Francescas - Nérac: 9 miles
Website: (only in french): http://www.nerac.fr/index.php
Late June: Exhibition of paintings
- Early July: Fleurette and night market
- Mid-July: Day of the melon, races of the Landes
- Late July: craft market
- September: Fair Nerac
- Throughout the year, concerts and shows.
Website (in french): http://www.nerac.fr/index.phpHere you may find some hotels, restaurants and gite in the region
Nerac has the flavor of melons, the perfume of boletus, the aroma of the salmi of wood pigeon, delicacy of foie gras. In the freshness of the medieval lanes, under italian sunny roofs, the doors open, accessible, true local inheritance.
In the arrondissement of Nerac are Nerac, Moncrabeau, Lavardec, and Viane, or Viannes, on the Baïse; Bruch, Francescas, Montagnac, Moncau, and La Monjoye, in the country east of the Baise; Sos and Mezin on the Gelize; CastelJaloux, Villefranche, Damazan, Saintraille or Xaintrailles, Lausseignan, and Durance, in the country west of the Baise and Gelize. Nerac consists of two parts, Great and Little Nerac, divided from each other by the Baise, over which is a handsome stone bridge. In Great Nerac is a fine Gothic castle, built by the English, which was for a long time one of the-residences of the kings of Navarre. Henri IV. held his court there. In the religious wars of the reign of Louis XIII. it was taken by the duke of Rohan, the Protestant leader, who expelled the magistrates and the partisans of the royalist party; but the town was reoccupied the same night by the royalists, under the duke of Mayenne. Great and Little Nerac are both walled. The market-houses are very large. The population in 1831 was 3566 town, or 6327 for the whole commune: in 1836 it was 6603 for the commune. Among the manufactures of the town are hosiery, leather and starch; there are several corn-milb; the flour is exported or made up into sea-biscuit, or into patties, highly esteemed by epicures. Mezin (pop. 1962 town, 3146 whole commune) has many water-mills in or about the town. Cork-cutting and tanning are carried on, and there is manufacture of coarse earthenware in the neighbourhood. Castel-Jaloux was one of the places which took part with the Huguenots in their struggle against Louis XIII., but was obliged to submit. Paper, leather, and coarse woollens are manufactured ; and considerable trade is carried on in cattle, wine, honey, and paper.
Nerac used to have a magnificent château with four wings enclosing a courtyard. This was before the French Revolution and following the anti-aristocratic backlash after 1789, three of the four wings were destroyed. The remaining wing, restored and open to visitors, dates from the XV c., and is quite stunning.
Nerac’s popularity relies on the former province known as “Pays d’Albret” – this charming area bordering the Landes forest, the hillside Agenais and the rustic Val de Garonne. Located along the river Baïse, Nérac seduces foreigners, offering a leisurely lifestyle, lush nature and plenty of outdoor activities – an ideal destination for both adventurous holidays and relaxing breaks.
This city offers good leisure times. You can take a boat trip on the beautiful river of Baïse or enjoy a stroll along the river bank in the large park, known as the king's gardens. Here you can learn about the love story between young Henry IV and Fleurette, gardener’s daughter, while admiring a nice statue of Fleurette.
It is indeed still authentically French and has great bargains on offer if compared with the bordering Gers department which has been very popular amongst the British population and consequently more and more expensive over the last couple of years.
Nerac hosts a wonderful, lively market on the Cours Romas on Saturday mornings, full of fresh local specialities.
There are many independent chateaux vineyards in and around Nerac all offering tastings, as well as a large wine co-operative with a sampling room and shop in Buzet-sur-Baise.Beyond the worldwide renowned Bordeaux wines, southern France holds other delightful produce born from the Neracais nature’s bounty. Buzet wines are just perfect to rinse your mouth!
Nerac is also in Armagnac country and that too can be sampled at local producers.
Gascon cooking is amongst the best in France and offers a wide range of dishes made from local produce, especially duck, fish, oysters and salads.
Leisurely lifestyle: from woodpigeons hunting to rugby, Nerac inhabitants know how to enjoy life and make the most of their time. Everyday life there is indeed – refreshingly – full of character and tradition.
Both food and wine are celebrated in style at the Buzet wine festival held each year in Nerac during August.
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