Gard (30330) Population: 226 Altitude: 221 m
Pougnadoresse is a very small village sitting atop a low rocky ridge, with a pretty double-spired church and a picturesque little castle, viewed from the outside only. An old covered lavoir (washhouse) at the west edge of the village is nice, and well maintained. And that's about it for Pougnadoresse.
No village café, no commerce.
There are no small streets to explore, no squares to visit and no other sights in the village. If you're passing by, the church with its pair of tall, pointed bell towers and the lavoir are worth having a look at.
The village had what looked to be a very nice little restaurant, Le Fou du Roi (the King's Fool). It was closed when we passed by (Feb 2014), and the owner told us it wouldn't be open again until 2015. When it opens again, we're hoping it's a café-restaurant and not just a restaurant.
The Pougnadoresse Churches
The first village church, from the 11th to 17th centuries, was St Jean-d Orgerolles, located between the villages of Pougnadoresse and La Bastide-d'Engras. The ruins of this ancient church/chapel is about a 2-hour hike (round trip loop) from Pougnadoresse.
In 1678, the small Saint Michel church was built in the village, just in front of the castle and originally service as a chapel for the castle. This is the little stone church at the left in our first photo (above).
The final church of Pougnadoresse was built in 1861. It's lovely tall clock towers were added one at a time, in 1873 and 1876.
Pougnadoresse has a very lovely covered lavoir (wash house), down at the west end of the village. It was probably built in the 19th century, and is nicely restored an useable, even if it's not actually used for washing clothes any more.
History of Pougnadoresse
First record, 1384 Locus du pugna-duricia: from Latin for a place of hard combats. Other theories link the name to Mediterranean or Gallois words for Fortress on a Rock.
The Pougnadoresse castle dates from the year 1000, and one of the towers is from that period. In 1156, King Louis the Younger gave the castle to the Bishops of Uzès. In the 14th century and the 15th century it was owned for a time by the Viscount of Uzès.
In 1562, Honorat Le Chantre became the owner of the castle, and his great, great grandson, Gerard de Pougnadoress is the current owner. The Pougnadoresse castle had a rocky history in between, including the French Revolution, and the current owner took possession in 1974.
• GPS: 44.092078, 4.506563
IGN (1/25,000) #2941 OT "Uzès"
There's some decent local hiking in the surrounding hills and farmlands, and to adjacent villages. These village (west to east) are connected by a series of short loop-hike trails, with about 3 km between each village: La Bruguière, Fontarèches, St Laurent-la-Vernède, La Bastide-d Engras, Pougnadoresse
Le Grande Veyre is a 6.3 km (2h10) trail west to the St Jean-d Orgerolles Chapel, about two-thirds of the way to La Bastide-d'Engrais. It then goes south to La Grande Veyre and loops east back to the village.
There's also a short loop (3.6 km) east past Le Camp de Maran, mostly past vineyards.
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).