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Nérac and the Chateau


Nerac, capital of the Pays d'Albret

The Baise and barges ... A walk to Nerac is definitely a stroll in the heart of history. Across town, walks, sites or monuments recall the important history of this sub-prefecture, the capital district.

A city steeped in history. Research indicates human occupation from the Bronze Age in the area of Nazareth. However, it is the Gallo-Roman who leaves the best evidence, as the fourth-century villa, with its mosaics still visible today at the entrance of the park or on the Warren interior walls of City Hall.


chateau nerac
henri IV

The donation given by Olbion Arsieu of the Benedictine abbey of Condom in 1088 can be regarded as the founding document of the city. This leads to the construction of a fortified town with a market, then a priory, and the building of churches Saint-Nicolas and Saint-Michel. From 1310 to 1440, the city's development continues intensively, including the building of a second line of walls and fortified gates. The region of Albret, whose power is growing as well, get in 1306, the complete jurisdiction of Nerac. Weddings and acquisitions allow the region Albret to become one of the first lineage of the kingdom, heirs to the crown of Navarre, then France.


Portrait of Jeanne d'Albret, Francois Clouet workshop from the sixteenth century, Nerac became the favorite residence of Albret and a stronghold of protestantime. An important page in the history of France will be written here. Jeanne d'Albret requires the Calvinist doctrine and the city receives the writers of the Reformation. His son, Henri III of Navarre, the future Henry IV is then a place of political importance. He spent part of his youth and Nerac is forged his reputation as a "gallant Green" which has left such a legend, one of Fleurette, daughter of a gardener who would have drowned in the waters of the Baise by heartache.

Marguerite de Valois, Queen Margot (around 1572) Nerac hosts the Accounts Chamber (1527) and the Chamber of the Edict of Guyenne (1598). Nerac became the capital of the duchy of Albret. From 1578 to 1579, Catherine de Medici came to negotiate peace during the Conferences of Nerac. In the sixteenth century always enchainent buildings, three additional wings to the castle, mansion ... Les Jardins du Roy are arranged as well as the royal park of la Garenne, which we owe to the Queen Margot, wife of Henry IV.

chateau henri IV

After the splendor of the Renaissance, Nerac stalled in the seventeenth century. In 1621, the town, Protestant, bows before the royal army and must surrender to the Duke of Mayenne. These years are the time of destruction. The institutions are transferred to Bordeaux and Pau.
In the eighteenth century, Nerac find the path to prosperity, thanks to its leather tanneries, mills and the flour trade to the Caribbean. The Revolution marks the destruction of three of the four wings of the castle.

While sitting on its historical foundation, the city turns over and takes its present face in the nineteenth century, under the influence of Baron Haussmann, sub-prefect in 1832-1840. Then the mayor Mézin Armand Fallieres Nerac, General Counsel and member (then President of the Republic in 1906) also contributes to this transformation including encouraging the development of the railway. Late nineteenth and throughout the first half of the twentieth says its industrial activity, with several metallurgical plants, two breweries, shoe factories and sandals, a pasta factory ...

Throughout its history, Nerac has inspired famous writers George Sand, Marcel Prevot through Alexandre Dumas.

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