Dax > Nogaro
07/04/2023 - Stage 4 - 182 km - Flat
On the road
NEW AQUITAINE REGION
Departments : Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Creuse, Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Haute-Vienne.
Population: 6 million
Area: 2,011 km2
Specialities: Bordeaux wines, Cognac, Armagnac, Espelette chilli 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.
Sport 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 wines, Cognac and Armagnac, aeronautics and space industry, biotechnologies, chemistry, scientific research. Image and digital sector. Agri-food industry. Port of Bordeaux. Tourism. Universities.
Sights: Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, La Rochelle, Biarritz, Arcachon basin, Dune du Pilat, Lascaux caves, Futuroscope in Poitiers, Lacanau beaches, Biarritz, Biscarosse, Hourtin, Carcans, Soulac-sur-Mer, Gironde river mouth, Bordeaux vineyards, Dordogne castles, Pau castle, Pyrenees, Oleron island, Ré island.
Websites and social networks: www.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr
Prefecture : Mont-de-Marsan Sub-prefecture : Dax
Surface area: 9,243 m².
Specialities: foie gras, duck breast, duck confit, farm poultry and Chalosse beef, Adour salmon, Adour asparagus and kiwi, tourtière, pastis landais, Armagnac, Floc de Gascogne, Wines (Tursan, vin des sables, Coteaux de Chalosse)
Sports clubs: Basket Landes (women's league); US Dax Rugby (Pro D2); Stade Montois Rugby (Pro D2)
Sports events: Quiksilver Pro Surf, Ous Pins International Riding Competition in Tartas, French Landes Race Championship, "La Luis Ocana" cycling race, Eurocup Basket Landes, French Adapted Table Tennis Championship, Traversée des Landes en Roller, Biscarrosse Tandem Surfing World Cup, XLandes Golf Trophy, Handilandes, XL Raid
Main tourist sites: Nature reserve of the Huchet current, Hossegor marine lake, Cap de l'Homy beach and Contis lighthouse, Arjuzanx nature reserve, Marais d'Orx, Capbreton pier, Marquèze eco-museum in Sabres, Arthous abbey in Hastingues, hydraviation museum in Biscarrosse, Buglose basilica in Saint Vincent de Paul, the Lady's house in Brassempouy, the earthenware and tableware museum in Samadet, the castle and plantarium in Gaujacq, the Chalosse museum in Montfort en Chalosse, the spa town of Dax, the Despiau-Wlérick museum in Mont de Marsan, Notre Dame des cyclistes in Labastide d'Armagnac.
Cultural events: Arte Flamenco in Mont-de-Marsan, Musicalarue in Luxey, Toros y Salsa in Dax, Le Festival des abbayes, Jazz in Sanguinet, Latinossegor, the Storytelling Festival in Capbreton, the Fêtes de Dax and Mont-de-Marsan and the local festivals in each village of the Landes (course landaise, bullfighting, bandas)
Economy : Tourism, thermalism, agriculture, forestry, cattle and poultry breeding, food processing, wood and wood products industries
Websites and social networks: https://www.landes.fr/ / https://www.facebook.com/Departement.Landes / https://twitter.com/LesLandes40 / https://www.youtube.com/user/departementlandes / https://www.flickr.com/photos/departementdeslandes/sets/ / http://www.tourismelandes.com / http://www.alalandaise.fr/ / http://www.landestyle.com/
Montfort-en-Chalosse is the village of brothers Guy and André Boniface, who played for the Stade Montois and the French national rugby union team in the 1960s. Both were initially members of AS Montfort, a training club par excellence, before joining the Mont-de-Marsan club in 1952, becoming French champions ten years later. Playing side by side in the back row, they have 48 and 35 caps respectively for the French national team. André won the Five Nations Tournament four times, Guy twice. This 13th century bastide, famous for its capcazalières (mansion) houses and corn cultivation, is home to the Chalosse Museum, housed in a typical 19th century farmhouse. Its 13th-century Saint-Pierre church is listed as a Historical Monument. Poet Lisa Deharme frequently invited her surrealist friends André Breton, Max Ernst, Paul and Nush Eluard, Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Jacques Prévert or Man Ray to her house in Montfleuri.
Several buildings in Mugron are worth a visit, such as the Condrette bullring, built in 1910 and one of the most beautiful in the region. The canton of Mugron has the highest concentration of bullfighting enclosures in France. Also worth mentioning is the massive 16th-century Château de Boucosse or the spectacular Chai d'Antin, a 17th-century wine storehouse with a monumental framework that time has preserved. This place reminds us that in 1761, Mugron was the most advanced port on the Adour river, which allowed the wine from Chalosse to be transported to Bayonne by galupe, a flat-bottomed boat. The building is the largest Béarn-style winery, despite its geographical location in Chalosse. It took no less than 500 m3 of oak trees, i.e. nearly 6 hectares, to build the framework of this unusual cellar.
The "historic city of the Landes" was the sub-prefecture of the department from 1790 to 1926. It developed around its Benedictine abbey, built in the 8th century to house the relics of Saint Sever. An agricultural town, at the heart of corn growing, it is also a major producer of foie gras (foie gras festival on 14 July) and the famous Chalosse beef. The town is also a stronghold of bullfighting, at the Morlanne bullring (1932), and of rugby, since it is the town of René Crabos (1899-1964), former international and president of the FFR. Saint-Sever is also the birthplace of the basketball player Frédéric Fauthoux, the legendary leader of Orthez and the French national team.
Construction: 11th century, renovated in the 15th and 19th centuries.
History: the monastery was founded at the very end of the 10th century by Guillaume Sanche of Gascony to house the relics of Saint Sever, who was murdered nearby by the Visigoths in the 5th century. The Benedictine abbey of Saint-Sever experienced exceptional expansion and influence: from the 11th century onwards, its countless possessions extended from the Médoc to Pamplona in Spain. The decline began with the end of the Duchy of Gascony and was precipitated by the Hundred Years War, the Wars of Religion and the Revolution. The abbey church was returned to worship in 1795.
Characteristics: the abbey church is surprisingly vast: 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. The abbey church has one of the most beautiful seven-apse chevets. Only two churches in France have preserved this form inspired by Cluny II, as the most common form is that with three apses.
Special features: the Beatus de Saint-Sever, an illuminated manuscript produced in the middle of the 11th century, was probably written in the abbey. It contains a commentary on the Apocalypse written by Beatus de Liébana. It is kept in the National Library.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1911, then Unesco World Heritage Site as part of the French Pilgrimage Route to Santiago de Compostela.
Style: Languedoc Romanesque, Gothic.
History: the Jacobin convent of Saint-Sever was founded in 1280 by the Dominicans thanks to the support of Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I, Duke of England, at the time of the English presence in Aquitaine. Montgomery's Huguenot troops destroyed part of the convent in 1569 during the Wars of Religion. After the French Revolution, the convent was used for several purposes: school, college, agricultural school, depot, fire station, municipal showers, fat market.
Characteristics: the cloister, in the Languedoc Romanesque style, was built in pink brick in the 17th century. The chapter house and the refectory are originally two separate rooms built at the end of the 13th century and restored in the 14th century. They are in Gothic style and are now joined together. The refectory is decorated with a fresco dating from 1335, depicting St Dominic and Cardinal Godin. The church has a single nave and a flat chevet, and is covered with a broken barrel roof made of oak.
Current destination: since the beginning of the 1970s, it has been the venue for the town's cultural events and activities. It also houses the Cap de Gascogne Art and History Museum.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1971.
A pretty bastide founded by the English in 1322. Its 15th century Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul church has been listed as a Historical Monument since 2004.
In 1895, the Relais restaurant opened in Villeneuve-de-Marsan, which became the stronghold of a great family of Landes chefs, the Darrozes. Four generations succeeded one another at the head of the establishment until Hélène Darroze, trained at Alain Ducasse's and encouraged by her mentor, took over the reins in 1995. In 1999, her parents sold the Relais and Hélène Darroze opened her own Landes restaurant in Paris and obtained two stars in 2003. Named the world's best female chef in 2015, she retains her restaurant on rue d'Assas, while running the kitchens at Connaught in London (three Michelin stars) and a table at the Château La Coste estate near Aix-en-Provence. It was at JS Villeneuve-de-Marsan that Olivier Roumat cut his teeth in rugby before joining Dax. The 2.02m second or third row has 62 caps for the French national team, of which he was captain in the 1990s.
This bastide was founded in 1291 by Count Bernard VI of Armagnac under the name of Bolonia. It was authorised by King Edward I of England. Its town planning bears witness to the voluntary nature of the foundation of these new towns in the South of France, built in a few years in the 13th and 14th centuries by the kings of England and their seneschals. The streets form a checkerboard pattern converging on a vast rectangular square with arcades, Place Royale. A remarkable 12th century Romanesque church with a massive bell tower (dating from the 15th century) and the town hall occupy one of its sides. The roofs are made of wood and stone without any unity of form or materials. Today it is the most picturesque of the Landes bastides. King Henry IV (then Henry III of Navarre) liked to go to La Bastide where he lived in a house overlooking Place Royale, where (according to tradition) one of his mistresses was staying. It was this square that inspired him to create the Place des Vosges in Paris. For cycling enthusiasts, the town is best known for the presence of Notre-Dame des cyclistes, from which a stage of the Tour de France started in 1989.
Notre-Dame des Cyclistes
Construction: 11th century.
History: the church was built at the end of the 11th century on the site of a Gallo-Roman villa from the Lower Empire. It is all that remains of a former Templar fortress, including a ring of walls and towers. In August 1958, Abbot Joseph Massie, the parish priest, celebrated a mass there and had the idea of creating a chapel for cyclists. On 18 May 1959, Pope John XXIII granted Abbé Massie's wish by making the old chapel the national shrine of cycling under the protection of the Virgin: Our Lady of the Cyclists. Since then, the Tour de France has passed through Notre-Dame-des-Cyclistes four times: in 1984, 1989, 1995 and 2000. There was even a start from Labastide-d'Armagnac on 9 July 1989. Most of the great champions of the sport have donated a jersey to the museum that the chapel has become.
Trivia: the Landes department has other sports sanctuaries: the chapels of Notre-Dame-de-la-Course-Landaise in Bascons and Notre-Dame-du-Rugby in Larrivière-Saint-Savin.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1996.
Departments : Ariège, Aude, Aveyron, Gard, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Hérault, Lot, Lozère, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne
Population: 5.9 million
Area: 72,724 km2
Specialities: foie gras, cassoulet, aligot, tielle sétoise, brandade de morue, haricots tarbais, garbure, sweet onions, Céret cherries, wines (Pic Saint-Loup, Corbières, Cahors, Costières de Nîmes, blanquette de Limoux, Minervois, Tavel, Madiran). Perrier spring water.
Sports clubs: Stade Toulousain, Castres Olympique, Montpellier HR, USAP Perpignan (rugby union), Montpellier HSC, Nîmes Olympique, Toulouse FC (football), Dragons Catalans (rugby league), Montpellier Handball, Fenix Toulouse, USAM Nîmes-Gard (handball)
Competitions: Tour de France, Open Sud de France (tennis), Route d'Occitanie (cycling).
Economy: aeronautics and space (Airbus, Ariane, Toulouse), defence, information technology, nuclear, agri-food, agriculture (wine, cereals) tourism, pharmaceutical industry. Universities (Montpellier, Toulouse).
Festivals: Nîmes and Béziers férias, Rio Loco (Toulouse), Festival Radio France Montpellier (classical), Comédie du Livre (Montpellier), Electro Beach (Port Barcarès), Jazz in Marciac, Cinémed (Montpellier), Circa Auch, Noir Bookfair in Frontignan.
Sights: Cité de Carcassonne, basilica of Lourdes, Toulouse (Capitole, Saint-Sernin, ville rose), Montpellier (place de la Comédie, Écusson), Pont du Gard, Arènes de Nîmes, Cathar castles, Canal du Midi, cathedrals of Albi, Castres and Rodez. Millau Viaduct, Niaux and Maz d'Azil caves. Valentré Bridge in Cahors. Villages of character. Beaches in the Aude, Gard and Hérault. Ski resorts in the Pyrenees and Ariège.
Subprefectures: Condom, Mirande
Surface area: 6,257 km².
Specialities: goose and duck foie gras, duck breast, duck confit, Armagnac, Lectoure melon, Lomagne white garlic, apple crumble, Floc de Gascogne, Bigorre black pork, Gers garbure, Gascony beef, Lou Bethet veal, Côtes de Gascogne, Saint-Mont and Madiran wines...
Major sports clubs: FCAG, Auch Rugby Club.
Sporting events: Automobile cups and championships at the Paul Armagnac Circuit in Nogaro
Main sights: Flaran Abbey, Sainte Marie d'Auch Cathedral, Bassoues dungeon, Lavardens castle, Condom cloister, Séviac Gallo-Roman villa, Fourcès circular village, Laromieu collegiate church
Cultural events: Welcome in Tziganie, European Festival of Bandas y Pena, Trad'Envie Festival, Feria del Toro, Eclats de Voix Festival, Festi'drole, Cuivro'Foliz, Galop romain Festival, The Photographic Summer, Tempo Latino, Musical Nights in Armagnac, Jazz In Marciac, Astronomy Festival, CircA, Independence and Creation Festival...
Economy: Tourism, agriculture, food processing, aeronautics, crafts
Websites and social networks: www.gers.fr / https://twitter.com/LeGers32 / www.tourisme-gers.com / https://twitter.com/GersTourisme
Located in the commune of Cazaubon, Barbotan-les-Thermes is a thermal spa whose waters and mud treat rheumatic and phlebological diseases, osteoarticular pains and arthritis. The use of the thermal waters and mud of Barbotan was already known before the Christian era. During the 16th century, illustrious people came here to treat their pain: Marshal Blaise de Monluc, Montaigne, Henri de Navarre. It is one of the few resorts that can treat venous and rheumatological diseases simultaneously. Barbotan is one of the three remaining thermal spas in the Gers, along with Castera-Verduzan and Lectoure.
Saint Peter's Church and Barbotan Gate
Construction: 16th century.
History and characteristics: the church has the particularity of being also an old city gate dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. It is built on stilts because the ground is made of hot mud. It consists of a nave with four bays and a side aisle in the Romanesque style. It is vaulted and some of the keystones are from the same period, especially those in the sacristy. The building was completely redesigned after the Hundred Years' War: the vaults were redone and the roof frames rest directly on the walls with overhanging rafters. The outer porch with an ogee arch houses a Renaissance-style door. The top was transformed into a pyramid shape to serve as a bell tower and in 1899, it received its clock. The pediment bears the arms of Cazaubon.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1925.
Eauze is a town of ancient origin (Elusa), former capital of Novempopulania at the end of the Gallo-Roman period (3rd-5th century), bishopric until the 7th century, with many remains of the past. The ruins of the ancient city of Elusa are to the east of the present city. A distinction can be made between the medieval city, located inside the ancient walls, which have now been transformed into boulevards and of which some vestiges remain, and the modern city, which is growing outside. Eauze has preserved several remarkable buildings from this past, such as the former Saint-Luperc cathedral, the house known as Jeanne d'Albret's, and the Eauze archaeological museum.
Construction: 1467 to 1521.
Style: Southern Gothic.
History: the life of Saint Luperc was not written down until the 10th century, when the monastery dedicated to him was founded (980) on the hill overlooking the ruins of the ancient city and where the medieval town developed. The cathedral suffered some destruction in 1569. It was mainly the buildings of the Benedictine priory that were raised from their ruins in 1732 with the existing cloister integrated into the college buildings.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1945.
Jeanne d'Albret House
Construction: 15th century.
History: the house was home to Henry IV during a long illness; the king was joined by Queen Margaret. In memory of this stay, daisies were carved on the wooden pillars.
Characteristics: located in the heart of the town, on the former market square, the Jeanne d'Albret house is a magnificent 15th century building, named after the mother of King Henry IV. The facade is composed of a three-storey half-timbered structure, with a first level with a roof overhang resting on three pillars, one made of stone, the other two made of wood with ornate arches.
Current destination: it is a restaurant, the Café de France.
The former minister Patrick Devedjian, who died of Covid-19 in 2020, was the owner of the château de Courrensan. He is buried in the village cemetery. Courrensan is also the birthplace of Jacques Brunel who, after a rugby union playing career in Auch, was coach of the French national team in 2018 and 2019, and also of the Italian team between 2011 and 2016.
Castle of Courrensan
Construction: 13th to 18th century.
History: a former medieval castle acquired by the commune during the Revolution, it was used as a school, a presbytery and then as a refugee centre. It is said to be the home of Scipio Dupleix, historiographer of France, at the beginning of the 17th century. Abbé Lucante, naturalist and founder of the French Botanical Society, published his studies here.
Characteristics: it consists of two parts from different periods. The older part consists of a building formerly flanked by two towers. Only the north-eastern one remains. An 18th-century wing continues perpendicular to this building. On the ground floor, the three adjoining rooms were once fully panelled. One of these rooms still has the paintings above the door. Between the old castle and the dwelling there is a building element which must have been the base of a tower or keep. The oldest part rests on a rocky base in which a barrel-vaulted underground room has been dug.
Current destination: bought by the family of the former minister Patrick Devedjian in the 1960s.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1979.
The commune, a former Roman agricultural settlement, developed around a convent of Friars Minor created in 1382 by John III of Armagnac, of which little or nothing remains. The architectural heritage of the commune includes two buildings protected as historical monuments: the castle of Pimbat-Cruzalet, listed in 1976, and the church of Saint-Pierre, a former collegiate church, listed in 2018. The film by Etienne Chatiliez, Le bonheur est dans le pré (Happiness is in the Meadow) was partly shot in the commune. Vic-Fezensac is also the birthplace of the former Prime Minister (2020-2022) Jean Castex.
Former collegiate church of St. Peter
Construction: 12th, 17th and 19th centuries.
History: a first church existed in the early Middle Ages and was largely destroyed around 1160. A new church was built around 1190 but was destroyed in 1569 during the Wars of Religion. Restoration began in 1617 and the church was consecrated in 1623. At the beginning of the 19th century, major structural and roofing work was carried out. A new bell tower was built above the apse in 1850. In 1936, Raphaël Lardeur, a glass painter, created a series of stained-glass windows in the nave.
Listing: Historical Monument since 2018.
Construction: 14th century
History and characteristics: this tower is a characteristic example of a fortified gate of a Gascon village in the Middle Ages. The gate is open in a tower. A wooden staircase leads to the upper floors. The opening is a pointed arch, as is the one to the west. Archways open the first floor. On the third floor, the dial of the old weight clock is still in place, the mechanism of which is still inside. It housed the town hall from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century and was also used as a municipal prison.
Listing: Historical Monument since 1973.
This village on the route to Compostela is remarkable for its architectural ensemble known as "du Castet", which dates mainly from the 12th to 16th centuries and was listed as a Historical Monument in 2016. The ensemble includes the Saint-Pierre church, the Maison des Chasseurs with its earthen rampart, the bridge and a section of the communal road, as well as the western earthen rampart and the adjoining dwelling. This site is remarkable from a historical and archaeological point of view, as well as from the use of certain materials: raw earth, timber framing. It juxtaposes spatially and chronologically the elements of a complex castral, ecclesiastical and village site.
In the French Basque Country, where the rivers Nive and Adour meet, Bayonne is a picturesque cultural city intertwined with green spaces and waterfront views.
The old town is overlooked by the gothic Cathédrale Sainte-Marie, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the surrounding streets and along the riverbanks, you can find more impressive architecture, delicious food, and interesting cultural attractions.
All of this offers visitors a taste of the charming Basque region. Nearby, you'll find the popular coastal town of Biarritz, with beautiful beaches and opportunities for surfing. These two contrasting destinations are just waiting to be explored.
Top 5 things to do in the French Basque Country:
1. Discover the history of the Basque region
2. Explore Bayonne's 3 main neighbourhoods
3. Join in the festivities during summer
4. Visit sparkling seaside town, Biarritz
5 Sample the favourite local delicacies
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