Top 10 proofs that Aubenas is the most beautiful city in France

Since the association “Landscapes of France” awarded the city of Aubenas the prize for “Ugly France 2020” there has been total misunderstanding in this town with a proud and touchy people. How this city of Ardèche could receive such a horrible distinction when it received the “Prix de l’Europe” in 1963. Ok, that was almost 60 years ago but still. It’s time to restore the image of a city that few people know and demonstrate why it is the most beautiful city in France.

1. A city with an incomparable geographical location

Already it is in Ardèche. And the Ardèche is still better than Picardy for example. Then it is the Ardèche of the south, not of the north. And the south is always better than the north, look at Korea. The city is located 630km from Paris, which is close enough to qualify it as a suburb of the capital. Its proximity to the Cévennes also gives it a mountain attraction known by hiking enthusiasts from all over the world. In addition the Ardèche river is nearby for canoeing, kayaking or throwing stones at people who canoe and kayak.

Top 10 proofs that aubenas is the most beautiful city in france
Photo credits (CC BY 2.0): Map data (c) OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA

2. A place that enjoys the Mediterranean climate, ranked best climate just ahead of the tropical climate

Taking advantage of very mild winters and early springs, Aubenas is a pleasant town, it is said that one lives there “the Angevin sweetness of Aubenas”. Expression that the Angevins (the inhabitants of Angers) literally stole. “It’s true that in autumn it rains a lot but it also rains in London, doesn’t it? says Sylvain, meteorologist. With an average temperature of 22.8°C in August, you can enjoy a summer there “often cool but it’s ok all the same” he adds.

3. A city in height, and that’s great when it comes to looking at the view

Proudly enthroned on a rocky outcrop, the town of Aubenas dominates the Ardèche valley. Here, already just this sentence could be Victor Hugo. Victor Hugo, he already wrote a sentence about your city before opening it? Well, he didn’t write anything about Aubenas either since it was me who wrote the sentence, but frankly he could have. Anyway the city is high and offers a splendid view of an incredible landscape and that’s cool.

4. A rich cultural heritage and history that have marked France

From the 5th century, the hill on which the town was built was the subject of a struggle between the bishops of Le Puy and Viviers. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a bishop fight, but it’s worth a look. Finally the bishop of Le Puy literally smashes that of Viviers who returns to his daronne then he passes the hill to one of his friends, the baron of Montlaur. From 1084 to 1441 the baron’s family reigned over the land and developed the city there.

5. The Château d’Aubenas, ranked the most beautiful monument in the world by its concierge

If there’s one thing to see in Aubenas, it’s the castle. Architecturally, one can discover its keep, its spiral staircase, its turrets as well as its coach parking dating from the 7th century and which at the time of its construction caused a lot of ink to flow since it had been built before the castle and especially that coaches did not exist. Recognized worldwide, this has been the scene of key events in our history since it is the car park that hosted the “cochonou” stand during the 1983 and 1987 Tour de France. which is quite avant-garde for a coach park and the payment is made only in cash with Monique who, if she does not have the extra, will do it at the bakery.

6. The millions of tourists who literally flock to the city every year to visit it

Aubenas enjoys mass tourism, close in terms of affluence to that of the city of Rome (in Alaska). Witness Jean-Paul, a resident of Grenoble who spent a memorable afternoon there in 1978. “We had taken the wrong exit on the national road and my wife wanted to go to the toilet. We stopped in town for a few minutes. » he recalls still hilarious.

7. The Aubenas market, soberly called the “Aubenas market”

Every Saturday morning is market day in the town. Considered one of the most beautiful markets in the region, you can find everything there at relatively respectable prices unless you are a tourist. Young and old alike will be delighted to buy the city’s typical Brazilian bracelets and enjoy the concerts of bands performing Renaud covers on the café terraces.

8. The Saint-Benoît dome, a place full of events, each more incredible than the next

Former chapel of a Benedictine convent, it now houses the marble mausoleum of Marshal Jean-Baptiste d’Ornano and his wife. Hexagonal in shape, which as everyone knows has five sides, the Saint-Benoît dome was built to rival the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. At the time, Aubenas had the ambition to become the new French Catholic capital. The knights had even tried to destroy the Palais des Papes in Avignon, but the operation was canceled because when they left it was already almost 6:30 p.m. and it would soon be dark.

9. Local specialties recognized around the world

Whoever goes to Aubenas must taste the local specialities. Aubenas chestnut cream to start. Handcrafted from chestnuts from the Ardèche, they will delight everyone who tastes them and will make them wonder inwardly why we say chestnut cream when they are chestnuts. Note also mussels marinière and tripe à la mode de Caen à la mode d’Aubenas in the recipes not to be missed.

10. The great Albenassian project to annex Spain

To the great amazement of the French government, the city of Aubenas launched in September its great project of annexation of Spain. The goal is “to considerably enlarge the city, and to take advantage of the sea”. If the project passes, which is on the right track, the country of Picasso would then become entirely Albenassian and chestnut cream would be available in all the bars. “We hope that the Spaniards will be reasonable and accept this decision smoothly so that the transition can be done quickly. Everyone will have to learn French and redo their city bus card. clarified the Albenassian mayor.

Well, frankly if with that you don’t want to visit Aubenas, I clearly don’t deserve my tourism BEP. I hope this will make guidebooks who give unfriendly rewards to towns that didn’t ask for anything think twice.

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