Signposted cycling routes

The birthplace of San-Antonio

Oeuvre d'Arcabas

Following in the footsteps of author Frédéric Dard

Gently rolling terrain leads from the village of Saint-Chef, home of writer Frédéric Dard, to La Tour-du-Pin, with its remarkable church and modern art tour. Cyclists may even be treated to views of Mont Blanc.

San Antonio

Frédéric Dard, author of a series of crime novels featuring the famous Commissioner San-Antonio, was born in Jallieu (now known as Bourgoin-Jallieu) in 1921. His dying wish was to be buried in the cemetery of Saint-Chef. He spent part of his childhood in this village, and returned here often to regain energy. The Musée de Saint-Chef is devoted in part to his work. You’ll also want to visit the rest of the village and the abbey.

Eglise abbatiale de Saint-Chef

The abbey church of Saint-Chef is a remarkable example of French religious heritage. Its 12th century Roman frescos are among the most lavish and best conserved, but perhaps the least known to the general public. The frescos cover the entire interior (nearly 100 m²), from the gold and blue mosaic floor to the arched ceiling.

Musée du Tisserand dauphinois

In La Bâtie-Montgascon, the Musée du Tisserand Dauphinois explores the history of weaving in the Dauphiné in the 19th century. This former textile factory has been renovated to provide 700 m² of exhibition space, which is filled with hand and mechanical looms that are in perfect working order.

Eglise de La Tour-du-Pin

The church in La Tour-du-Pin is notable for its two triptychs, one of which is a 16th century representation of the crucifixion. Listed as a historic monument, this Renaissance work has long been attributed to a student of Dürer. The other triptych, a modern work by the painter Arcabas, is entitled “Visit from the Three Kings,” and depicts the Magi worshipping Jesus.
In the same geographical area, an outdoor art tour called Ronde d’un Art du Monde features modern art installations located in the communities of Faverges-de-la-Tour, Rochetoirin, Saint-Jean-de-Soudain and La Tour-du-Pin.

Wines of the Balmes dauphinoises

The product of a long tradition, the wines of the Balmes Dauphinoises are a pleasant surprise to wine lovers.
Until the mid-18th century, Isère was home to extensive vineyards, especially in the north of the department. On the sunny hillsides surrounding Saint-Chef, the tradition lives on with the vineyards that produce the wines of the Balmes Dauphinoises.
Noël Martin is among the local wine growers. His vineyard grows around thirty different grape varieties (chardonnay, pinot noir, gamay, etc.), and uses traditional winemaking techniques.
Another grower, Nicolas Gonin, has chosen to plant only local varieties (altesse, mondeuse, persan, etc.), “in order to obtain wines with more complexity and aging potential.” He also hopes to breathe new life into the old varieties. His vineyard received organic certifi cation in 2012.
Domaine Noël Martin, Mont de Trieux, 38890 Saint-Chef. Tel. +33 (0)4 74 92 52 64.
Domaine Nicolas Gonin, 945 route des Vignes  38890 Saint-Chef. Tel. +33 (0)6 10 39 25 15.

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The birthplace of San-Antonio


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