Department of Vaucluse (84)

General public

A visit to the heart of renewable energies

Inaugurated in 1952 by the President of the French Republic Vincent Auriol, this symbolic site will take you on a journey into history with its hydropower plant, the most productive in Europe at the time, and its lock, then the largest in the world. The majestic façade, the interior gallery and the old control room, left as it was in the 1950s, are listed historic monuments.


Download the flyer of the visit

Presentation of the circuit

Set off for an entertaining and pedagogical guided visit that combines French history and energy mixes. Films, models and objects invite you to explore the great adventure of the River Rhone and 100% renewable electricity generated from water, wind and sun.

This visit has two parts:

  • Understanding CNR and the energy mix at Bollène. The moment you enter this symbolic monument of the Rhone Valley’s industrial history, you will grasp the history of CNR and that of this site through different captivating scenographic elements. To complete your knowledge of renewable energies, you will then discover a scientific, pedagogic and interactive gallery that explains electricity production whether obtained from water, wind or sun. To end, you will have a dramatic view looking down over the impressive machine room and visit the old control room given particular attention.
  • Discover navigation on the river. Leave downstream of the plant to reach the lock and benefit from an exceptional view upstream and downstream of the hydropower plant, over three wind turbines and one of the solar power plants. If you are in luck, you could even witness a boat passing through the lock in front of you!

Detail of the visit

  • Guided visits for 2h only by reservation.
  • Children must be 8 years old and over.
  • Access for reduced mobility persons.

The + of the visit

Exceptional access to the edge of the lock

An interactive, entertaining and pedagogical visit.

Free parking for cars and coache

Green space dedicated to picnics.

Your safety is our priority

  • All visitors must show proof of identity (valid identity card or passport, or French driving licence provided that the photograph resembles the holder).
  • Access is forbidden to persons without valid proof of identity or who have not made a reservation.
  • Any action not in compliance with the safety rules during the visit will lead to the immediate halting of the visit and the evacuation of the group outside the CNR site.

Open days

Visits are possible every day during open periods as a function of the slots available.


From the beginning of April to the end of October

j f m a m j j a s o n d


From mid-February to mid-December

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Price for visits


  • Adult price (from 18 years old) 10€ per person
  • Child price (between 8 and 18 years old) 5€ per person
  • Family price (2 adults and 2 children) 25€
  • Family price (2 adults and 3 children) 30€
  • Family price (2 adults and 4 children) 35€
  • Family price (2 adults and 5 children) 40€
  • Reduced price (students and jobseekers) 5€ per person


  • Group price (from 15 people) 8€ per person
  • For school groups Free

Please note

Visits can be suspended without notice for reasons of public order by demand of the authorities. This may also be the case of major maintenance works or due to force majeure. Access to the lock is not authorised for visits in the case of heat waves, rain, storms and violent wind

How to come ?

Centrale CNR André Blondel
Promenade Léon Perrier
84500 Bollène

GPS Coordinates
44.30375125090822 4.74299863489901

From Lyon or Avignon :

  • Take exit 19 of motorway A7
  • Take direction Alès/Vaison La Romaine/Pont Saint Esprit/Bollène/C.N. Tricastin
  • At the third roundabout, take direction “Blondel (centrale électrique)
Point de départ de la visite - Parking visiteur

Starting point

Practical information

  • You must provide valid proof of identity, except for young children. As tickets are nominative, your identity will be checked before each visit. You cannot enter the site if you do not provide proof of identity.
  • You must wear trousers and trainers or walking boots, otherwise you will be refused entry to the site.
  • Do not use your cell phones, laptop computers, cameras, dictaphones or any electronic devices. They are prohibited during the visit. Lockers are available for you to store your non-voluminous personal possessions. Cases and large rucksacks cannot be left in the cloakrooms.


Please park your car in the visitors carpark and not park in front of the hydropower plant building (reserved for CNR personnel).

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