Witness of 8 centuries of history, the Commandery of Jalès, built around 1140, knew within its walls the “Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Jerusalem” (otherwise known as the Knights Templar), then the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, and finally the Knights of Malta who, in turn, were the lords of a real fiefdom until the revolution.
In this last period, Jalès was the epicenter of armed gatherings known as the “Camps of Jalès” which resulted in the conspiracy of Saillans and the destruction of the castle of Banne. Sold in lots as a national asset in 1793, the building was bought back by farmers of the commune. The commandery owes this to the fact that, like many other buildings of the old regime, it did not end its career as a… stone quarry! Rarely in France, the 12th century convent complex of the Commanderie is still visible. A large part of the buildings of the commandery is today the property of the Department of Ardèche. In Jalès, Archéorient, a CNRS laboratory specialized in the study of the environment and societies of the ancient Orient, also resides.