Uzes Day 3

Uzes Day 3

Monday 11th September

Uzes lies on a relatively tall mountain overlooking land to the east, south and north. The only plains lie to the west. In any case, whichever direction one takes, one has to climb; the city is built onto the rock.”  
Thomas Platter 1595.

The origins of Uzes date back more than 2000 years. First there were the Celtics, then the Romans. It was once a walled city, however these days where the fortifications once stood they have made way for boulevards. The town has witnessed changing fortunes. During the 17th and 18th century the textile industry supported many a wealthy merchant, who in turn built townhouses in the city centre. Many large monuments (read as buildings) were erected including the Town Hall, Eglise Saint-Etienne (St Stephens Church), hospital and a barracks.

The city continued to modernize during the 1800’s with dwellings in the city’s square being demolished so as to widen the streets and align the houses, making the city cleaner and lighter. Fountains were created, but all of this couldn’t prevent the decline of Uzes.

The main boulevard

It wasn’t until after WW2 that the city awoke and now it attracts new residents as tradespeople and artisans. This in turn has led to a boom in tourism. It’s a town of about 9,000 inhabitants, but would have more than 100 bars/restaurants, many shops and all to be found in close proximity to our French Cottage via cobblestone lanes.
There are many places of historical importance including the Uzes Cathedral, built first in the 11th century, destroyed during the wars of religion, then rebuilt entirely in the 17th century.

The Ducal Palace which harks back to the 12th century and is currently the residence of the 17th Duke, Jacques de Crussol d’Uzes. His family are undertaking the  private restoration of the palace.

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