Successive periods of glaciations and global warming were required to create the immense torrents that 1,700,000 years ago deposited huge chunks of land, still frozen, on our limestone plateau. This was indeed providential for our prehistoric ancestors.
Bracelets, tools, weapons and pottery, from Bronze Age, have been discovered on the same plateau where Celts built fortified places before consecrating a temple to Belen, god of light and sun, on the opposite side of the Ardèche River.
During the second century B.C., the Romans conquered Helvetia, now county of Ardèche. A paved Roman way was built between Uzès (Ucetium), the sumptuous Alba Augusta (today Alba-la-Romaine), the Helvitian capital, and the Rhône valley. This road bordered Belen Dun (today Balazuc).
A Witness to History
After successive invasions by the Vandals and the Visigoths, according to legend, Saracens settled in Balazuc in about 734, after having been defeated by Charles Martel near Poitiers. The romanesque church was erected at the exact location of the former pagan temple dedicated to Belen!
Balazuc, whose name was a tribute to a pagan divinity, became a Catholic bastion. The lords of Balazuc were known for their influence and the extent of their lands.
Discover one of the most beautiful villages in France
Village at Southern flair, Balazuc, ranked among the “most beautiful villages in France” is made of cut stones splashed with sunshine, a maze of winding streets, stairs, ramps and paved shady arcades.
The remains of the wall leading to the castle which dates back to the eleventh century, the square tower built in it the thirteenth century. The place of the old church has retained its original charm intact with its stalls in the craft of medieval houses and mullioned windows.