Chef-lieu of a canton in the Drôme (26)
Stage town for the 4th time
Population: 8,850 (Tricastins)
Specialities: Tricastin black truffle. Wine from the Coteaux Grignan-les-Adhémar, olive oil, lavender.
Personalities: brothers Joseph-François and Claude-François de Payan (revolutionaries, one was guillotined with Robespierre), Genton du Barsac (local scholar and collector, 19th century), Patrice Lecomte (film director, owns a house in the canton), David Mollicone (starred chef).
Sport: 32 associations (3,000 members), including Rubgy Tricastin (Fédérale 2), Triathlon Tricastin, Roller-Hockey, Escal'Roc AST, Galop Tricastin. Events: Trail of the truffle fields, the Tricastine stride, Ronde de la truffe cyclotouriste, Triathlon Tricastin Olympic distance (May), Rando des collines en VTT (March).
Culture: Youth book festival (January), Truffle omelette festival (February), Polynesian festival (June), St Paul Soul Jazz (July), Musicales en Tricastin (July), Parfum de Jazz festival (August), Film festival (feature films on the theme of peoples and cultures & short film night, October), Fête des vins primeurs (November)
Economy: Tricastin nuclear site (largest concentration of nuclear industry companies in France). EDF, CEA, Areva NC (including Eurodif, FBFC, Comurhex), Flooring (Gerflor, French leader). Tourism.
Motto: Heart and ambition
Labels: Remarkable Taste Site / Green Resort / Handisports Resort / Markets of France / 3-flowered town in bloom.
Website and social networks: www.ville-saintpaultroischateaux.fr / www.office-tourisme-tricastin.com / fr-fr.facebook.com/saintpaultroischateaux / www.drome-sud-provence.com / ccdsp.fr / www.dromeprovencale.fr / twitter.com/villesp3c / Insta: villesp3c
SAINT-PAUL-TROIS-CHATEAUX, A STORY
Heart and ambition
The charm of a village and the assets of a dynamic town. The gentle way of life and the energy to undertake. Heart and ambition. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux has many assets that make this town of 9,500 inhabitants an emblematic place in the Drôme provençale. And it's not over yet. With its new aquatic centre, scheduled to open in early 2022, the town will be equipped with a facility that will have an impact on the entire region.
Gone is the ageing Saint-Paul 2003 aquatic centre, and in a few months' time there will be a 3,500 m2 complex, with a 25 m sports pool and six lanes, a 200 m2 activity pool (pentagliss, paddling pool, water cannons, counter-current swimming) and a wellness area (sauna, steam room, cold bath).
Its future name, L'Odyssée'O, was chosen during a major public consultation in early 2021. The city's inhabitants initially made no less than 177 proposals. These proposals were analysed by a jury of elected officials and representatives of the neighbourhood committees. The two names selected were then put to a vote by the population and L'Odyssée'O won by a wide margin.
SAINT-PAUL-TROIS-CH TEAUX AND CYCLING
For the past ten years, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux has been used as a relay for the Tour de France in the Rhône Valley on three occasions.
In 2011, the peloton headed for Gap where Thor Hushovd won ahead of his compatriot Edvald Boasson-Hagen for a first Norwegian double in the Tour. The following year, the race finished here again on its way to Cap d'Agde, where André Greipel made a show of strength and speed.
Finally, in 2018, the riders set off for a stage that ended in Mende with the victory of Omar Fraile.
The town has also hosted two Paris-Nice starts: in 2009, when Alberto Contador won on the Montagne de Lure, and in 2016, when Alexei Lutsenko won in Salon-de-Provence. The Critérium du Dauphiné also spent a day here in 1998 for a time trial won by Chris Boardman ahead of Gilles Maignan.
Notre-Dame de Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux Cathedral (12th century)
The nave, with its barrel vaulting on double slats, has a magnificent height of 24 metres. The bay preceding the transept has a false triforium on the first floor; the niches, framed by pilasters and colonnettes, are topped by a very fine frieze. Also noteworthy is a beautiful organ case from the beginning of the 18th century, dating from 1704 and made by the organ builder Charles Boisselin from Avignon, as well as the curious bas-relief on the pulpit pillar. The main apse, vaulted in a cul-de-sac, is decorated with a good copy of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The decoration is made of five classic Provençal Romanesque arches with fluted or twisted columns surmounted by capitals. It has been classified as a historical monument since 1841 by Prosper Mérimée.
Tricastine Archaeology Museum
Created in 1986, the Tricastine Archaeology Museum holds superb collections that have been certified by the Direction des Musées de France. These are considerable in terms of the quality of the objects as well as their number and the extent of the periods concerned. Discover the exhibition "Living in Tricastin".
House of the Truffle and Tricastin
Located in the heart of the old town, next to the cathedral, the Maison de la truffe et du Tricastin is a privileged tourist and educational place. A modern museography, objects, photos, showcases, drawings... to discover the fascinating world of the black truffle.
Hôtel de Castellane
This former mansion, a 16th century building, bears the name of the Castellane family, powerful owners of the town. Two of the great bishops of St Paul-Trois-Châteaux in the 18th century came from this family. Bought by the town at the end of the 19th century, the building is now the headquarters of the Town Hall.
On the façade, the balcony of the council chamber, the coat of arms of the town and a female figure above the door, probably symbolising the Republic.
Wines of Grignan-les-Adhémar
Hindered by the notoriety of the nuclear power plant of the same name, but also by the small size of their vineyard, the former Coteaux du Tricastin obtained from the 2010 harvest onwards, by exceptional decision of the INAO, to rename their appellation Grignan-Les Adhémar. This is supported by new specifications with a yield limited to 45hl/ha, increased Syrah (shiraz) and Viognier grape varieties (30% minimum per vineyard), a ban on total weed control, which means better soil work and an incentive to develop organic farming.
The red wines represent more than 70% of the production and express their own personality within the Rhone Valley by a successful marriage of six red grape varieties: Syrah and Grenache, assisted by Carignan, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Marselan. They offer lively wines with a nose that exudes spices (cinnamon, pepper, vanilla), red and black fruits as well as notes of liquorice and garrigue. It takes a few years for them to reveal the scent of truffles, no doubt due to the planting of vines on former truffle oak groves.