•Gard (30700) • Population: 403 • Altitude: 246 m
La Capelle-et-Masmolène is a commune made up of two adjacent hamlets: La Capelle and Masmolène, only 800 meters apart. The town hall (mairie) is in the politically correct location half way between the two hamlets.
Both hamlets of La Capelle-et-Masmolène are pretty and interesting, but very small. The main reason for visiting here is for the country walks and hikes, and to experience the peaceful and pretty countryside.
No village café, no commerce.
A very large chateau in La Capelle is quite striking, and is a great landmark when viewing the village afar. It's private, and lived-in, and not open for visits.
The surrounding farmland is mostly orchards, with some grain and other crops and of course vineyards. There's also a flavour of the Camargue here, with some fields used for raising white horses and others with herds of black cattle.
Masmolène Chateau and Chapel
The chateau and the chapel of Masmolène date to the 11th century. The chateau is now in ruins, but some of its defensive walls have been integrated into Masmolène village.
The 11th-century chapel of Masmolène has been restored to pretty decent shape, and makes a nice visiting point on a walking tour of the commune.
La Capelle Chateau
The large La Capelle Chateau is 12th-century. It's an imposing structure, but privately owned and not open for visits.
La Capelle Lake
The Etang de la Capelle is a marshy-lake area. It's located just 1 km southeast of La Capelle, and makes a nice walk out from the village. The central area of the "étang" is a shady island, popular with local fishermen, and would be a nice place for summer picnicking.
Source of the Alzon
The Alzon river begins in the hills just northwest of La Capelle-et-Masmolène. The small river runs in a west-to-southwest arc past Vallabrix and St Quentin-la-Poterie to Uzès, then southeast to Collias where it joins the Gardon, upstream of the Gorges du Gardon the the Pont du Gard.
At Uzès, local springs adjacent to the Alzon provided the water for the Roman aqueduct that flowed across the famous Pont du Gard on its way to Nîmes.
Movie Filming Site
The 12th-century La Capelle chateau was used as a backdrop in the 1975 Just Jaeckin film Histoire d'O (The Story of O).
Several parts of La Capelle village were used in the 1976 Jacques Besnard film Le jour de gloire>, The Days of Glory.
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History of La Capelle-et-Masmolène
Prehistoric: Neolithic remains were discovered at La Capelle.
Gallo-Roman: A Gallo-Roman pottery kiln and pottery were located here, and an old Roman road passed through La Capelle-et-Masmolène.
More Recently: The two individual villages joined together in 1814 to form La Capelle-et-Masmolène.
• GPS: 44.051208, 4.528062
IGN (1/25,000) #2941 ET "Remoulins, Pont du Gard"
"Collines et Vignobles autour d'Uzès", map+info (1:30'000)
There are short, medium and long loop hikes available from La Capelle-et-Masmolène, either across farmlands or into the wooded hills north of the village. The local hikes are marked (yellow) for visiting the adjacent villages:
A loop of Vallabrix, Masmolène, St Victor-des-Oules, St-Hippolyte-de-Montaigu, Vallabrix is about 15 km, with some variants possible.
A "Petit Randonnené" trail (PR 36) is marked out and signposted as a 20-km historical loop. This trail passes through the center of both hamlets and into the hills, and offers: Baume des Gaulois; Voie de l'étain (Marseille-Bretagne); Cabanes préhistorique (2500 BC); Sentier botanique; Chapelle romane de Masmolène.