Discovery Centre for Ardèche Chestnuts
The chestnut tree has always been present in its natural state in the Ardèche. It began to be cultivated roughly around the 13th century with the introduction of the technique of grafting. The golden age was around 1860, when 40,000 tonnes of chestnuts were produced, before declining due to the appearance of diseases, rural exodus, and the tannin industry.
Nonetheless, the Ardèche is the number one producer of chestnuts with 5000 tonnes per year, equivalent to half of all French production.
To find out about its history, visit CASTANEA (formerly known as the Musée de la Châtaigneraie), dedicated to the history of the chestnut and located in a magnificent 17th century building at the heart of the medieval town of Joyeuse, just 30 minutes from the hotel.
Castanea, known as the “Espace découverte de la châtaigne d’Ardèche” (Discovery Centre for Ardèche Chestnuts), provides a unique experience to enchant all the senses of all lovers of fine food and drink. It makes for a visit brimming with a good helping of imagination and innovation, and of course, a few gourmet nuggets are on the menu. Discover the history and profile of the chestnut, its current status and its future, as well as its beautiful and moving history with the Ardéchois. Visit for old and young alike. A tube of locally produced “crème de châtaigne” (chestnut cream) is given free to each paying visitor, and a 100% local shop awaits you. You’ll never taste this nut the same way again after this visit!