Tour de France 2022

Am 14. Oktober: Vorstellung der Strecke der Tour de France 2022

Unterwegs

NEW AQUITAINE REGION
Departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Creuse, Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Haute-Vienne.
Population: 5.9 million
Prefecture: Bordeaux
Surface area: 2 011 km2
Specialities: Bordeaux wines, Cognac, Armagnac, Espelette pepper, Périgord walnuts, Marmande tomatoes, oysters from the Arcachon basin, Salers meat, Aquitaine cow, Bayonne ham, Pauillac lamb, Bordeaux canelés. Goose, duck, Sarlat apples, Basque chicken, garbure, lamprey. Black truffle.
Sports clubs: Girondins de Bordeaux (football), Stade Montois, Union Sportive Dacquoise, Aviron Bayonnais, Union Bordeaux Bègles Atlantique, Stade Rochelais, CA Brive Corrèze Limousin, Section Paloise, Biarritz Olympique, SU Agen (rugby), Elan Béarnais Pau-Orthez, CSP Limoges (basketball).
Competitions: Tour de France, surfing in Lacanau (Lacanau Pro) and Biarritz. Tour du Limousin.
Festivals: Bayonne festival, Dax festival, Madeleine festival in Mont-de-Marsan, Francofolies in La Rochelle, Angoulême comic book festival, Brive book fair, Nuits de nacre in Tulle, Grand Pavois in La Rochelle, Garorock in Marmande, Cognac detective film festival
Economy: Bordeaux, Cognac and Armagnac wines, aeronautics and space industry, biotechnologies, chemistry, scientific research. Image and digital industry. Agri-food industry. Port of Bordeaux. Tourism. Universities.
Tourist sites: Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion, La Rochelle, Biarritz, Arcachon basin, Dune du Pilat, Lascaux caves, Futuroscope in Poitiers, Lacanau beaches, Biarritz, Biscarosse, Hourtin, Carcans, Soulac-sur-Mer, mouth of the Gironde, Bordeaux vineyards, Dordogne castles, Pau castle, the Pyrenees, Oleron island, Ré island.
Websites and social networks: www.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr

PYRÉNÉES-ATLANTIQUES (64)
Region: New Aquitaine
Population: 679,354
Prefecture: Pau
Sub-prefectures: Bayonne, Oloron-Sainte-Marie
Number of communes: 546
Surface area: 7,645 km2
Specialities: piperade, madiran (wine), pacherenc (wine), poule au pot, garbure, jurançon (wine), axoa, piment d'Espelette, poulet basquaise, gâteau basque, Irouléguy (AOC wine), Bayonne ham.
Sports clubs: AS Bayonne, RC Lons (women's rugby), Aviron Bayonnais, Biarritz Olympique, Section Paloise (men's rugby), Elan Béarnais (basketball), Hormadi d'Anglet (hockey), Pau FC (football), Billère HB (handball).
Competitions: Pau Automobile Grand Prix, Pau Eventing Competition, Pau Canoeing World Cup.
Festivals: Fêtes de Bayonne, Hestiv'Òc Festival
Heritage: Pau Castle, Pic du Midi d'Ossau, La Rhune summit, Bayonne ramparts, Rocher de la Vierge in Biarritz, the Basque coast road.
Economy: agropastoralism, hydroelectricity, agri-food, aeronautics, thermalism, petrochemicals.
Websites and social networks: http://www.le64.fr / https://www.facebook.com/pages/D%C3%A9partement-des-Pyr%C3%A9n%C3%A9es-Atlantiques/720037604708106 / https://twitter.com/departement64 / https://pro.tourisme64.com

Bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south by the Pyrenean mountain range, Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Béarn - Basque Country) is marked by this dual influence. The department owes its rich landscape, its mild climate and the complexity of its history to it.
In the south, the mountains offer a wide variety of exceptional sites: snow-capped peaks, immense cirques, narrow gorges, lakes, caves and waterfalls follow one another. It also offers the department privileged links with nearby Spain. More than half of the trans-Pyrenean crossings are via the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Col du Somport, Hendaye). They bear witness to the tradition of exchanges and meetings. The department is also the place of convergence of the roads to Santiago de Compostela: Ostabat, Lacommande, Irissarry, l'Hôpital-Saint-Blaise, Saint-Engrâce... are all signs of this welcoming past.
To the north, the Pyrenean foothills are an area of hills and valleys that the Gaves widen into plains. Vineyards, maize, livestock and forests alternate in a mosaic of small farms that give the landscape an undeniable charm.
To the west, at the bottom of the Bay of Biscay, the department opens onto the immensity of the world.
Thirty-two kilometres of coastline only, but which offer long sandy beaches, then high cliffs pierced by rocky coves as in Biarritz or Saint-Jean-de-Luz, or by the wide bay of Hendaye.
A window on the spirit of the Pyrenees and their culture, nourished by diversity.
The Atlantic Ocean also gives the department a mild and balanced climate, with good rainfall that is favourable to agriculture.
A window open to adventure for the Basque whale hunters and tuna fishermen who discovered the new world and brought in their wake the emigration of our shepherds.
A window of opportunity for forestry production, for maize or sulphur from Lacq.

Km 5

Km 5: Maslacq (Pop: 890)
This is a stage on the road to Santiago de Compostela, on the via Podiensis from Le Puy-en-Velay (the GR 65). The village of Maslacq offers accommodation and food for pilgrims and visitors.
The castle was once the jewel of the village. Poet Francis Jammes, a resident of Orthez, was a regular visitor and left writings about the village. He was particularly inspired by the castle grounds and the “Pavilion of Muses” (as he called it), which was in fact the former castle chapel.
The castle was originally an abbey, whose existence is mentioned in the 16th century. It was occupied by the Abbadie d'Arboucave family for three centuries.
The present building dates from the 18th century.

Notre Dame du Muret
This site was very famous in the Middle Ages. It was a renowned place of pilgrimage for 500 years until the time of the reformation (1569-1599) when the site was vandalised. Nothing remains of the original church.

Km 14

Km 14: Arthez-de-Béarn (Pop: 1,850)
Situated on the Via Pondesis of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Arthez-de-Béarn has an interesting religious heritage, such as its 19th century church with a 12th century bell tower that belonged to the village's former castle, or the chapel of Caubin, listed as a historic monument.

Km 27

Km 27: Sault-de-Navailles (Pop: 920)
This ancient viscounty, situated on the via Lemovicensis of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, preserved until 2021 important vestiges of its 12th century castle. Unfortunately, the castle tower collapsed on 1 February 2021 after the storm Justine.

LANDES (40)
Region: Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Population: 410,355
Prefecture: Mont-de-Marsan
Sub-prefecture: Dax
Number of communes: 535
Surface: 9,243 km2
Specialities: duck, foie gras, Landes pastis, Chalosse beef, armagnac, Landes sand asparagus, Adour kiwi, Tursan wines, Saint-Sever chicken.
Tourist sites: Landes forest, seaside tourism in Biscarosse, Mimizan, Hossegor, Cap Breton, thermal baths in Dax, Préchacq-les-Bains or Eugénie-les-Bains. Pilgrimage routes to Compostela.
Sports clubs: Stade Montois (rugby), US Dax (rugby), Basket Landes (women's basketball league).
Competitions: French International Golf Championships in Hossegor, Quiksilver Pro France (surfing), Swatch Girls Pro France
Festivals: Landes races, Musicalarue in Luxey, Festival Arte Flamenco in Mont-de-Marsan, patronal celebrations. European Circus Festival (Saint-Paul-les-Dax). International Festival of Contis (cinema).
Economy: poultry production (fattened duck, chicken, geese), cattle breeding, agriculture, forestry and paper, thermalism, seaside tourism, wine growing.
Websites and social networks: ww.tourismelandes.com, www.landes.fr

Km 41

Km 41: Hagetmau (Pop: 4,620)
Former stronghold of chair manufacture (chairs and armchairs), which employed almost half the town. Hagetmau is also a rugby town, since its club, SA Hagetmau, French D2 and D1 group B champions, played at the highest level between 1984 and 1986 (currently in Fédérale 2).
On the territory of the commune was the abbey of Saint-Girons, demolished in 1904 because it threatened to end up in ruins, but whose crypt, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, has been preserved.

Crypt of Saint-Girons
Construction: 12th century
Style: Romanesque
Characteristics: only the crypt, measuring 12 m by 7.6 m, has been preserved. Its restored vault is supported by four central columns in red and black marble from a Gallo-Roman building. They are surmounted by historiated capitals: the scene of Lazarus and the rich man evokes the punishment of avarice.
History: the abbey was built on the site of the martyrdom of Saint Girons, evangeliser of the region in the 5th century. Its creation dates back to Charlemagne, but there is no trace of a religious community until the 12th century. The abbey church was damaged during the Hundred Years' War and then during the Wars of Religion, and was completely destroyed in 1904.
Classification: Historical monument since 1862.

Km 47.5

Km 47.5: Horsarrieu (Pop: 690)
The village, a former bastide under English rule, is on the Vézelay pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Its imposing Saint-Martin church, in flamboyant Gothic style, dates from the 15th and 16th centuries and is listed as a historical monument. It was in Horsarrieu that the former captain of the Élan Béarnais Pau Orthez, Frédéric Fauthoux, began his basketball career. He won the French championship seven times and has 47 caps for the French team. He now coaches ASVEL-Lyon Villeurbanne.

Km 54

Km 54: Saint-Sever (Pop: 5,000)
Saint-Sever has a rich history and its heritage is a testimony to this, allowing the municipality to claim to be "the historic city of the Landes". Founded in the Middle Ages, it developed into Caput Vasconiae, literally "Head of Gascony". From this past, this stronghold of bullfighting and rugby (birthplace of René Crabos, former captain of the French national team and president of the French Rugby Federation) has preserved six historic monuments, in particular its majestic 11th century abbey church, listed by UNESCO since 1998 as part of the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Not forgetting the cloister of the Jacobin convent and the cloister of the 17th century Benedictine abbey, which are the pride of the town.
Saint-Sever has a reputation as a medieval city, but the heritage inventory mission carried out in 2016 and 2017 revealed a more recent and equally rich heritage, in which the private mansions hold a special place.

Abbey and abbatial church of Saint-Sever
Foundation: 11th century
Style: Romanesque
Characteristics: very large abbey church, 71-m long, 31-m wide for the nave and 41-m for the transept. It has a choir with six apsidioles of decreasing depth, following a Benedictine plan. The marble columns of the choir and transept come from the nearby palace of the Roman governors of Morlanne.
History: the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Sever has undergone an exceptional expansion and influence. Its possessions extended from the 11th century from the Médoc to Pamplona in Spain. The Hundred Years' War, the Wars of Religion and the French Revolution then led to an inexorable decline.
A special feature: one of the most beautiful chevets with seven staggered apses. Only two churches in France have preserved this form inspired by Cluny II.
Classification: Historical Monument since 1911 / Unesco World Heritage Site as a pilgrimage route since 1998.

Km 71

Km 71: Mont-de-Marsan (Pop: 30,000)
Situated halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range, in the heart of the largest forest in Europe, the prefecture of the Landes has always been an economic crossroads, which the A65 motorway and the new North-South high-speed line have only accentuated.
The town has twice served as a launching pad for stages to Pau in 1960 (Roger Rivière) and Bordeaux in 1971 (Eddy Merckx).
Mont-de-Marsan is also closely linked to the career of Luis Ocana, as it is the first major club for which the France-based Spaniard signed in 1963. Ten years later, the talented and maverick rider won the Tour de France. In the meantime, he spent most of his life in Mont-de-Marsan – earning the nickname of “the Mont-de-Marsan Spaniard” –, where he unsuccessfully tried to open a hotel at the end of his career. Plagued by injuries, health and financial problems, Ocana, who also owned a farm in Gers, finally died in Mont-de-Marsan after taking his own life. A popular Grandfondo, the Luis Ocana, is held every year around town.

Despiau-Wlérick Museum
Located in a remarkable architectural setting, at the confluence of two rivers, the Douze and the Midou, this Museum of France exhibits the works of two sculptors from Montpellier, Charles Despiau and Robert Wlérick, as well as major artists such as Drivier, Fath, Joffre, Mérignargues, Niclausse, or rare artists such as Alfred-Jean Halou, Jane Poupelet, Auguste de Niederhäusern-Rodo, as well as previously unpublished works from the 1937 International Exhibition. Visitors can also stroll through its landscaped gardens and enjoy a unique view of the city from the museum's roof terrace.

Statue of Marshal Foch
In June 1936, Robert Wlérick was invited by the committee chaired by General Weygand to take part in a restricted competition to create the Monument to Marshal Foch, on the Place du Trocadéro on the Chaillot hill, in the form of an equestrian statue. For this monumental commission he joined forces with his friend and pupil Raymond Martin (1910-1992). The representation of Marshal Foch, bareheaded, shocked the General Staff and the members of the committee, but thanks to the support of Albert Besson, then vice-president of the General Council of the Seine and a WWI hero, the commission was awarded to Robert Wlérick in December 1936. A wooden model was built in 1939 on the esplanade between the two wings of the Palais de Chaillot. This unique work, featuring thin wooden slats on an inner frame, was donated by the Martin heirs to the Despiau-Wlérick Museum in 1992. It is now displayed in the kiosk in the Parc Jean Rameau.

Km 92

Km 92: Brocas-les-Forges (Pop: 790)
On 19 April 1825, Dominique Lareillet (1771-1857) applied to the Prefect of the Landes for authorisation to build two blast furnaces near the town of Brocas. He joined forces with his two sons, Camille (1796-1848) and Adolphe (1805-1843), to build and operate the new forge. A single blast furnace was finally built, along with all the necessary buildings. The forges closed down around 1904 and became part of the capital of Fonderies et Émailleries de Brocas SA, in Villenave-d'Ornon, in the neighbouring department of Gironde.
You can now visit the Brocas forges. Between the pond, the Estrigon, the workers' housing estate, the forge master's house and the finishing workshop, dominates the blast furnace dating from 1832. The entire site has been listed as a French historical monument since 2006. The forge museum (located in a former flour mill) allows visitors to discover the life and work of Landes workers in the 19th century, as well as a collection of over 500 cast iron objects.

Km 117

Km 117: Luxey (Pop: 660)
The Musicalarue Festival takes place every year in mid-August in the heart of Luxey, traditionally around August 15. This small village in the Landes welcomes more than 60 music groups, troupes and companies for three or four days and nights of festivities. The festival is organised around an eclectic programme of music and street arts. The street arts take place from early afternoon until around 8pm, while the concerts start around 6pm and last until around 7am. Musicalarue attracts around 40,000 festival-goers from all over France to see established artists and those yet to be discovered. The 2020 programme, cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis, included Soprano, Alain Souchon, Oxmo Puccino, M, Supertramp, Gaël Faye, Philippe Katherine, Angèle, Les Négresses vertes and Louis Chédid.

GIRONDE (33)
Region: Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Population: 1.6 million
Prefecture: Bordeaux
Sub-prefectures: Arcachon, Blaye, Langon, Lesparre-Médoc, Libourne
Number of communes: 535
Surface: 10,725 km2 (largest department in mainland France)
Specialities: Bordeaux wines, Médoc vineyards, Graves, Entre-Deux Mers, Saint-Emilion, Pauillac, Pomerol, Sauternes, Saint-Julien, Moulis, Margaux, Fronsac, Saint-Estèphe, Pessac-Léognan... Canelés. Lamb from Pauillac. Oysters from the Arcachon basin, lamprey, shad. Chabrot. Caviar from Gironde. Strawberries from Pessac. Lillet. Marie Brizard. Pigeons. Sarments du Médoc (chocolates). Bordeaux sauce. Ceps from Bordeaux, asparagus from Blaye.
Tourist sites: Gironde estuary, Pauillac docks, surfing on the Côte d'Argent (Lacanau, Hourtin, Carcans), Arcachon basin, Dune du Pilat, Lège-Cap Ferret, medieval city of Saint-Émilion (Unesco World Heritage), Cordouan lighthouse. Citadel of Blaye. Castles of Roquetaillade, La Brède, Langoiran, Rauzan, Vayres, Cadillac, Cazeneuve, Villandrault. Villages of Saint-Macaire, Rions, La Réole... Abbeys of Vertheuil, La Sauve-Majeure. Ornithological park of Le Teich. In the name of Le Corbusier: La Cité Frugès in Pessac.
Sports clubs: Girondins de Bordeaux (L1 football), Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Top 14 rugby), Stade Bordelais ASPTT (D1 women's rugby), Bordeaux Boxers (ice hockey)
Competitions: Décastar (Talence), Lacanau Pro (surf), Médoc Marathon, Bordeaux Metropole Marathon, Tour de Gironde (cycling), Jumping International de Bordeaux (horse riding), BNP Paribas Primerose Bordeaux (tennis)
Festivals: Bordeaux International Women's Film Festival, Bordeaux Coupé Court Short Film Festival, Bordeaux European Short Film Festival, Escale du livre, Fest'arts, Bordeaux Cinémascience International Film Festival, Bègles Animation Film Festival, Pessac International History Film Festival, Bordeaux International Independent Film Festival, Pauillac Film Festival, Hauts de Garonne Festival, Lire en Poche, Festival Musicacité, Musik à Pile, Nuits atypiques, Ouvre la Voix, La Part des anges (festival), Reggae Sun Ska Festival, Les Rendez-vous de Terres Neuves, Les Riches Heures de La Réole, Festival VivaCité, Scènes d'été en Gironde, Bordeaux Fête le vin, Bordeaux Fête le Fleuve, Reggae Sun Ska, Bordeaux Open Air, Ouvre la voix.
Economy: viticulture, forestry, oyster farming. Tourism. Aeronautics, agri-food and wood-paper. Administration, services.
Websites and social networks: https://www.gironde.fr/ / https://www.gironde-tourisme.fr/ / https://www.facebook.com/Departement.Gironde/ https://twitter.com/gironde?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor https://www.instagram.com/departementgironde/?hl=fr

Located in the south-west of France, Gironde has many assets, whether geographical, gastronomic, cultural or sporting.
The department has more than a hundred kilometres of beaches on the Atlantic coastline offering its inhabitants a wide range of leisure activities, from Lacanau, Cap-Ferret and Arcachon, not to mention the large lakes. Located in the middle of the Côte d'Argent, the Bassin d'Arcachon is an exceptional site dominated by the highest sand dune in Europe, the Dune du Pilat. More than 700 kilometres of dedicated cycle paths, the Canal des deux Mers à Vélo (national route), the Vélodyssée and the Scandibérique (European routes), the Tour de Gironde by bike, make it one of the leading cycling destinations in France.
In the Sud-Gironde and Entre-deux-Mers, the landscapes undulate between vineyards, forests and waterways.
The department is a veritable breeding ground for local products which contribute to its reputation. Omnipresent in the South-West, foie gras shines on our markets and decorates our festive tables. The Gironde Estuary provides many river fish such as the lamprey.
The Gironde also has arguments to put forward in terms of ecotourism with the Landes de Gascogne Regional Park and the Médoc Regional Park and nearly 80 sensitive areas: the Certes-Graveyron estate and Ile Nouvelle are the spearheads.
Wine is a real regional pride, and is of course one of our department's assets, with world-famous châteaux such as Yquem, La Tour Blanche and Mouton Rothschild. The Bordeaux Wine Trip brand allows the appellations to come together under a common banner.
The Gironde has no less than 14 sites listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, including Bordeaux Port de la Lune and the Juridiction of Saint Emilion.
The Gironde department is also a land of sport with some of the best sports clubs in France, such as the FC Girondins de Bordeaux and the Union Bordeaux Bègles.

Km 134.5

Km 134.5: Préhac (Pop: 1,000)
The main seigneury of Préchac was that of Cazeneuve, which has been in the possession of the House of Albret since at least the 13th century and whose castle is situated to the east of the village. The church of Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens has been listed since 1909, as has the church of Insos, a few kilometres away, and the ruins of the fortress of La Trave (14th century).

Castle of Cazeneuve
Construction: 11th to 17th century
Style: medieval then classical.
Characteristics: the site consists of troglodyte caves under the castle and large underground medieval cellars. The old parts are the advanced fortifications and the moat. The buildings are a reconstruction dating from the 17th century. The royal flats are furnished with period furniture.
History: the original castle was the residence of the Kings of Navarre, owned by King Henry IV. In 1583, Henry IV held his wife, Queen Margot, in custody in Cazeneuve pending the cancellation of their marriage. The same year, he sold the castle due to financial problems.
Classification: Historical monument since 1965

Km 142.5

Km 142.5: Villandraut (Pop: 1,100)
Home of Pope Clement V (1264-1314), who resided at the château, Villandrault is also the birthplace of Robert Boulin, former Minister of Finance and former Mayor of Libourne, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances in a pond in the Rambouillet forest in October 1979.

Castle of Villandrault
Construction: from 1305 to 1312
Style: medieval
Classification: listed as a historical monument in 1886
Characteristics: the castle of Villandraut, a fortress palace symbolising the power of the de Got family, is a complete and homogeneous work, built from 1305 to 1312, despite the various modifications it has undergone and its current state of ruin. The building had three main functions that characterise medieval castles: defence, housing and reflection of a family's power. The defence function was assigned to the vast moat that surrounds the castle, the massive towers with archways that surround the wall, and the gatehouse that frames the drawbridge.
History: the castle was built by Bertrand de Got from 1305, when he was elected Pope under the name of Clement V. Probably born in Villandraut, he retained a lifelong affection for his native region. This sumptuous castle-palace was intended to serve as his residence during his stays in Guyenne.

Km 151.5

Km 151.5: Sauternes (Pop: 800)
The white wine produced in the village and in the neighbouring communes is one of the most famous sweet white wines in the world. The production area of the appellation is made up of five communes: Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignac and Sauternes, all located on the left bank of the Garonne, on either side of the river Ciron, south of Bordeaux.
Its vineyards include some wines of world-renowned prestige such as Château d'Yquem, the only premier cru supérieur included in the official 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines.

Château d'Yquem
Long before it was appreciated by George Washington, the first President of the United States, the wine of Yquem already had a long history. It began in 1453, when Aquitaine, then English, was attached to the kingdom of France. A century later, a local notable, Jacques Sauvage, was granted the rights of simple tenure of Yquem and thus became the first in a long line of passionate winegrowers. A privileged Sauternes terroir with exceptional climatic and geological properties, Château d'Yquem obtained its letters of nobility in 1855 with the title of Premier Cru Supérieur. Since then, this distinction has guided the genius of this sweet wine that the two owner families, the Sauvages and the Lur Saluces, have been protecting for over 400 years. The LVMH group acquired the estate in 1999. The château itself was listed as a historical monument in 2003.

Km 157: Preignac (Pop: 2,150)
Preignac, one of the five villages producing Sauternes, is remarkable for the prestigious châteaux on its territory. For example, the Château de Malle, a 17th century residence which has been producing a classified vintage of Sauternes since 1855. The castle and its Italian-style gardens have been listed as historical monuments since 1949. But also Château Suduiraut (premier grand cru), Château les Rochers, Château Jonka and Château des Ormes.

Km 159

Km 159: Pujols-sur-Ciron (Pop: 780)
Actress Anémone spent part of her childhood at Château Mauras in Bommes, next to Pujols-sur-Ciron, a commune notable for its Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens church, listed for its portal since 1908, and its small 15th century Château de la Salle, listed as a historic monument in 1988.

Km 168

Km 168: Cadillac (Pop: 2,800)
Cadillac, a fortified town founded in 1280, became an important stronghold in the 14th century, essential to the defence of Bordeaux. Later, in 1565, Cadillac was one of the stops on Charles IX's Grand Tour of France: the King spent the night of 31st March to 1st April here.
From this past, Cadillac has preserved elements of the ramparts and the church of Saint-Martin (14th century), whose chapel houses the tombs of the Dukes of Épernon.

Cadillac Castle
Construction: 1598 to 1634
Style: late Renaissance, early classical
Characteristics: to build it, part of the fortified town was razed. Flanked by two monumental wings and four corner pavilions, it surrounds the main courtyard enclosed by a wall. The wings, the pavilions and this enclosing wall were dismantled in the 18th century and their stones sold.
History: the castle was built at the request of Jean-Louis de Nogaret de La Valette (1554-1642), first Duke of Épernon. The castle embodies the omnipotence of this cadet of Gascony, who became one of the sweethearts of King Henry III before dying in disgrace at the age of 88 under the reign of Louis XIII, to whom he provided guards to create the first company of musketeers in 1622. In the 19th century, the castle became a prison for women before being returned to the Ministry of Culture.
Current destination: like a hundred other monuments, property of the State, it is managed, animated and opened to the visit by the Centre of the national monuments.
Classification: Historical monument since 1862, then 1956.

Km 173

Km 173: Rions (Pop: 1,540)
In 1330, Edward III of England allowed Guillaume Seguin, Lord of Rions, to surround the town with ramparts. The walls that have survived are reminiscent of that period. The plan of the town forms an irregular polygon. The south-western side is protected by walls and rocks at the foot of which lices have been built. Two parallel ditches surround the rest of the town. They are separated by a narrow spit of land topped by a walkway, once protected by palisades. Gates in the ramparts give access to the town.
The Lhyan tower, the imposing southern entrance to the town, whose upper parts were restored in 1881 by the architect Léon Drouyn, and the Citadelle, a tower that stands facing the Garonne near the Place Jules de Gères (Place de la Mairie), remain from these ramparts, as well as the ramparts on the western side of the city, adjoining the Citadel and at the foot of which is the Charles VII cave and the Watchtower which is located in a small street behind the church of Saint-Seurin (12th century).
All the remains have been listed as Historical Monuments since 1862.

Km 184

Km 184: Créon (Pop: 4,760)
Créon is an ancient bastide founded in 1312 on behalf of the King of England by Amaury III de Craon, seneschal of Aquitaine, to attract craftsmen, lawyers and merchants, much to the displeasure of the neighbouring abbey of La Sauve-Majeure, which Créon opposed for decades. Today, the town retains the characteristic architecture of the bastides of Aquitaine and its church, Notre-Dame de Créon (14th century).
Créon is today the first bicycle station in France, and was the site of the first national pilot project with the creation of the first bicycle relay point, inaugurated on 23 July 2003 by Bernard Hinault. The former railway line between Latresne and Sauveterre-de-Guyenne has become the Roger-Lapébie Greenway: more than 50 km of routes through the forests and vineyards of the Entre-deux-Mers region are available from Créon, offering "discovery" or "nature and heritage" cycling circuits.

Km 186

Km 186: La Sauve (Pop: 1,520)
Famous for its once flourishing abbey, but also for housing the smallest communal prison in France, which has only held one prisoner in its history.

Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure
Built: 1079
Style: Dominant Romanesque
Characteristics: for seven centuries, it was the most beautiful architectural jewel in Gironde. After the Revolution, the whole of the buildings were plundered and only the ruins of the cloister buildings remain, the whole Gothic part of the church having also been destroyed. The preserved sculptures and historiated capitals are among the site's treasures.
History: founded in 1079 by the Duke of Aquitaine and the abbot Gérard de Corbie, this Benedictine abbey housed, at its peak, some 300 monks.
Special feature: a stage on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela on the way to Tours.
Current destination: managed by the National Monuments, numerous cultural events are organised there.
Classification: Historical monument since 1840, then 1929 and 2002 / Unesco World Heritage Site as part of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela since 1998.

Km 194.5

Km 194.5: Saint-Quentin-de-Baron (Pop: 2,500)
Worth seeing for its listed 12th-century Saint-Quentin church and its Bisqueytan castle, an ancient 12th-century fortress that has been altered over the centuries and belonged to Montesquieu in the 18th century. Listed as a historic monument, the castle is private and cannot be visited, but its walls can be admired from the outside.
Saint-Quentin-de-Baron is also the birthplace of track rider Eric Vermeulen, French kilometre champion in 1976 and 1977.

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