Local Information – Sight Seeing
The Gers is not generally recognised as a tourist area but yet this area of SW France literally abounds with places of interest to visit; castles, cloisters, abbeys, cathedrals and a host of historic attractions many within striking distance of Le Marcade. Here are a selection of some of the best ones and where possible a Link so you can have a closer look and choose which ones to include in your itinerary.
Chateaux and Other Sites of Interest
Château de Caumont at 32130-Cazaux-Savès (40 mins drive);
A huge brick and stone Renaissance château built for Henri III’s favourite the Duke of Epernon
Château de Cassaigne at 32100-Cassaigne (40 mins drive) – Built in 1247 this is an elegant château and the homeplace of Armagnac liqueur. This is one of the top tourist attractions in the Gers. Join a guided tour and taste the castle’s own wine and armagnac.
Château de Lavardens at 32360-Lavardens (35 mins drive) – A mix of elegant and austere architecture once the military stronghold of the Counts of Armagnac. Built in 1140 it was the scene of many battles in the next centuries and was largely destroyed. Henry IV gifted it to Antoine de Roquelaure who started to restore it for his beautiful wife Suzanne de Bassabat but died before he could finish it. www.chateaulavardens.com
Remains of a Roman villa at Seviac, 32250 Montreal-du-Gers with excellent mosaics (50 mins drive) Built in the 4th century AD, Séviac Villa was a luxurious mansion with a typical villa layout, including an inner open courtyard (peristyle), heated baths and pool, a hypocaust system for under floor heating, and over 600 m2 of mosaic floors. The mosaics are said to be amongst the most exceptional in the region. www.archaeology-travel.com
The Abbaye de Flaran Cistercian monastery at 32310-Valence-sur-Baise (40 mins drive) A visit to this magnificent cloister is highly recommended. The abbey was founded by the monks of Escaladieu in 1151 and is now one of the best preserved cloisters in the SW of France. The buildings and gardens of the abbey are situated in a beautiful park and are now an excellent example of a Cistercian cloister from the 12th century. www.cg32.fr
Tour de Termes d Armagnac at 32400-Termes d’Armagnac (30 mins drive) – the tower is the last remains of the original Château de Thibault de Termes. Built at the end of the 13th century by Thibault’s father Jean count of Armagnac to watch over the Armagnac boundaries. Thibault is best known as a companion of Joan of Arc who gave testimony on her behalf at her trial. www.casteland.com
Château du Busca-Maniban at 32310 Mansencôme (40 mins drive) There are few remains of the original stronhold here datinbg back to medieval times. The current chateau was built by the Maniban family in 1649 and has since passed through many hands until relatives of the existing owners the Ferron Palthey family aquired it in 1803.
The Collégiale de La Romieu at 32480-La Romieu ( 55 mins drive)
Built in the XIV century by Arnaud of With, it was registered in 1999 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The group of buildings boasts a wonderful cloister; a church with its Sacristy; its frescoes; and two 33 m. towers. After climbing the 136 steps you will be rewarded with an exceptional panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Les Jardins Coursiana also at 32480-La Romieu (55 mins drive)with its 700 varieties of trees from around the world spread out over 6 hectares. The gardens feature an arboretum, an English garden and an area dedicated to medicinal plants. www.jardinsdecoursiana.com
Cathedral at 32800-Eauze (40 mins drive) seat of the former Diocese of Eauze, which was merged into the Bishopric of Auch probably in the 9th century. Eauze Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Luperculus (wiki) , who is said to have been a bishop here in the 3rd century before being martyred.
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Condom) at 32100-Condom (45 mins drive) a former cathedral and now a National Monument of France. Formerly the seat of the bishops of Condom, the diocese was transferred to the Archdiocese of Auch in 1822.
Cathédrale Sainte-Marie d’Auch at 32000-Auch (30 mins drive) The suite of 18 Rennaissance stained glass windows by Arnaud de Moles is of particular interest. Produced between 1507 and 1513, they are esteemed to be the finest of this period. The other work of art that is wellm worth seeing is the 113 choir stalls incredibly intricately carved from solid oak.
Musée d’Auch (30 Mins drive) ; archeology, paintings, sculptures amongst many other things.
Musée d’Art Naïf; at 32100-Beraut (45 mins drive) fine arts museum situated in the Château d’Ensoulès in Beraut near Condom (45 mins drive)
Musée de l’Armagnac: at 32100- Condom (40 mins drive) the centre for the production of Armagnac
Le Trésor d’Eauze at 32800-Eauze (40mins drive) discover the trails of the ancient city of Elusa
La Halte du Pèlerin at 32100-Larressingle (45 minutes): life in the Middle Ages and Medieval battle machines
Centre d’Artagnan at 32290- Lupiac (20 minutes): discover the life of D’Artagnan the musketeer who was born here.
Musée de Mirande at 32300-Mirande (15 minutes): Italian French and Belgian paintings from the 15th to 19th centuries
Musée de Fouilles de Séviac at 32250-Montréal du Gers (45 minutes): includes roman mosaics and treasures found at Seviac. Entrance to the excavations includes free entry to the museum.
Ecomusée du Paysan Gascon at 32240-Toujouse (55 minutes): Gascon country life with its original trades and traditions