had discovered when he arrived in Saint-Jean-du-Gard with his donkey Modestine.

The tourist office offers hike loops adapted to your desires. You will find all the information concerning your route: the duration, the difference in altitude, the level and observations on the must-see.

It is also possible to go tothe ethnobotanical garden of Maison Rouge. There are plants used in the past in the Cevennes, as well as about twenty trees used in carpentry and cabinetmaking: chestnut, holm oak, ash, walnut, birch …

In the summer in the park of Maison Rouge, free animations are offered every Thursday: theater, music, circus. And every Friday, between 10am and 5pm, a treasure hunt to do with the family.

1 day in Saint-Jean-du-Gard

Find all our tips and good plans to discover, for a day in Saint-Jean-du-Gard, a typical village in the Cevennes.

Between architecture, local products, historical monuments and tastings of all kinds, Saint-Jean-du-Gard is a place not to be missed in the Gardons valley.

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