Once upon a mine
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Once upon a mine
Robiac-Rochessadoule

Once upon a mine

Architecture and village
History and culture
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A hike between hamlets to discover their industrial past.

3 points of interest

  • Architecture

    Le Vieux-Buis

    This mediaeval hamlet has been in the records since the 11th century, when farming prospered on its slopes. Perched on the hillside, Le Vieux-Buis existed quietly through the centuries with no disruption until the Plague that raged unstoppably in 1348. It was not until the mid-15th century that farming was given a new lease of life in this devastated region, where everything needed to be rebuilt. Up until the 19th century, the arid hills were dedicated to farming: small livestock farms, vineyards, olive trees, etc., whose vestiges you will come across all along the path.
  • History

    Rochessadoule

    From the top of this mountain, you overlook the new town of Rochessadoule, which as of 1886 had 3,000 inhabitants come from all over Europe to work in its coal mine. Giant smokestacks stood between its stone and brick buildings. On the side of the road below, there would have been a lamp workshop, a queue of miners awaiting their turn, a changing room, and a cable car that carried and dumped the mine waste onto the slag heap. Slowly, the buildings were turned into art galleries, artisan workshops and holiday homes. Today, what remains of the epic mining days are small santons (nativity figures) called Saint Barbara’s santons (the patron saint of miners), which are produced and sold each year in November at the great exhibition and sale in Rochessadoule.
  • History

    The mining railway

    This walk is mostly on a section of the former railway line from Rochessadoule to Bessèges, which was above all a trunk line from Alès to Bessèges. It transported coal from the mines at Robiac, Grangier and Brissac to the factories in Bessèges. This freight line was much used until the 1960s. By 2012, the Robiac-Bessèges railway could no longer compete with the road and was discontinued.

Description

Signposts will guide you all along this route. In the description below, the signposted place names and/or directions are given in bold italics between quotation marks:

From "ROBIAC" follow "ROCHESSADOULE" via "Robiac - Route de Chanteperdrix", "Conrocs" then"Patte d’Oie du Ronc Rouge", "Arbousset", "La Font" and "Rochessadoule – Mairie". Return to "ROBIAC" via "La Passerelle du Rieusset", "Rochessadoule - le Pialet", "Le Ramier" et "Frayssinet", "Rochessadoule – Église", "Le Puits de Brissac", "Le Brossard", "La Tintonne", "L’Ancienne Voie Ferrée" and "Robiac - Route de Chanteperdrix".

This hike is taken from the guidebook Cévennes Haute Vallée de la Cèze, published by the Communauté de communes Cèze Cévennes as part of the collection Espaces Naturels Gardois and the label Gard Pleine Nature.
  • Departure : Robiac, Le Buis
  • Arrival : Robiac, Le Buis
  • Towns crossed : Robiac-Rochessadoule and Bessèges

Forecast


Altimetric profile


Recommandations

Make sure your equipment is appropriate for the day’s weather conditions. Take enough water, wear sturdy shoes and put on a hat. Please close all gates and barriers behind you.

Information desks

Tourism office CezeCévennes, Bessèges

50 rue de la République, 30160 Bessèges

https://www.tourisme-ceze-cevennes.com/ot.besseges@gmail.com04 66 25 08 60

This office is part of the National Park's associated tourist-information network, whose mission is to provide information on, and raise awareness of, the sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.
Open year-round

Find out more

Tourism office Cèze-Cévennes Saint-Ambroix

Place de l'ancien Temple, 30500 Saint-Ambroix

https://www.tourisme-ceze-cevennes.com/ot.stambroix@gmail.com04 66 24 33 36

This office is part of the National Park's associated tourist-information network, whose mission is to provide information on, and raise awareness of, the sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.
Open year-round

Find out more

Transport

liO is the regional public transport service of the Occitanie/ Pyrénées – Méditerranée region. It facilitates everyone’s movements by prioritising public transport. For more information, call 08 10 33 42 73 or go to www.laregion.fr

Access and parking

From St-Ambroix towards Bessèges and Robiac.

Parking :

Car park opposite the pharmacy (in Le Buis).

Source

Parc national des Cévenneshttp://www.cevennes-parcnational.fr/

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