It is a small walled city situated on the right bank of the Rhône.
Viviers became the capital of the Gaulish Helvii tribe following the decline of nearby Alba-la-Romaine.
In late Roman times, it also became a bishopric and the capital of the pays Vivarais. Today, it is still the see of the bishop of Ardèche.
In the 6th century, Venant de Viviers served as the Bishop of Viviers.