Archive for September 11th, 2018

September 11, 2018

The wines of the Béarn: Jurançon!


So let me bring you back to my other hobby, wines! Not wanting to repeat myself, will just go into an area dear to me of many trips and holidays,and always enjoying their wines since at least 1990. I have written before on the popular wine cooperative of Gan  and here it is :

Caves de Gan, Jurançon

I passed by here many times on my way to Spain, always using it as a rest stop either at Pau or around Gan. As time went on, we spent more time here and finally several days. And of course, not only did we drank the wines from the area but visited a very nice enclave at the Caves de Jurançon at Gan.


We had always friendly welcome and sharing here and I am on their mailing list so if not stopping by ,get my wines by domestic transport to my house.  Let’s get a bit more on the aroma ::)

A cooperative in the heart of the vineyards: the cellar of  Jurançon at Gan plays a major role in the Jurançon and Béarn AOC, bringing together nearly 300 winegrowers. Located a few steps from Pau, this cooperative is committed and respectful of its terroirs. Founded in 1949, it has become a landmark in the Béarn. The wine of the Jurançon: a good wine is made with good grapes, sun, rain and foehn. Its most famous grape varieties are the small and the big Manseng (petit et gros manseng). On the vineyard of the piedmont Pyrenean, the vines are planted in the direction of the slope and are oriented to the South in order to be sheltered from the West wind. Harvest by hand, sort with love, vinify patiently… so many steps necessary to the quality of the wines of the Jurançon.




Some webpages to help you enjoy this wine

Official webpage of cave de jurançon

Webpage on Jurançon wines in English:

YouTube video presentation on the cellars or cave de Jurançon here


But wait, this is more than wines, there is a town name  Gan! lovely place quant cosy, we love it

Gan is located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department 64 in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region (even thus fiercily keeping the old habits of the Béarn) . 9 km south of Pau. The municipality is crossed by the national road 134(N134), as well as by the departmental roads D 134, 217 and 230. Gan train station is located on the Pau-Canfranc line. It is served by the TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine between Pau and Oloron-Sainte-Marie (changing here for Canfranc in Spain). Gan is a bastide founded in 1335 by Gaston II de Foix-Béarn. He gave it this name, the namesake of Ghent (Gan) in Belgium, in memory of the campaign of Flanders to which he participated.

Some things to see other than wineries are

The prison gate (porte de la prison) dates from 1335; the Roman Baths from 1748 (with iron and sulphur waters); The House of Bazirus (Rue Ossau); The House of Ergashali (on the road to Lasseube); The houses of Arrac (1548), of Aldoins (1593) and the Château Marca prior to 1600 birthplace of Pierre de Marca. Church of Saint. Barthélémy was rebuilt near the ancient church of St. Jean, which was restored in several phases between 1811 and 1930. The Church of St. Peter (Saint Pierre) dates from 1838. The Saint-Pierre Church is well before 1838, since traces are found in the parish archives in 1759 (baptisms, marriages, burials).


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Bastides or fortified towns of the Pyrénées Atlantiques 64 on Gan :

Tourist office of Pau on Gan:

Region tourist office of old Béarn on Gan and its other wines.

City of Gan on many walkers heavens and jurançon wines:

A lovely area indeed, and need to be visited more by all. The choices for nature lovers is immense and the gastronomic/wines alternatives unlimited. Enjoy it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 11, 2018

Church of Saint Martin at Pau!

Winding down my vacation time, let me bring you back south to a lovely historical town we love. This is Pau  down in the Pyrénées Atlantiques department in 64  the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. Folks come here for the views of the Pyrénées from the boulevard des Pyrénées, the Castle, and the tour de France which passes by here almost every year. However, we love to walk around and go into different places in town.

I like to tell you a bit more about the Church of Saint Martin, simply because it is related in history to the castle been just around it. It is a nice Church worth a detour in town.


A bit of history I like

The Church of Saint Martin is located in the heart of the city at the gates of the Castle of Pau district.  A first St. Martin Church was built between 1468 and 1472 on a site opposite the castle of Pau where a small Chapel occupied the location of the present Place de la Deportation near the castle. This chapel was enlarged in 1468 by the decision of Viscount Gaston IV and became the Church of St Martin which will remain the only parish church of Pau until 1801. Under the influence of the Albret family, the church became a Protestant temple between 1563 and 1620.

Too cramped for the population of the district, the Church of St. Martin will be replaced in 1871 by a new sanctuary placed a little further east. It will therefore be decided to destroy the old Church of St. Martin in 1885. Only its steeple remains;  it is the current tower of the Parliament of Navarre.



A bit of architecture I like

The new Church is of Gothic architecture with Byzantine influences.   A ciborium covers the altar. The warhead of the arcades is overridden, a form of Moorish inspiration.  It is found in the broken arch, the ribbed arches, the elongated windows, the hooks and the foliage that adorn the capitals. But the overrides arches, the presence of a ciborium and the richness of the décor testify to the influence of the Mozarabic style. The stained glass windows are the collaboration of Boeswillwad with the painter glassmaker Louis Steinheil, quite famous at the time for his works at the Holy Chapel (Sainte Chapelle of Paris) already in collaboration with Boeswillwald.

It consists of a central nave, flanked by two secondary naves, a transept (the arm of the Cross), a chorus (the head of Christ) completed by a seven-piece apse cut, and four other flanks, two square and two of polygonal shape.



The definitive location was only chosen in 1860, the old hotel Gontaut of which family was expulsed by imperial decree of 1856. The first stone was laid in 1863 and the works finally began in 1864. The church was inaugurated in 1871. the new Church of St. Martin is of Gothic architecture with Byzantine influences. The materials used are the stone of Arudy and the clearer stone of Angoulême . The dimensions are Length: 71 meters, Width: 36 meters, height of bell tower 77 meters.

The high altar is covered by the ciborium, which rests on four fine columns of white marble, the spherical cap is gilded copper. Christ in Majesty is at the center of the Tabernacle, and on both sides the emblems of the four Evangelists, in repelled and gilded copper, are detached.


The Church has a Werner organ as well as a carillon. Inside, a painting by the painter Eugène Devéria and precious objects were offered by Queen Isabel II, who was driven from Spain and donated them during her visit to Pau in 1868.


One webpage to help you plan your trip here in addition to my many posts on Pau is

Tourist office Pau Pyrenees on the area of the Church

As many things there are to see in Pau ,this one is something different nice, worth a detour. We like it and the grand square in front of it. Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!


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