Gard (30110) Population: 5,196 Altitude: 188 m
La Grand-Combe is a small town on the Gardon d'Alès river, at the eastern side of the Cévennes, just north of Alès. The town was created in the mid 19th century, and was a coal-mining center for the next hundred years or so.
La Grand-Combe evolved from a 19th-20th century coal mining town, and it isn't a particularly attractive place today. It is modernizing, though, and some things, like this bakery mural are looking pretty nice.
The town is located just 14 km northwest of Alès, and is tucked into the hills of the Cévennes.
Coal Mine Museum
One of the principle area coal mines has been converted into a coal-mine museum, more to show what the life was like for the miners than how to mine coal. We toured the museum in 2014 and were blown away. We'll be going back for repeat tours, especially to show it to our own visitors.
The Coal Mine Museum is located only 1 km north of La Grand-Combe town center, north on the D128. Called Maison du Mineur — Puits Ricard. The name Puits Ricard refers to the "Ricard" mine shaft, one of the deepest in the area, at over 800 meters down.
Chateau du Portes
History of La Grand-Combe
The commune (township) was created in 1846 by combining a group of smaller villages. La Grand-Combe means "The Big Valley", with "combe" coming from the Celtic cumba for valley.
Prehistoric: Signs of prehistoric habitation can be found about 4-5 km south west of La Grand Combe, with the Dolmen Ronc Traoucat, and prehistoric tombs just west of there. (This forested area, west of the river, is actually in the communes of Les Salles-du-Gardon and Soustelle.
Market day: Wed, Sat.
Transportation La Grand-Combe
Department 30, Gard Buses
- See Beyond's Gard Department Bus Schedules for Gard bus-lines maps and bus-line schedules (Horaires).
Maps (Plans) for the Gard bus lines are on the www.edgard.fr website, with a flash webpage for each of five zones around Nîmes (www.edgard-transport.fr/plan/?rub_code=5).
Schedules for the Gard bus lines are available via the www.edgard.fr website horaires page (www.edgard-transport.fr/horaires/?rub_code=23).