Curiosity sights of Occitanie !!!

Another of my favorite regions of my belle France, this is the new Occitanie that is really very old… I found me some paper photos of older road warrior trips and decided to put them in my blog. After all, this is my life’s story and like to share it with the world. Therefore, here are some curiosity sights of Occitanie !!!

The town of Mirepoix is ​​located in the department of Ariège 09, in the Occitanie region. It is located 26 km from Foix, department prefecture, and 22 km from Pamiers, sub-prefecture. Dependent on the county of Foix, the city was won by Catharism at the end of the 12C, The city was taken in 1209 by Simon de Montfort which he gave to one of his lieutenants Guy de Lévis, hence the family of Lévis- Mirepoix. Mirepoix was a bishopric until 1801.

The Maison des Consuls dates from the 15C on January 5, 1274, Guy III of Lévis gave the inhabitants of the city the right to elect consuls. In the year 1500, the consuls were granted the right to build their house on the solier of the house of Justice. On August 14, 1655, they bought a house to make it the City/Town Hall. It served as a court, a council chamber and a prison. The front beam, or chest, is a single heart of oak almost 12 meters long and over 60 cm thick. 104 sculptures adorn the ends of the windchests or beams perpendicular to the facade, and the supporting pillars. Gorgeous !

Mirepoix maison des consuls

Other things to see in Tarbes are in my opinion !

The episcopal palace, for the part located in the extension of the nave of the cathedral, dates from the 15C The Porte d’ Avail dates from 1372 , The Church of Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Michel is located in the cemetery, avenue Victor Hugo, it presents four paintings, three of which retrace the foundation and work of the Trinitarians, and an altarpiece from the 17C. The old castle of Mirepoix, whose first mention dates back to 960, had been taken at the same time as the city, on September 22, 1209, Saint-Maurice’s Day, by the Crusaders of Simon de Montfort.  Saint-Maurice Cathedral as the story goes that on September 22, 1209, Saint-Maurice’s Day, the armies of Simon de Montfort took the city and placed the church under the patronage of the saint and his companions. But this church is no longer, carried away by the flood of June 16, 1289, which moved the city to the left bank. The cathedral that we know saw its first stone laid by Jean Ier de Lévis-Mirepoix, May 6, 1298.

The town of Mirepoix on its history:

The Mirepoix tourist office on its heritage

The city of Montpellier is the prefecture of the Hérault department 34 ; it is located in the Occitanie region and in the historic Languedoc region, on a major communication axis joining Spain to the west and Italy to the east. The city is located 14 km by road from the Mediterranean Sea in the town of Palavas-les-Flots, It was the first land of the counts of Melgueil, who gave it in 985 to a certain Guilhem in exchange for his devotion, the lordship of Montpellier passed at the beginning of the 13C to the Crown of Aragon King Jacques I of Aragon was born there in 1208 then to the Kingdom of Majorca, before being purchased in 1349 by the King of France Philippe de Valois. Sold in 1365 to the King of Navarre, Charles the Bad, Montpellier returned definitively to the Kingdom of France in 1383.

The date of June 9, 1907, with a gigantic rally in Montpellier, marks the peak of winegrower protest in the South of France. The Place de la Comédie is invaded by a crowd estimated between 600,000 and 800,000 people. It is the greatest manifestation of the Third Republic. During WWII, the city was part of the free zone, gradually subject to Nazis interests, through the collaboration of the regime in place. On February 13, 1941, Marshal Pétain, accompanied by Admiral Darlan, met General Franco in Montpellier. The city had always been an important center of resistance. Evidenced by the activity of Jean Moulin, a famous French resistant established in Montpellier for a large part of the war and whose most famous photographic portrait was taken in front of a pillar of the Arceaux aqueduct. The city of Montpellier was bombed several times during WWII: The city was liberated by the 1st DFL (Free French Division).

There are wonderful places for walks such as the Place de la Comédie and the Arc de Triomphe-esplanade du Peyrou date from the 17C. This is also the case of Place Jean-Jaurès, built on the site of the former Church of Notre-Dame-des-Tables, destroyed during the Wars of Religion, and the Promenade Royale du Peyrou built by order of Louis XIV and in his honour, outside the fortifications. To supply the city and its gardens, an aqueduct, called “Les Arceaux”, carries water from Saint-Clément-de-Rivière. Developed in the middle of the 18C, inaugurated and put into service on December 7, 1765, it culminates in the superb water tower which dominates the Peyrou esplanade, From the medieval hostal to the classic 18C hotel, Montpellier today has nearly eighty mansions.

You cannot miss coming here, great ambiance and beautiful architecture. The Place de la Comédie dating from 1755 and completely refurbished after the fire of the theater in 1881 is the central place of the city. It takes its name from the municipal theater whose monumental facade adorns the square, and is embellished with the fountain of the Three Graces, . It should be noted that the Place de la Comédie obtained, several years ago, a prize rewarding the quality and enhancement of its architecture by the nocturnal lighting of its facades and of the theatre. This square is also nicknamed “place de l’œuf” because of the pattern drawn on the ground, in front of the Opéra de la Comédie.

Montpellier pl de la comedie les trois glacés

Another we rush by was the Arceaux aqueduct, whose real name is the Saint-Clément aqueduct, built in the 18C is one of the most beautiful monuments in the city. This building, largely inspired by the Pont du Gard, allowed the arrival of drinking water from the source of Boulidou, then later that of Lez, located in Saint-Clément-de-Rivière. When it was built, it brought 25 liters of water per second to the city of Montpellier.

Montpellier les Arceaux

Other things to see in my opinion are the Fabre Museum , the Comédie Opera; the Jean-Vilar theatre, municipal theater , the Saint-Pierre Cathedral, Saint-Roch Church; Notre-Dame des Tables Basilica, Sainte-Foy Chapel , known as the Chapel of the White Penitents.

The city of Montpellier on things to see

The Montpellier tourist office on must sees

The town of Rocamadour is located in the Lot department 46, in the Occitanie region. In the heart of Haut-Quercy, clinging to a mighty cliff 150 meters above the deep Alzou valley. This Marian city has been a renowned place of pilgrimage since the 12C, frequented since the Middle Ages by many anonymous or famous such as Henry II of England, Simon de Montfort, Blanche of Castile and Louis IX of France, Saint Dominic and Saint Bernard, among other illustrious figures, who come to venerate the Black Virgin and the tomb of Saint Amadour.

The medieval town, with its winding streets, is guarded by a series of fortified gates (Salmon, Cabilière, Hospital and Figuier gates). A monumental staircase, which pilgrims climbed and sometimes still climb on their knees, leads to the esplanade of the sanctuaries, where the Saint-Sauveur Basilica, the Saint-Amadour crypt , the Chapels of Sainte -Anne, Saint-Blaise, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Notre-Dame , where the Black Virgin is located -,Saint-Louis and Saint-Michel. The ensemble is dominated by the Palace of the Bishops of Tulle. A Way of the Cross leads at the castle and at the cross of Jerusalem, where a belvedere has been set up.

The three floors of the town of Rocamadour date from the Middle Ages, they reflect the three orders of society: the knights above, linked to the religious clerics in the middle and the lay workers below near the river. The final test of the pilgrimage was to climb on your knees the 216 steps leading to the religious city (see above). Finally arrived inside the sanctuaries after this ascent, the pilgrims left in ex-voto various objects, All the religious buildings of the Religious City; The Basilica of Saint-Sauveur . The basilica offers a mural representation of the Tale of the three dead and the three living: three young gentlemen are challenged in a cemetery by three dead people, who remind them of the brevity of life and the importance of the salvation of their souls; the Chapelle Notre-Dame ; Saint-Michel Chapel ; Saint-Anne Chapel ; Saint-Blaise Chapel ; and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Chapel ,

The Porte du Figuier by the Rue Roland le Preux is one of the gateways to the city of Rocamadour. In most cases, it will be the first thing you see in Rocamadour, because there is only paid parking, the only place where you can leave the car to go for a walk in the town as I recall we did. The gate is part of the city wall that has surrounded the city for centuries. It is the only gateway to the city, inside you will find other gates such as the Salmon gate, also visible the Hugon gate or the Cabilières gate and tower. The second of the five gates that pilgrims passed through before reaching the sanctuary. We pass the gate of Figuier, gate of the upper Coustalou, then of the haberdashery, gate Malbec or Salomon, Gate Gugon, gate of the bottom of the Coustalou or the bottom of the city… Fortifications built in the 14-15C.

Rocamadour porte du Figuier

Other things to see me think are the Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in L’Hospitalet and the Francis Poulenc Sacred Art Museum.

The Lot dept 46 tourist office on Rocamadour

The Dordogne valley region tourist office on Rocamadour:

The city of Tarbes is the prefecture of the Hautes-Pyrénées 65 department, in the Occitanie region, Historically and culturally, the town belongs to the former county of Bigorre, a historic county of the French Pyrenees and Gascony, The town is the historic seat of a Catholic diocese erected in the 4tC (today of Tarbes and Lourdes) corresponding to the department of Hautes-Pyrénées.

At the end of the 12C, the Count of Bigorre moved into his castle in Tarbes, bringing the court of justice with him. Then the capital of Bigorre received a royal seneschalship. During the Wars of Religion, in 1569, the troops of Jeanne d’Albret burned down the cathedral, the convents and other churches as well as the bishopric. Despite the strategic destruction in an attempt to ensure the defense of Bourg Vieux, the inhabitants were massacred. In 1806, Napoleon I re-established the national stud farm of Tarbes and from the Tarbes horse gave birth to the Anglo-Arab breed. Marshal Foch, Commander-in-Chief of all the Allied Armies, Marshal of France, Great Britain and Poland, was born in Tarbes in 1851.  During WWII, on September 11, 1940, Tarbes, located in the Free Zone, hosted the Cavalry School of Saumur ; it was from this school that the famous “Cadets of Saumur” came, who distinguished themselves by heroic fighting on the Loire in June 1940, with other French units.

My walk and drive was on Rue du Maréchal-Foch, It has 700 meters long, one-way , representing one of the shopping streets of the city center district , The street begins in the Place de Verdun, it is cut by Place Jean-Jaurès (place de la mairie) and ends in the place Marcadieu between the halle Marcadieu and the Church of Sainte-Thérèse. In the past, Rue Maréchal-Foch was called Rue des Grands-Fossés and was extended in 1867 from the old town to Place Marcadieu in the new town. It was on September 28, 1919 that the street was renamed during a ceremony in the presence of Marshal Foch. Building to see here are at No 28: Galeries Lafayette; and No 32: Monument to Danton on the city/town hall square.

Tarbes avenue Foch

Other things to see here me think are the Parc des Haras, a former national stud farm, created under Napoleon in 1806 and bought by the city in 2016. This 9 ha listed park in the city center includes a number of renovated buildings. An equestrian activity is maintained there. Located in the city center, every summer it hosts Equestria, the festival of equestrian creation. Parc Bel-Air covers an area of ​​3.5 ha with a large central lawn that gives off beautiful views of the Pyrenees. It includes a body of water fed by a beautiful waterfall, play areas for children, rest areas equipped with benches. The city/town hall and the courthouse, classic 19C buildings, adjoin rue Maréchal-Foch. Inaugurated in 1906, the city/ town hall stands out with its frank monumentality. It is surmounted by a campanile and faces Place Jean-Jaurès where the statue of Danton is enthroned. The Hôtel Brauhauban, an 18C private mansion, is one of its annexes today. The prefecture settled in the former episcopal palace rebuilt in the 17C. The monumental four valleys fountain, combining cast iron and sculpture, features the valleys of Bagnères, Aure, Argelès and the plain of Tarbes, A replica of the mythical fountain of the Alhambra in Granada in Spain is located at 43 rue Maréchal-Foch, in the green patio of a shopping mall , The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church, between rue Brauhauban, which has become pedestrianized for part of it, and rue Maréchal-Foch, its structure, dating from the 15C, remains marked by the southern Gothic current In Languedoc Gothic style, the Sainte-Thérèse Church faces the halles (covered market) and place Marcadieu. Its history begins with the establishment of the monks of Mount Carmel in the 13C. The bell tower, which is one of the oldest elements, dates from the 15C and is a remnant of this former abbey.

The city of Tarbes and its heritage

The Tarbes tourist office on main things to see :

There you go folks, another dandy road warrior trip in my belle France and gorgeous Occitanie region, Hope you enjoy the tour as I and thanks for reading along my escapades.

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

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: