Image Copyright – Ardèche Hermitage
Boucieu-le-Roi is located on a hill in the Doux valley. It was awarded “Village de caractère” (“Village with character”) in 2008. It used to be a bailiff’s court founded by Philippe le Bel in 1291 until 1565. Its franchise agreement made the inhabitants of Boucieu-le-Roi rich and as a consequence they could erect magnificent monuments such as the Maison du Bailli (the bailiff’s house) or the Church Saint Jean l’Evangéliste consecrated in 1492. Don’t miss also the Pont du Roi (a listed historic monument) or the traditional Maison à aître (a house whose outside steps are covered)…
In the 18th century Pierre Vigne, missionary priest, decided to settle in Boucieu-le-Roi. He founded the congregation of the Sisters of the Order of the Eucharist and built a long way of the cross with 39 stopover-chapels: “the Great Journey”. He was beatified on October 3rd 2004 by Pope John Paul II as the “Blessed one”. Today the congregation lives in the former feudal castle, now the Maison Pierre Vigne, housing a museum dedicated to the priest (open all year long by appointment at +334 75 06 76 74).
The Museum of Arts and Traditions in the Vivarais area, traces the past of this village. The traditional housing is shown, among others the “maison à aître”. The visit is free and it is open daily from 9.00am to 8.00pm.
Down the village, the former train station is today the departure of the rail bike of the Doux Gorges which takes the 12-kilometer-long historic railway line built in 1891, the only way to discover the beautiful landscapes through the gorges of the river Doux. The way down by rail biking starting from Boucieu-le-Roi is a family and fun ride. The way back is onboard a diesel railcar listed historic monument.
Do not miss in Winter the Christmas exhibition of worldwide nibs (mid-December to mid-January).