Valence, Drôme

Valence ( okzit. Valença ) is the capital of the French département of Drôme. The municipality is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, and is an industrial center and trading center for agricultural products. The city is considered the northern gateway to Provence and has 63 148 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011).


Valence was the Roman colony Valentia (or Ventia ) and was on the tribal territory of the Segalauner. The city is since the 4th century seat of a bishop, who had in the following centuries, the governance of the city.

In 1452 founded the Dauphin Louis, later King Louis XI. , A university in the city, which was repealed in the wake of the French Revolution in 1792. Only towards the end of the 20th century, a university was re-established.

Population Development

Valence counted just under 7,000 inhabitants in 1793 until the early 20th century the population grew steadily to 30,000 inhabitants. A strong increase was in the period from 1930 to the mid-1970s, where the population has more than doubled. Since then it has declined slightly.


Ten kilometers from the center is the modern tower Valence TGV train station. The acting on the upper level as a feeder TER regional trains cross the trains running in the lower level TGV high-speed trains connecting Paris - (Lyon ) - Marseille. The French thriller " RIF - I will find you! " from 2010 was also filmed at the TGV station of Valence. Valence also has a railway station in the city center, on the railway line between Paris and Marseille. There is also the central bus station.

Valence is located directly beside the A7 motorway ( Autoroute du Soleil ). About the A7 Valence is with the Greater Lyon ( about 100 km north) and Marseille ( about 210 km south) connected. Since the construction of the A7 in the 60s the old town from the river bank of the Rhone is cut off by the highway. There are plans to relocate the A7 over a length of 1.5 km in a tunnel or in low position, to thereby provide access to the bank of the Rhone again. However, this project is can not be done before 2025. After initial studies, the costs are estimated at 500 million euros expected to be divided between the French State, the operating company of Vinci Autoroutes motorway, the Drôme and the city of Valence.


The town is twinned to

  • Asti, Italy, since 1966
  • Biberach an der Riss, Germany, since 1967
  • Clacton -on-Sea, England, since 1969
  • Ijevan, Armenia, since 1996
  • Gederah, Israel, since 1997
  • Batroun, Lebanon, since 2005

In addition, the city is a member of the Federation of European cities Napoleon.


  • The Romanesque Cathedral Saint -Apollinaire goes back to a medieval predecessor of the 11th century, which collapsed in the beginning of the 17th century. At full-scale replica can still mixing different eras read. The design of the nave with three equal ships suggests architects from poitevinischen room. The ambulatory with radial chapels typical of Burgundian Romanesque, ( 're already in Burgundy rather three or five familiar ) even number of four chapels you meet but rather at auvignatischen buildings of the 12th century. From medieval decor a tympanum with a representation of the Last Judgment is still preserved at the south portal.
  • The small, open on all sides central building Pedentif Le Renaissance is located on the north side of the cathedral. It was in 1548 commissioned by Nicolas Mistral canon in order and served as the founder and his family grave lay.
  • The House of Heads on the Grande Rue has a remarkably decorated facade. The mansion dates back to the 16th century. The name of the building derived from four large head sculptures depicting personifications of the winds.
  • The bandstand Kiosk Peynet inspired the graphic artist Raymond Peynet for many of his famous love couple drawings.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Alexandre Camille Taponier (1749-1831), General
  • Jean- Étienne Championnet (1762-1800), General
  • Jean -Pierre Bachasson Montalivet (1766-1823), statesman
  • Marthe Camille Bachasson Montalivet (1801-1880), statesman
  • Jean Joseph Farre (1816-1887), General
  • Louis Gallet (1835-1898), librettist and writer
  • Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005), philosopher
  • Jacques Tardi ( born 1946 ), cartoonist, illustrator and author
  • Alain Robert (born 1962 ), freeclimbers
  • Anne -Sophie Pic (* 1969), master chef
  • Franck Jurietti ( b. 1975 ), football player
  • Guillaume Gille (born 1976 ), handball players
  • Sébastien Chabal ( born 1977 ), rugby players
  • Bertrand Gille (born 1978 ), handball players
  • Nelson Philippe ( born 1986 ), race car driver
  • Axel Domont (* 1990), cyclist