Holidays to Romans-sur-Isère

Romans-sur-Isère in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes makes a great base for exploring Drôme, and the town itself has some incredible buildings attesting to its fascinating past.

Situated on the right bank of the River Isère, just over 10 miles from the Vercors Mountains, Romans is particularly famous for the Saint-Barnard Collegiate Church which it grew up around.

When you push open the doors to the building, you will not only discover some wonderful paintings, woodwork, embroidered wall hangings and stained glass windows, but you will be taken way back in time. Relive the town’s infancy by learning how a modest abbey founded in 838 by Barnard, archbishop of Vienna, later became a collegiate church, under the impetus of the canons. As you journey through history, find out how the textile industry developed around the building and expanded so much over the course of the centuries that the town had to be fortified for protection due to the envy it aroused, as demonstrated by the existence of Jacquemart Tower. Next, learn about some of Romans’ darkest hours, with its sacking during the religious and social crisis that marked the 16th century, before moving into the calmer period of the following two centuries with the emergence of the tannery as well as numerous convents and monasteries.

In fact it was through the tannery that Romans established its shoe industry. To learn about it, don’t miss the International Shoe Museum, which looks at this everyday object from all angles. This fantastic collection is displayed in the beautiful surroundings of the former Convent of the Visitation (17th century) which in turn is cocooned by carefully tended gardens that are listed as a historical monument.

No exploration of Romans and its region would be complete without a good breath of fresh air in the Isère Valley. So hop on your bike and set off along 25 miles of trails from Châteauneuf-sur-Isère to Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans, including 10 miles of green routes (for non-motorised vehicles only) and 15 miles of cycle paths (routes shared with little traffic).

The many sides of Romans-sur-Isère and its region make it a great place to go as a couple, family or with friends.

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