Archive for March 12th, 2022

March 12, 2022

Aire-sur-l’Adour !!!

And I left this one out do not know why, so many pictures in my vault they keep coming up! I like to share it with you all, and me! This is in my road warrior trips of the south , we were base in Pau and drove all over the region. Therefore, let me tell you a bit about Aire-sur-l’Adour, an off the beaten path of my belle France!

The town of Aire-sur-l’Adour is located in the Landes department No 40 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The town is connected to the A65 by the northern Aire-sur-l’Adour spur and the southern half-splitter at Aire-sur-l’Adour. It is crossed by the D 824, in the heart of the AOC Tursan vineyard, 150 km from Bordeaux, 50 km from Pau (from where we came) and 30 km from Mont-de-Marsan, where the Adour enters the Landes department, at the junction of the areas of Tursan, Armagnac and Vic-Bilh.

I was able to passed by the Halle aux Grains or Grain Hall, dates from 1860, It is the former grain market built on the edge of the Bégorre camp, meeting point, market and justice of the towns of Aire sur l’Adour and du Mas, formerly separated. Place of transactions and attic, the hall will be very active until the beginning of the 20C. Done in an octagonal building, surmounted by a campanile, partially covered with flat stones from the Tarn. Around the campanile, blades of shutters, to allow good ventilation. At the bottom, grids, for safe storage. The frame will be fully pegged, adze-cut. On the ground , the Adour pebbles. A circular balcony, placed on stone pillars, allows the storage of grain, out of the humidity. At the end of the balcony, an office in which the weights and measures, the names of sellers and buyers are recorded. It is no longer a market but preserved to host several events.

aire sur l adour halle aux grains aug17 (2)

Other things to see are :

The City/Town hall ,since 1927, occupies part of the former bishopric. It is a 17C building, with a stone staircase and coffered ceilings, a round tower with a 16C staircase, topped with a pepperpot.

The 14C Maison de l’Officialité at 6 rue Labeyrie, with mullioned windows, was the jurisdiction where the Jurats sat. The five-arched stone bridge over the Adour river dates from 1834, several earlier bridges having been washed away by the Adour; it was widened in 1961. The southern quay and the banks of the Adour were converted into a promenade that leads to the arenas.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral, rue Gambetta, Sainte-Quitterie Church, rue Félix Despagnet. On the Mas hill, done in the 13-14C of Gothic style, apart from the apse which dates from the end of the 11C or the beginning of the 12C, and the Church du Carmel Saint-Joseph, rue Maubec.


A bit of history I like

Alaric II brought together in Aire, in February 506, an assembly of bishops and greats, as well as jurisconsults, who established a collection of laws intended for the Gallo-Romans of the kingdom and inspired for the most part by the code of Theodosius, that is- i.e. Roman law. Alaric’s breviary will inspire medieval Roman law. A year later, Alaric is defeated by Clovis, king of the Francs,,,,

Aire-sur-l’Adour is a stage on the via Podiensis of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The next stop is Miramont-Sensacq. Historically the previous stage 27 km away is Nogaro. There were two hospitals in Aire-sur-l’Adour for pilgrims, including the Manso hospital, at the bottom of the street leading up to the Sainte-Quitterie Church, today at rue Félix-Despagnet. They were welcomed, fed, cared for, comforted. On March 2, 1814, the English and Portuguese troops of Wellington, coming up from Spain, won a battle against those of Marshal Soult on the heights of the city, with a death toll of several hundred.

The city of Aire sur l’Adour on its heritage

The Aire Eugénie local tourist office on Aire sur l’Adour

There you go folks, another dandy road warrior sight in my belle France. This is a region that I have many posts in my blog, and we love it. The ride from Pau was nice and many memorable visits and moments with the family. Always looking forward to be back. Hope you enjoy the brief introduction to Aire sur l’Adour as I.

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

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March 12, 2022

Wonderful sights of Pau!!!

In there you go folks, more finds in my vault not previously in my blog! I am digging slowly into them and already found some gems such as these. In our many trips to Pau, we have walked the town, and had some off the beaten path monuments worth the detour. Therefore, let me tell you about two wonderful sights in Pau worth a look; hope you enjoy it as I.

The Church of Saint-Louis de Gonzague is located on Place Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague in Pau, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques dept 64, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. The oldest church in the city, its construction began in 1679, to be completed a little over 170 years later, in 1851 !


Originally, this church was then to constitute the main chapel of the royal Jesuit college adjoining it. Construction began in 1679, unfortunately, despite numerous monetary donations from local personalities, this did not prevent the Jesuits from quickly running out of means, To make matters worse, the Company of Jesus was dissolved in 1763 by King Louis XV and his favorite Madame de Pompadour. It was temporarily administered by the city and then entrusted in 1779 to the Benedictines of Saint-Maur. A few years later, the French revolution of 1789 arrived and the church then began a slow deterioration.

After a long legal battle, it was not until 1848 that work resumed and ended in 1851 with the installation of the high altar from the interior chapel of the school and dating from 1654. The church was officially assigned to the public worship on November 11, 1851 as an annex to St. Martin’s Church and was also used for high school services. In 2020, the roof of the building was completely redone, then the following year, the two canvases taking place on either side of the main entrance, then in very poor condition, were restored. These come, just like the cross fixed on the facade, from the old Bosquet hospital, now destroyed,

The parish Mass on the Chapelle Saint Louis :

The official St Louis de Gonzague Church

The Chapelle du Couvent des Réparatrices is located at 3 Rue des Réparatrices in Pau. This neo-Gothic style chapel is part of the former convent of the Reparatrices. At the time of its construction, in the second half of the 19C, Pau enjoyed impressive growth thanks to its success as a holiday destination. New religious communities settled there to take advantage of the generosity of society who came to spend long stays there, but also of the proximity to Lourdes. Here, it is on her own land that the Baroness of Brienen built this convent complex, near her residence, the Villa San Carlos. She thus pays homage to her aunt, founder of the Order of Repairers. These nuns had the mission of praying to repair the wrongs done to Christ by men.


The Convent of the Repairers Chapel was built around 1883 and it ensures the junction between the two perpendicular wings of the conventual buildings which form a cloister. Its slender shape responds to the codes of the neo-Gothic, as do its large bays and ribbed vaults, as well as the fleurons, pinnacles and sculpted capitals that adorn its architecture. The alternation of white and gray limestone punctuates its buttresses and the frames of its openings, as on the rest of the convent. Inside, the choir is decorated with rich mosaics that fit into three blind arcades and above the two side doors. The stained glass windows, are contemporary with the chapel,

Since 2003, the convent has been transformed to house the auditorium of the music and dance conservatory, a place of teaching and creation. The chapel also hosts many concerts, making its Cavaillé-Coll organ still resonate today. In the other parts of the convent and in the building built as an extension, there are 74 classrooms and two dance studios. Good armchairs will delight your buttocks, few places, it is imperative to reserve for all the events, Very nice place really and very nice theater as a result!

The city of Pau on the conservatory former chapel:

There you go folks, two dandy off the beaten path in nice Pau. You are never too far away from wonderful architecture and history in my belle France. Hope you enjoy the post as I and do the walking in Pau!

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

March 12, 2022

Church Saint-Jacques of Pau!

I have written several posts on Pau, one of the memorable cities of my belle France! ,and even used it as a base for the region as well as waiting for the Tour de France bike race!  However, I have overlook this nice Church Saint Jacques or St James’s Church in city center, next to the courthouse, and I like to update this older post to tell you a bit more about it. Hope you enjoy it as we did.

The Saint-Jacques (St James) Church is located in the heart of the city next to the courthouse in Pau. It occupies the site of an old chapel, of the same name, built in 1651 by the order of the Cordeliers. Pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela were welcomed there. Inside, you must see the consecration crosses in Arudy marble, the solid oak stelae made by Mignou, master cabinetmaker from Pau, four paintings by Mauricet representing the different periods of the life of Saint Jacques, the Gothic pulpit carved oak, This church is unmissable !


The work on the Saint Jacques Church started as early as July 1861 and was finally completed in 1868, three years before the inauguration of the Saint-Martin Church (see post). The Saint-Jacques Church is a neo-Gothic style with three naves, transept and choir. There has been lots of work here over the years and finally the church found its two spires towers in 2012. These are now 22 meters high, compared to 17 meters previously, and each weigh 19 tonnes including 3.5 tonnes of zinc.


The Saint-Jacques Church has 54 stained glass windows. There are some stained glass windows in the chapel made by the Mauméjean family in a different Art Nouveau style. In the transept, three camouflaged canvases represent the Virgin in glory surrounded by angel musicians and choirboys who sing the Salve Regina. In the upper arches see biblical figures In the choir, the canvases mounted on the apse illustrate four episodes of the gesture of Saint James (Santiago) vocation, preaching, martyrdom, battle of Clavijo with the apostolic college.


The Saint Jacques Church bell drone was donated by Henri-Gaston de Galard, from the Galard family. He will give it the first name of his wife, Cécile, and will be melted in 1880 by the famous workshops of Léon Bollée. Cécile is a bumblebee of 2 meters in diameter by 3 meters in height, it weighs naked 6 tons. Cécile, along with the five bells that accompany her, found her place in June 2012. The Tribune organ is from 1870 with numerous restorations carried out since in order to preserve this instrument. The Choir organ, for its part, was made in 1999 from salvage elements. This organ is used to accompany the assembly choir every Sunday, thus accompanying the tribune organ.

As you have , not much written on it on the web and my information comes from books and magazines like Secrets d’Histoire and Detours.  

The Diocese of Pau on St Jacques Church

The Pau Pyrénées tourist office on the heritage of Pau

There you go folks, a dandy Church of St James right in city center and next to the courthouse of Pau;  another wonderful monument of pretty Pau in dept 64  Pyrénées-Atlantiques of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. 

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

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