From Antiquity to the Renaissance
On this loop, plan to make a long stop to enjoy the cultural heritage of the city of Vienne. Then ride through the area’s orchards to reach the Château de Roussillon, the only Renaissancestyle castle in Isère.
The highlight of this route is the city of Vienne. Officially recognized as a “City of Art and History,” Vienne is home to more than 40 monuments and points of interest. Built to follow the contours of a hillside, the city’s ancient theatre was one of the largest of its kind in Roman times, and could seat about 13,000 spectators. It boasts magnificent acoustics, and is home to a world-renowned jazz festival that takes place annually in July.
The Temple of Augustus and Livia is another monument to the city’s Gallo-Roman heritage. Built between 20 and 10 BC, the temple is especially well preserved because it was transformed into a church in the 5th or 6th century.
The Saint-Romain-en-Gal archaeological site is one of the largest areas of Gallo-Roman ruins in all of France. Formerly linked to the ancient city of Vienne, the archaeological site is located at the heart of a seven-hectare park. Here you can explore the thermal baths, houses, shops, and workshops that have been revealed over the course of successive excavations.
The majestic Cathédrale Saint-Maurice houses several relics of Saint Maurice. The cathedral’s varying architecture is evidence of the different stages of construction, from the 4th century to the Middle Ages, followed by the 19th century restorations.
The Château de Roussillon, a registered historic landmark, is the only Renaissance style chateau in Isère. Its Italian elegance is the work of the illustrious architect Sebastiano Serlio. The chateau was commissioned by Cardinal François de Tournon, a personal adviser to François I.
The wines of Vienne