Prefecture of the Drôme (26)
Stage town for the 4th time
Population: 64,800 (Valentinois, Valentinoises), 221,000 for Valence Romans Agglo (54 communes)
Specialities: caillette (meat and vegetables cooked in a crépine), suisse (shortbread biscuit with orange blossom), pogne (brioche), ravioles (speciality of Romans), Balrhona chocolates (Tain-l'Hermitage), black truffles from the Drôme (80 pc of French production), wines (Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage)
Personalities: Dionysos (rock band), Anne Sila (singer), Eric Boisset, Catherine Fradier (writers), Anne-Sophie Pic (3-star chef), Masachi Ijichi, Baptiste Poinot, Jean-François Piège, Michel Chabran (Michelin-starred chefs), François Sarano (oceanographer), Faysal Hanneche (explorer), Pierre Latour, Axel Domont, Charly Mottet (cyclists born in the agglo), Sébastien Chabal (rugby), Kevin Mayer (athletics, world decathlon champion), Mathilde Cini (swimming), the Camberabero brothers (rugby), Bertrand, Guillaume and Benjamin Gille (international handball players), Jo and Bruno Boyadjian (boxing, swimming, waterpolo), Loïs Habert (biathlon), Alain Robert (climber, christened Spiderman), Antoine Girard (mountaineer).
Culture: Book fair (January), Jazz on the grill (January), Truffles, a planet to discover (January), Challenge de l'Étudiant (March), Festival d'un jour (March), International Scriptwriters Festival (April), Le Festival du Jeu (biannual play festival, April), Commemoration of the Armenian genocide (April), Boulevard de chines (April), Place des Arts (May), Festival Ambivalence (May), Les Itinérances des poissons rouges (contemporary art, June), Fête de la musique (June), Fête de l'Épervière (July), Sur le champ (music, July), Gastronomy Fair (September), Sculptura (contemporary art, October), Les Féeries d'hiver (December)
Sport: 180 sports associations (25,000 members). Flagship clubs: Valence Romans Drôme Rugby, Valence Handball, Olympique de Valence, Valence Triathlon. Events : Historic Monte Carlo Rally (January), Run Bow Color (May), French Division 1 Triathlon Club Championship (May), International Athletics Meeting (June), Triathlon Grand Prix, Petanque Master (Romans-sur-Isère, July), Vitaville 10 km, Trail des spahis (September), Eurofleuret (November). Grand Départ of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2018.
Economy: historical presence of designers in jewellery and leather goods, and more recently around animation film studios. High-tech industry (Thales Avionics, Innovista, LPG), food industry (Andros, Saint-Jean, Pasquie), services (SFAM, Amundi, Ingenico), logistics (Leroy Merlin or Allopneu.com platforms), tourism. TGV station (2.6 million passengers/year). Military base (Bacquet barracks, 1st spahis regiment). University (6,500 students).
Slogan: My heart Valence
Labels: "Ville à Vélo du Tour de France", 3 bicycles / Land of Art and History / Ville fleurie 4 fleurs / Ville amie des enfants Unicef / OMS Health Town / Ville amie des aînés / pavillon bleu (port de l'Épervière) / Remarkable garden (parc Jouvet) / Ville 3 libellules (biodiversity).
Websites and social networks: www.valence.fr / www.valence-romans-tourisme.com/fr / www.valenceromansagglo.fr / www.facebook.com/VilledeValence / www.facebook.com/valenceromansagglo / twitter.com/VilledeValence / twitter.com/valenceromans / twitter.com/valencetourisme / instagram.com/villedevalence / #TDFValence / #moncoeurValence
Valence my heart
With its 3 metres high and 9.5 meters long, the giant structure Mon cœur Valence, installed in the heart of the city, contributes to the influence of this brand. The many products in the Mon cœur Valence shop, managed by the city, allow the brand to be exported beyond its borders.
A strong brand, symbolising the many assets of the city, because Valence is at the centre of everything at once: between city and countryside, between north and south, between the Rhône and Vercors, between tradition and technology, between local products and gastronomy...
A heart that Valence can legitimately claim: love and romance echo the work of the artist Peynet who made the town's kiosk famous. A heart that never stops beating throughout the year with its many events: Fête de l'Épervière, Sur le champ music festival, Valence en gastronomie festival, Féeries d'hiver...
Valence Romans Agglo also benefits from an attractive geographical position in the heart of the Rhône valley. Its undulating plains and the foothills of the Vercors are a natural invitation to go for walks. There are many walking and cycling routes. The picturesque and preserved villages offer the opportunity for a gourmet break on a terrace under the plane trees. An irresistible break in a region that cultivates gourmet pleasure through the excellence of its local products.
VALENCE AND CYCLING
Valence has also established itself as a rallying point for the Tour de France as it leaves the Alps, as the race has stopped here for the third time since 2015. In 2018, it was Peter Sagan who won the stage from Bourg-d'Oisans with two days to go. Three years earlier, André Greipel had won the sprint of the peloton that had started in the morning from Mende, in a scenario that was more in line with the customs of the Rhône valley: the neighbouring towns of Bourg-lès-Valence and Romans-sur-Isère have respectively seen sprinters win, Mark Cavendish in 2010 and Michael Matthews in 2017.
The first passage of the caravan in the Drôme prefecture dates back to 1996 and saw the victory of Colombian "Chepe" Gonzalez. "Chepe" didn't stop there, winning two stages in the Giro d'Italia and taking the best climber jersey in the Giro twice, in 1997 and 1999.
Since 2014, Valence has hosted the Drôme Classic, whose first winner was Romain Bardet. Valence is also the birthplace of Charly Mottet, winner of three stages in the Tour between 1987 and 1991 and fourth in the overall classification in both years, but also of Axel Domont, who has announced his retirement at the end of the 2020 season, and of Guillaume Bonnafond, himself retired from cycling since 2018.
This bandstand, inaugurated in 1890, stands in the heart of the Champ de Mars and owes its fame to artist and illustrator Raymond Peynet, who used it as a setting for his famous lovers.
House of the heads
Built at the beginning of the 16th century by Antoine De Dorne, a professor at the University and consul of Valence, this house marks the transition from the flamboyant Gothic to the Renaissance. It owes its name to the presence of numerous sculpted heads.
The Clock Tower was the old fortified gate of the village in the 16th century, topped by a bell tower. It has a vaulted guard room which testifies to its defensive character.
In the heart of the city, it was inaugurated in 1905 by President Emile Loubet. It has been listed as a natural monument and artistic site since 1942. More than 700 trees of rare species can be seen.
The oldest monument in Valence, it was consecrated on 5 August 1095 by Pope Urban II. Destroyed during the Wars of Religion, it was rebuilt in the 17th century and its bell tower was replaced in the 19th century. There is a bust of Pope Pius VI (who died in Valence in 1798) which contains his heart and entrails.
Armenian Heritage Centre
This original place of history and memory, opened in 2005, deals with current events around major themes: migrations and diasporas, the memory of conflicts, the history of peoples and cultures... It uses the example of the Armenian diaspora to explore the world around us.
Museum of Valence
Housed in a former episcopal palace, it traces the history of man and the arts, from regional prehistory to contemporary art. It also has an exceptional collection of paintings and drawings by Hubert Robert. The museum has been awarded the "Musée de France" and "Mom'Art" (child-friendly museum) labels.
Théâtre de la Ville
With its sumptuous pink and gold Italian-style hall dating from 1837 and its incredible acoustics, the Theatre offers a rich and varied cultural season.
200 years old, this little shortbread puppet, very famous in Valencia, is flavoured with candied orange peel and orange flower. Its original shape derives from the death of Pope Pius VI in 1799. It is said that a baker from Valence wanted to use this biscuit to pay homage to the Vatican's Swiss guards who accompanied his body. Nowadays, the Swiss is remembered for its playfulness and can be eaten at any time of the day, especially with tea or coffee.