Aubenas is a town located in the south east of Ardèche, in the Rhône Alpes region. The town accounts for 11,800 inhabitants – the Albenassiens. Aubenas is situated on a rocky spur and overlooks the Ardeche Valley. The River Ardèche runs through the town.
Nicknamed La Médiévale or Cité des Montlaur, Aubenas has a prestigious past and a rich architectural and industrial heritage. The town is home to wonderful monuments from the Middle Ages such as the castle - listed as an historical monument - the Saint Benoit Dome and Gargoyles House. Many places of interest are situated close to Aubenas, which is thus a perfect place to visit the region. The Ardeche Gorges, Ardeche mountains (Mont Gerbiec-de-Jonc), Cévennes mountain range and numerous medieval and typical villages (Largentière, Vogüé, Balazuc, Ruoms, etc.) are worth seeing.
Aubenas is an active town economically speaking. It is the centre of the Chamber of Commerce of the southern part of Ardeche. The town offers about 350 shops where you can buy varied things, from clothes to food, going through traditional shops. Tourism, commerce and food-industry are the three main domains of economy which bring income to Aubenas. Do taste the famous chestnut produces in the area, as well as great cheeses and cooked meats.
With nine other towns and villages, Aubenas forms the pays d'aubenas vals, a community of communes which is very dynamic and develops many projects aiming at the economical development of the area.
In 2009, the average price for a property to buy in Aubenas is €1,729 / square metre. It is a quite reasonable property price given the national average of €3,197 / square metre. As far as houses are concerned, prices have increased since February 2008. It cost about €2,270 / square metre to buy a property in Aubenas at that time, and €2,500 / square metre in April 2009. Apartment prices are lower of course. You should plan to spend about €1,600/sq m if you want to invest in an apartment in the town. The Ardeche department is quite affordable in terms of housing prices. They are still bargains to be driven in this quiet and pleasant area.
54.5% of the properties are apartments and 52.6% of the locals rent their dwellings. We can suppose from these figures that there are opportunities in the rental market of Aubenas. More than 82% of the properties are main homes, but there is still 11% of vacant properties, which are waiting for prospective buyers! Do not wait longer and invest in Aubenas. The lovely setting of the town, welcoming locals and traditions are assets which will easily convince you to settle in the town.
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Architectural heritage: you will find outstanding monuments in the lovely paved street of the medieval town. As said before, Aubenas’ castle has been listed as an historical monument since 1943. This fortified castle dates from the 11th century and was then converted in a luxury residence during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is now home to the town hall. From the top of its dungeon, you can enjoy a great panoramic view over the Ardeche Valley. The Dôme Saint-Benoît (17th-18th centuries) is the ancient chapel of the Benedictine convent. Nowadays, this listed monument houses religious pieces of art. The Saint Laurent church and Maison aux Gargouilles (16th century) are also places that are worth visiting. In the town centre, there are plenty of wonderful pieces of architecture, properties decorated with handcrafted works such as wrought iron decorations, small paved courtyards, houses with turrets, spiral staircases, etc.
Street market and fairs: given its location and climate, Aubenas is a very nice town where it is pleasant to live. You will be able to meet the welcoming locals in the numerous markets or fairs which are held in the town. Every Saturday morning, a traditional street market takes place in the pedestrian streets and places of the town. It is the opportunity to discover local produce, handcrafted works and the know-how of the locals. In summer, the night market held every Wednesday evening has a great atmosphere and attracts many people. Numerous fairs also take place in Aubenas, some of them since the Middle Ages! Amongst others, the foire Saint Antoine, foire aux poulains and foire exposition de l’Ardèche méridionale.
Cultural life: Aubenas offers many possibilities to enjoy a great cultural life in the area. The town is home to an auditorium, a cultural centre, two exhibition rooms for Modern Art, a multimedia centre and a library. Every year about 50 shows and 10 exhibitions take place in Aubenas. Several festivals also embellish Aubenas’ cultural life such as the cinema festival called ‘Les rencontres des Cinémas d’Europe’ and the ‘Comic Book Festival’.
Stone houses: whether farmhouses or mas, there are many stone properties in Aubenas and its surroundings. Full of character, these houses have large dimensions and come with a garden. Stone houses often have an ideal setting for nature lovers, as they are located in the countryside, surrounded with olive, fig trees or oak trees for instance. Some of these properties have been renovated and offer now the authenticity of a traditional house outside and the modernity with a very modern layout inside.
Villas: given the proximity of Aubenas with the Languedoc-Roussillon region, we can find some villas in the area. Painted in light colours such as ochre, yellow or orange, these properties often come with a swimming-pool and outbuildings. They are perfect for families as they are composed of numerous rooms.
Apartments: as in many towns of the Ardeche department, there are many apartments in the area around Aubenas. Whatever your criterion may be, you will find your dreaming apartment there. Small or large, in the town centre or closer to the countryside, on one or two floors, with a balcony or a garage, etc. There is a wide choice for such properties.
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