Valence - France

Valence is a town in south-eastern France, the capital of the department of DrĂ´me, situated on the left bank of the Rhone River, 65 miles (105 km) south of Lyons on the railway to Marseilles. Known in Roman times as Valentia Julia, it was ruled by the Duke of Valentinois in the middle ages and its inhabitants are still called Valentinois or the Valentinoises. Valence was a part of the French Towns and Lands of Art and History and the city received four flowers in the Concours des villes et villages fleuris. The main building of interest is the Cathedral of St. Apollinaris, which has an interesting apse and was rebuilt in the 11th century in the Romanesque style of Auvergne. It suffered extensive damage in the French Wars of Religion, but was restored in the first decade of the 17th century. The porch and the stone tower above it were rebuilt in 1861. The library and the museum containing Roman antiquities, sculptures, and a picture gallery are housed in the old ecclesiastical seminary.