Antraïgues is a charming village in the Ardèche labelled Village de Caractère, near Vals-Les-Bains and Aubenas.
Antraïgues, village with outstanding character
Nestled in the Hautes Cévennes d’Ardèche, this village of character is built on a basalt flow dominating 3 rivers. Antraïgues is an authentic village where Art and Nature mix. This one, generous, totally surrounds the village of Antraïgues and produces a local speciality: the chestnut. Antraïgues is crossed by three rivers, each one as beautiful and wild as the next: the Volane, the Bise and the Mas.
Antraïgues and Jean Ferrat
In Antraïgues, art is present on every street corner; craftsmen and artists live together under the look of the most famous of them: Jean Ferrat. Jean Ferrat arrived in Antraïgues in 1964 and lived there until his death in 2010. Everybody in Antraïgues remember the famous Nuits d’Antraïgues, where Jean Ferrat gathered all his friends around him: Jacques Brel, Lino Ventura, Claude Nougaro, Isabelle Aubret…
Antraïgues now has a house dedicated to Jean Ferrat.
The other artist in Antraïgues
The people of Antraïgues maintain their cultural heritage but also the memory of another artist: Jean Saussac. This painter, a friend of Jean Ferrat, was also the mayor of Antraïgues. He invited the residents of Antraïgues to sculpt heads in the walls of their home. Today, more than 70 heads, human or animal, are sealed or embedded in the facades of Antraïgues’ houses.
La Place d’Antraïgues
The calades, small paved paths, lead you to the famous village square.
The Place d’Antraïgues is the soul of the village, a symbol of the well-being in Ardèche. In the past, the square of Antraïgues was closed by a wooden door that protected the population. Today, it’s open to visitors, to petanque players, and can be enjoyed on the terrace of a café or restaurant.
It was on the Place d’Antraïgues that the Banquets Républicians took place, large convivial gatherings against intolerance, or the famous nights of Antraïgues which brought to Antraïgues some great figures of French song.
Jean Ferrat and Jean Saussac have left their mark on this charming southern village. The Italian fountain on Place d’Antraïgues is an example: it was brought back by Jean Saussac from the making of a film on which he was a decorator.
On the Place d’Antraïgues, we play bowls all the year. Many “Boules lyonnaises” lovers come to Antraïgues. But we also meet petanque players.
Antraïgues : land of volcanos
Antraïgues is at the very heart of the young volcanoes of Ardèche. In the little paved streets, you can stroll between the granite houses. Le rocher du fromage, located below the village, is an amazing geological feature. 40,000 years ago, a volcano spat out large quantities of lava; over time, all this lava was carried away by rivers and streams… except the rocher du fromage which did not move.
Near the village, there are also gigantic basalt organs.
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