For those of you who are in love with little villages where you can find wonderful treasures hidden down little streets then Crest a little village that is in la Drome( Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France) you would love. In this tiny village with a population of around 8,500 people you will find several major monuments: Tour de Crest, Le Musée Éphémère de Crest, église St-Sauveur, chapelle des Cordeliers, ect...
I have been living in France for off and on about 15 years, and there is nothing I love more than sneaking off for the weekend to discover little villages that normally have a lot of hidden history, charm and good restaurants. It is easy to be transported back into time when you see buildings that date back to the 12th century.
When we arrived the first thing we saw was the little bridge that crossed the river Drome where you can go swimming or even do canoeing. We were just passing through and wanted to visit the Tour of Crest and have lunch.
As we walked up to the main street it had cute artisanal shops and couple of cafes that had good wine and organic food. I also spotted a thrift shop of kids! I know this would not excite most people but I have a 4 year old who seems to grow every few seconds and goes through toys like bam bam from the flintstones!. I popped my head inside and this thrift store was so cute everything was displayed nicely and the prices were right. I got my son some books, games, toys, winter pyjamas, and hiking shoes all for 20 bucks. Your girl was a happy camper. We were heading to Annecy in Savoie in the mountains so, I was happy to pick up some gear. So after our nice lunch and thrift shopping spree, we were off to see the Tour. My son was so excited he thought he was going to see a real knight!
Tour de Crest
This tower dates back to 12th century and took over 500 years to complete. The stone work is amazing. It is the highest medieval tower in France (52m) and the views of the Drôme Valley are stunning! Hence all these nice ass photos I got 😉
Sometimes it is hard to believe humans can build such things and especially during a time with no modern equipment. The tour although beautiful has a pretty dark history. This tour was mostly used as a prison and used to be attached to the Crest Castle. The Crest Castle was dismantled in 1633, the Tower was retained to serve as a prison, oh joy the citizen must of been ecstatic about that! The possession of this tower went back and forth for hundreds of years. You can read the full history of the castle here: https://tourdecrest.fr/presentation/?lang=en
The nice thing about the tower is it doesn’t hide the hard history and you can take a detail tour on your own with headphones that comes in a variety of languages. It detects when you walk into a certain room and it explains the history behind what each chamber was used for. If you are going as family even with little kids it lightens up the imagination of a time that once was.
We spent a good hour and half walking around, taking pictures and listening to the history of the tower. On the way out there was a little store where we bought the little guy a wooden sword and shield he was over the moon. Him and his father played knights in the street as we walked back to the car.
So if you are in la Drome and looking for a nice village to spend some time, I definitely recommend Crest 🙂 Whether your on your own, a couple or family there is really something for everyone to spend a nice day.
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