The Village of Grignan

Grignan is a commune in the Drôme department in the Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France.

It has a magnificent Renaissance castle and is mentioned in the letters that Madame de Sévigné wrote to her daughter, Madame de Grignan, in the 17th century.

The true origins of Grignan are unknown. Even if the Romans’ presence is proven (tombs, pieces of money and a military post made of granite have been found), there is no evidence of Grignan existing before their arrival.

It has been understood that the Moors built the first castle and surrounding battlements around the 9th century. The first written evidence of Grignan is no earlier that the 12th century (in Latin charters under its vulgar sense “Graignan”).

The Lordship of Grignan (established in 1032 after the death of the king of Arles) belongs to the family Adhémar de Monteil after 1239 and becomes their barony in the 14th century.

In the 16th century, Louis Adhémar de Monteil becomes the General of Galleys and Governor of Provence. He will create the Collegiate Chapter in 1512 and contributes to the village’s development.

The Barony becomes County in the 17th century. Last to represent the Adhémar family, the Count François Adhémar de Monteil de Castellane d’Ornano (Lieutenant General of Provence) marries Mademoiselle Françoise Marguerite de Sevigné, “the most beautiful girl of France,” (his 3rd wedding) daughter to the Marquise.

Her mother would never let this marriage create distance between her and her daughter. This is how the famous connection begins. Grignan, on its own, prospered up to the Revolution (which only the castle survived).

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Historical Grignan

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