More of the Pyrénées Atlantiques in Aquitaine!

Here we go continuing our whirlwind tour of Aquitaine and especially the Basque/Béarn  region we got out this time from Orthez in direction Saint Palais, and later Sauveterre de Béarn. Wonderful country ride on départementales roads mostly the D933.

The tourist office here are more in French, http://www.tourisme-bearn-gaves.com/content/sauveterre-de-b%C3%A9arn-village-fortifi%C3%A9-face-aux-pyr%C3%A9n%C3%A9es#.U_imEMIcTmI

http://www.saintpalais-tourisme.com/ , and the city hall or government building as mairie or hotel de ville are http://www.bearn-gaves.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=228&Itemid=87  ,and http://www.saint-palais.fr/tourisme-patrimoine-environnement/

The smaller but lively town of Saint Palais was a surprise for us, we saw it as a end of the line town and back, but instead we spent more time there walking all over, and seeing the wonderful Fronton of pelote basque , the regional sport. The wonderful covered market now ,also, use for events and concerts, the nice river Bidouze.

Out main goal was to visit Sauveterre de Béarn, a town on the St James route, full of colorful history of Béarn and Gaston Fébus. It was a hit.  There is a wonderful feodal castle (14C) of Gaston here with the great pont vieux or légende,  and the gave d’Oloron or river of Oloron, with beautiful natural views and great panels mentioning the wonderful old history of Gaston Fébus. The story goes that the pont de la Légende (there were two Pont de la Légende and Pont de la Réclusy) link the right back of the gave d’Oloron. However in 1732 a huge flooding took away part of this bridge. It now remains but half of it, both Gaston VII Moncade (1229-1290) , and Gaston Fébus (1349-1391)  fortified this bridge and added a tower with an adjoining stairs (still there) , rooms and levy bridge and the entry to this the old Hôpital Saint-Jacques des pèlerins de Compostelle (St James hospital of the pilgrims of Compostela).

You, also, must see the église Saint André or Church St Andrews,  a wonderful stop indeed. The Church from the 12C to 13C is fortified in the romanesque gothic style. On its tympan or front porch you see represented Saint Mathieu (as a  Young men), Saint Marc (as a lion), Saint Luke (as a bull), and Saint Jean (John) (as an eagle). On the South side of the Church you will see a door reserve to the cagots, a category in the population deem of the lowest levels in the social scale but admitted to the Christian community.  Some tourist historical information on it , It has a length of 35 meters, a width of 20 meters  and at the top of its spire, it reaches the 27 meters. It has 3 naves (the central nave has a height of 13 meters), an apse and two apsidal chapels, a transept with 2 beautiful roses. Its Bell Tower, its cover with roof of 4 sides, and on each of its 4 sides, you can see 3 bays encrusted, the Central column surmounted by a pierced tympanum of an oculi. The porch and sacristy are more recent and dates from the end of the 19C In the mandorla, there is a Christ in Majesty. The entrance portal has only a single arching, but notice the side framing (7 columns from each side surmounted by capitals decorated with vegetative motifs in general, some of them presenting figures. A really nice Church with great views of the valley and gave d’Oloron river below it.  Not much is written on it on the tourist sites but it should be and it is the main thing to see in Sauveterre de Béarn, here is a bit more on it in French, http://pratique.tourisme64.com/activite/?engine=act&acttype=culture&ville=26252&lat=43.3995&lon=-0.939722&zoom=13&scale=0.028237512026542788&submit=

We were way into the country and to go back will be too long without eating so we decided to have lunch here at the Auberge du Cheval Blanc in the place Royale (tel +33 (0) 5 59 67  36 52 of Sauveterre de Béarn. It was a pleasant choice, friendly service, fast ,and funny exchanges with the servers. The food was done on site nothing special just home made,  entrée of salad of chévre chaud (hot goat cheese), beef and cheddar cheese lasagna in a terrecotta hollow dish very original and delicious, créme brulée for dessert, with water , bread , all for 12,80€ per person and a glass of rosé wine from the Jurançon area for 2,80€. good deal. from tourist site, http://pratique.tourisme64.com/restaurant/sauveterre-de-bearn/auberge-du-cheval-blanc/RESAQU064FS001RA.html

I hope you are enjoying reading and seeing photos of these family trips, that will become so rich and dear for us. Thanks for reading and enjoy the weekend.

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2 Comments to “More of the Pyrénées Atlantiques in Aquitaine!”

  1. This looks like a wonderful place to visit!

    Like

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