Gard (30330) Population: 1,755 Altitude: 284 m
Tresques is a small, perched village just 8 km south of Bagnols-sur-Cèze. The village is on a low hill, topped with an old chateau and medieval lookout tower, and has a very nice old lavoir (washhouse) in the center.
There aren't many old village streets for wandering, mainly just those to go to the top of the hill to see the chateau walls, the church and the watch tower (tour de guet). After visiting the watch tower, and the church if you've a mind, the little streets "behind" the hill give you a better idea of the defensive nature of a perched village, with the houses rising like a wall out of the rock.
We happened to visit on a day when the municipal election lists had just been posted, and a few of the townspeople were celebrating with the current (and possibly future) mayor. Mr. Mayor offered us a morning glass of wine as well, along with conversation. And, he was happy to exercise his English.
The fortified chateau high in the center of the old village was sold to a syndicate in the 1950s. Inside it has been turned into 17 apartments of various sizes and shapes, most with great views towards the north or the west, without changing the outward appearance. Still, it's private and not visitable.
Lookout Tower (Tour de Guet)
The tall, medieval lookout tower of Tresques is at the very top of the hill (of course), in front of the church. A novel difference for the tower in this village is that you can climb the inside stairs to the top for a great 360-degree view across the surrounding countryside as well as the tile roofs of the village below. In addition, the four floors beneath the top one are all decked out as a very nice art museum. There are 96 steps from bottom to top.
Tresques village has only the most basic commerce, including a bakery (boulangerie), grocery-magazine store (épicery) and pharmacy. Other shops have been overwhelmed by the commercial center and supermarkets at south Bagnols-sur-Cèze only 6-7 km away.
We were told there is a café in Tresques, which we didn't find, but the open hours or days are random.
There are two fountains in the center of Tresques.
An ancient semi-circular fountain beside the main village intersection has two lion-head spigots, and is probably the original village fountain related to the old lavoir.
A second fountain is only a block away, in front of the pharmacy. This a the classic 19th-century style round (actually octagonal) fountain, and is very popular. Tresques apparently has very good natural drinking water. On a Sunday visit in March (well off-season), there was a constant stream of cars pulling in with people there to fill a great variety of containers with the fountain's water. It was actually a bit tricky to find a people-less moment to photograph the fountain.
The main Tresques lavoir (washhouse) is in the center of the village. It's a covered lavoir with a long basin. The basin is worn along the edges, giving it some added character. The basin walls are built of brick, with a marbled stone surround.
Tresques Bouyas Lavoir.
This is a forlorn little covered lavoir, probably from the early 20th century. It's located beside the D5 road towards Bagnols-sur-Cèze, 2.3 km north of Tresques village center, at the tiny hamlet of Bouyas. (44.123741, 4.598832)
• GPS: 44.106308, 4.588248
IGN (1/25,000) #2940 OT "Bagnols-sur-Cèze, Pont-St-Exprit, Forets de Valbonne et"
"Le Val de Tave", map+info (1:25'000)
Department 30, Gard Buses
- See Beyond's Gard Department Bus Schedules for Gard bus-lines maps and bus-line schedules (Horaires).
Maps (Plans) for the Gard bus lines are on the www.edgard.fr website, with a flash webpage for each of five zones around Nîmes (www.edgard-transport.fr/plan/?rub_code=5).
Schedules for the Gard bus lines are available via the www.edgard.fr website horaires page (www.edgard-transport.fr/horaires/?rub_code=23).