Saint-André de Valborgne

Saint-André de Valborgne

Architecture and village
Water and geology
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Discover the multiple facets of Saint-André de Valborgne on its streets and lanes, calades (cobblestoned slopes) and paths along the riverside.
Built alongside the Gardon river, the village of Saint-André de Valborgne has always lived by its rhythm. This walk reveals aspects of its history and the extent to which water has always played an important role: its presence has marked the landscape – from rivers to fountains, from spinning mills to hydroelectric equipment. This itinerary gives you a pretty overview of the village.

11 points of interest

  • Water


    The Griffon fountain is known for its pure water, which will quench any walker’s thirst. In the old days, the whole neighbourhood used it not only for drinking but also for cooking, washing, washing clothes, watering plants, etc. The fountain was not only a supply point but also an important meeting-point in village life.
  • Fauna

    Fish and other animals...

    On the river banks, a pretty white, grey and black bird paces up and down looking for insects, bopping its long tail up and down: the white wagtail. The more colourful grey wagtail is often seen alongside it. The white-throated dipper resembles a blackbird with a big white stain on its breast. It often disappears underwater to hunt insect larvae. Trout, which like the same prey, also live in the Gardon, where they keep anglers happy.
  • Architecture

    Two in one

    This cobbled path going uphill is a calade. It is not only a path but also a brook, allowing rainwater to be evacuated. Caution: slippery when wet! 
  • History


    The village’s inhabitants had access to electricity as early as 1919. The inconspicuous little hut on the opposite bank sheltered a little turbine supplied with water by a béal (irrigation channel). It was built by a villager, Mr Teston, and produced enough electricity for one lightbulb per household.
  • Agriculture


    Cévenol gardens are supplied by béals (little canals), which bring water from rivers or springs to cultivated land. The latter is usually laid out in bancels (terraces). By retaining the soil, the low walls make it possible to have level plots and deeper soils. Water can seep into the ground slowly and remain there for longer.
  • Water

    The gardonnades

    The village benefits from the water that the Gardon brings – but it also has to put up with the river’s sporadic bad moods. Abundant rain can rapidly raise river levels. It is often in autumn that the torrent overflows its banks. The worst floods can have dramatic consequences in both material and human terms. Many can still remember the floods of September 1958 and 2002, which caused much damage.
  • History

    The age of silk

    From the 19th century onwards, the silk industry developed in the Cévennes: tanneries gave way to spinning mills. The mills used water not only to treat the silkworm cocoons (which were boiled to prepare the silk) but also for the steam-driven spinning machines. In the second half of the 19th century, diseases strongly reduced silk production, which was also subject to competition from foreign silks and then from artificial silk. The silk industry went under in 1965.
  • History

    The tanners’ district

    La Calquière district gets its name from that of the ditches in which the tanners soaked their animal skins with limestone, which is called cauç or calç in Occitan. All along the Gardon there were tanneries because its acidic water was good for rinsing the skins, which was indispensable for obtaining high quality products.
  • Geology

    Traces of giants?

    “Giant’s cauldrons” have formed in the rock at the base of the waterfall. These regular, rounded cavities are only created in rapidly flowing waters. They are caused by the repeated friction of stones caught in a depression and moved by swirling currents.
  • Water

    One spring, five fountains

    This fountain is one of Saint-André’s five public fountains, all of which are supplied by the same spring (its water is thus the same as in the Fontaine du Griffon). Before houses were connected to mains water, there were many more fountains on this side of the quay.
  • Architecture

    The village of St André de Valborgne

    As you stroll along the quay above the river, you can still see the handsome bourgeois houses dating from the silk boom. If you look around, former spinning mills and industrial buildings dedicated to silk farming can still be seen in the landscape. A little lower down, opposite the 16th century château, you can listen to
    Bernadette Lafont on the Camisard saga in and after 1702. As you reach the square again, quench your thirst at the fountain and have a look inside the Romanesque church (12th century).


Altimetric profile


This path has rocky sections and overhangs the river. For your own safety, you must stay on the marked path.

Information desks

Tourism & national parc'house

Col de la Serreyrède, 30570 Val d'Aigoual

https://www.sudcevennes.commaisondelaigoual@sudcevennes.com04 67 82 64 67

The Maison de l'Aigoual houses the tourism office Mont Aigoual Causses Cévennes and the Maison du Parc national. This visitor centre provides information on and raises awareness of the Cévennes National Park, its sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.

On site: changing exhibitions, video projections, Festival Nature events and shop Open year-round

Find out more

Tourism office Mont Aigoual Causses Cévennes, Saint-André-de-Valborgne

les quais, 30940 Saint-André-de-Valborgne

https://www.sudcevennes.comstandredevalborgne@sudcevennes.com04 66 60 32 11

    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.

Find out more


Lio 109 Saint Jean-du-Gard – Saint-André-de-Valborgne

liO est le Service Public Occitanie Transports de la Région Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée. Il permet à chacun de se déplacer facilement en privilégiant les transports en commun.

Access and parking

From Saint-Jean du Gard: D907 towards Saumane – Saint-André de Valborgne.

Parking :

Parking spaces alongside the Gardon river.

More information


CC Causses Aigoual Cévennes Terres Solidaires
Parc national des Cévennes

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