Valréas Tourist Office offers a short hike taking in several of these milestones, recalling the history of this Drôme enclave that once belonged to the Popes who settled in Avignon in the 14th century. Accessible to everyone.
In the Northern part of Provence, the villages which today make up the Papal Enclave also share a rich and sometimes complex historical geography with towns in the Bas Dauphiné. The arrival of the Popes in Avignon in the early 14th century created political and economical stakes for this land. The Popes wanted to extend the Comtat Venaissin to the north, into lands belonging to the Bas Dauphiné. The papal acquisitions modified regional geopolitics.
Today, the 'Papal Milestones' are the clearest expression of this pontifical investment. Today, 22 milestones stand in the Valréas area and outline the current Papal Enclave. These milestones are 30 cm thick and 40 cm wide, standing approximately 150 cm high. They are sculpted stones with one or several coats of arms which on one side identify the lords of the land and on the other show the symbol of the Comtat Venaissin, 2 intersecting keys.