For those of you who may not have seen the House Hunters International episode on HGTV this week, Erin and family chose Uzes!
Erin, Stuart and their blended family with four children went on a house hunt in the south of France for a second home property. Along the way they contacted House Hunters International who filmed the search for the HGTV network audience.
The property agent — who I happen to know! Pierre Guillery — had three choices of locations that met a majority of the family’s “wish list.” Two were near Avignon, one in Uzes.
Of course, they chose Uzes!
Like many of you who watched the show, I was anxious to see how Uzes was pictured to the TV audience. Because Avignon was the site of two of the choices, Uzes didn’t get the attention it really deserves. BUT!!! Winner, Winner!!
Here are some of my favorite places I wish the viewers could have seen:
Place de Duche
I mean, where else do you find a Duke in residence?
Fenestrelle tower and Cathedral of Saint Théodorit
The cathedral and tower that mark the skyline in Uzes are part of the deep-rooted religious history of France. The cathedral, named for Saint Theodorit, was built in the 12th century, destroyed in the Albigensian Crusade, rebuilt, and destroyed again in the 16th century Wars of Religion. Built again in the 17th century, it was stripped out during the French Revolution, then refurbished in it’s neoclassical style in the 18th century. The 11th century Romanesque Tour Fenestrelle (“Window Tower”), through all the religious and political fervor, is still intact — although previously two stories taller. The cathedral served as the seat of the Uzes bishopric from the 5th century until 1801. It is now a Protestant parish church. In the middle of the 16th century, Uzès was the fifth biggest Protestant town in France.
Saint Etienne d’Uzes
The church Saint Etienne d’Uzes has a similar history to Saint Théodorit of being built, destroyed and rebuilt during religious wars in France. Renovation of the Baroque-style church that was built in 1764-1774 was started in 2004. Saint Etienne maintains its Greek cross design and curved façade, decorated with fire pots from which flames flow. The bell tower that served as the town’s watchtower and defense still stands since the 13th century. The interior dome, arches and cornices are original, with stonework made at that time. The church continues to serve a Catholic congregation.
Remnants of the ancient wall
Uzes was the seat of the bishop’s temporal powers. The Bishop’s Tower was used as a tribunal and prison. This tall, square tower is topped by an octagonal clock tower and belfry, added in the 19th century.
King’s tower was used as a royal residence, as well as for housing troups. Louis XIII stayed here in July 1629. It is said that King Charles hit his head on one of the low doorways in the tower and died from the blow.
Cinéma Le Capitole
The cinema in Uzes is a step back into the 40’s with it’s art films, Metropolitan Opera re-broadcasts and season’s newest movies. Can’t you imagine Humphrey Bogart walking down the street?
Gendarmerie and Uzes police — always on busy and on guard
This is where the locals go for the finest chocolates and pastries in town.
My favorite hangout for lunch!
Watering the Flowers
A horse-drawn cart with a tank of water for the flowers is a common sight in the Place de Duche during the summertime.
Place aux Herbes
What we did see in the House Hunters episode was a lot of the Place aux Herbes. There’s no question this is the true center of Uzes.
Welcome to Uzes!