Pont-en-Royans, between river and mountain with its houses suspended above the water has become a tourist attraction.
The village impressed Stendhal
Pont-en-Royans, surprises and seduces you at first sight. Its ocher, yellow or pink houses had already impressed Stendhal. They are built on the rock itself, with projections above the water and wooden supports. Unique and quaint ! These charming dwellings were built in the 16th century to promote the timber trade of the Vercors, which descended along the Bourne. This original architecture made it possible to save space in this narrow site, surrounded by mountains. And very practical, at the time, for fishing trout, and getting water from your living room !
Balconies suspended above the void !
This activity around wood continued until the arrival of other means of locomotion, between the 18th and 19th centuries. Until the construction of one of the oldest hydroelectric dams in France, the Bourne dam complex commissioned in 1879. During the Renaissance, tall houses were built on the rock. The projecting wooden balconies are suspended above the void, above the Bourne. Classified as Historic Monuments, they still offer their curiosity. Imagine the descents of the toilets falling directly into the river ! Stendhal, passing through Pont-en-Royans, tells in his Memoirs of a Tourist, that he only drank wine at his table, the quality of the water leaving something to be desired…
The most spectaculars roads in the Vercors
Pont-en-Royans is inseparable from the Gorges de la Bourne, one of the most spectacular roads in the Vercors. It connects the village to the heart of the Vercors. Built in the last century, it follows an improbable route in the narrow defile dug by the river. With portions of the road corbelled above the void, and others carved into the rock. A spectacular and impressive journey!