Fun things to do in Aquitaine

  • Monument Aux Girondins
    Monument Aux Girondins
    by Sambawalk
  • Hunting for oysters
    Hunting for oysters
    by PALLINA
  • The Fountain in the Square at Dusk
    The Fountain in the Square at Dusk
    by hquittner

Most Viewed Things to Do in Aquitaine

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    visit a winemaker Lanessan

    by gwened Updated Nov 16, 2013

    I have many and other tips on wines, I am a collector of many years, with certificate from the French entities on the subject of wines.

    My taste goes beyond the borders to many countries, and some I have the opportunity to visit or even lived. However, there is nothing like the "BORDEAUX" . it covers a huge area, and many denomination to large too put in a tip.

    Just give you one my kids enjoy it, because it has a wonderful carriages museum, rides, visit to the vinyards and tastings, plus a great area of Cussac-Fort-Médoch-12h nd 14h to 18h

    I have the link in contact for the horses museum and here is the property site
    http://www.lanessan.com/

    very much link to the area history from an old family of the Bouteiller. It is one of the family start bottles over the years.

    You can visit the castle, gardens, horse museum, and the stables all magical. Great for the whole family. Open all year from

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    Cathedral of Saint André

    by gwened Written Nov 15, 2013

    A wonderful building attach to the history and lifestyle of Bordeaux, a must to visit while in the city. We love to come here.and don't forget the tour Pey Berland next door.
    This is the official site of the Cathedral, you can read in English
    http://www.cathedrale-bordeaux.fr/

    the cathedral is 124 meters long, with a nave without collateral of 18 meters at transept. the height Under the vault dome is 23 meters and on the nave body is 29 meters at the choir.

    A bit of history on thsi wonderful cathedral

    The cathedral Saint-André of Bordeaux is the most imposing worship building of Bordeaux. It was consecrated in 1096 by Pope Urban II. It was rebuilt in the Gothic style from the 12th to the 16th century. In this church was celebrated, in 1137, the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine, fifteen years old, with the future Louis VII, King of the Franks.

    The nave, of angevin Gothic style, dates from the 12th century and was modified in the 13th century. The ambulatory, undertook to 1280, was connected to the nave around 1330. The choir and radiating chapels were completed in the 14th century. It is also at this time that the arms of the transept facades were erected. The shell was fully realized. The Bell Tower, the towers and the arrows of the south transept were completed in the 15th century. It also began to fill the building with a belt of flying buttresses, completed in the following century. On the north façade, the Royal gate is built around 1250. The North facade is surmounted by two towers of 81 meters in height.

    The Cathedral is flanked by a tower of the 15th century East of the apse: the Bell Tower or tour Pey-Berland, built on the orders of the Archbishop of the same name. By its letters patent, Louis XI confirmed the privileges of this church, first after his coronation in 1461, then, following the death of his brother, the Duke of Guyenne, in 1472.

    In 1535 and according to an English chronicler: "in the Cathedral Saint André, are the most beautiful and the largest organ in all Christendom.". Unfortunately, during the revolution, the organs are sold and the pipes melted for the army. In 1804, the organ of la Réole, work of the toulousain factor Jean-Baptiste Micot (1766), was transferred to Saint-André. But this organ was insufficient for the Primatial. In 1810, this instrument is again disassembled to allow the rehabilitation of the rostrum and considering exchanging the inside of this organ with the Abbey Sainte-Croix built by Dom Bédos de Celles in 1748. The Exchange was decided definitively one year later..

    From 1837 to 1841, factor Henry performs a new restoration and replaces the two convex wings of the large buffet by the two current concave wings. Between 1875 and 1877, the Georges Wenner factor replaces the old story of two games by a great expressive account of 14 games and overrides the direct mechanics of the keyboard of the organ and that the story by pneumatic machines Barker bass. Subsequently, the organ is amended several times throughout the 20th century until the restitution of the Dom Bedos on St. Croix, and the construction of an organ to the Cathedral are determined. The new organ, built by company Danel-Gonzalez in the restored former buffet are inagurees in 1982. The impressive buffet, classified a historic Monument, is one of the largest in France, with a wingspan of 15 meters.

    See it while in the city, gorgeous.

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    St Michael Basilica

    by gwened Written Nov 15, 2013

    Basilica of St Michel is a wonderful work of art/achictecture and history in the city and a must to see in town.
    The Basilica of Saint-Michel is one of the main places of Catholic worship in the city of Bordeaux,. Built from the 14th to the 16th century, it is typical of the flamboyant Gothic style.

    The Basilica shares with the Saint-Andre Cathedral the particularity to be equipped with an independent Tower of the sanctuary or campanile. Rising to a height of 114 meters , it is considered the highest of France . Its base retains a crypt who served long ossuary, and exhibition space for "mummies" exhumed in the 19th century when the development of place Meynard, former parish cemetery. St Michael's Church - become Basilica minor in 1903 .

    Some historical bits and pièces

    Measuring 75 meters in length of the choir at the entrance to the nave 38 meters wide of one brace to the other, the Basilica is one of the largest places of worship in the region. Characteristic of the flamboyant Gothic style, it has a Latin cross plan to triple vessel. The nave, high of 23 meters, four spans and is entirely covered with a canopy of oblong warheads, as well as the aisles. A large protruding transept symbolically separates the nave choir, consisting of three bays and which reproduces the provisions of the nave. Three polygonal apses close all.

    The aisles are double a series of 17 side chapels, each of them being dedicated to a fraternity or a corporation. Number of these chapels preserve works of arts. Thus, the Saint-Jacques Chapel, built from 1470 to 1475, has a 17th century wooden altarpiece. It is adorned in the center of a table representating "the apotheosis of Saint James" (1632). The chapel also houses the tomb of a backgammon, the Chapel is dedicated to the pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela (St James in Spain). Further, the chapel of Ferron is decorated with a composition sculpted taking up the theme of the deposition of the cross (1493). Another Chapel is dedicated to Saint Catherine, patron saint of the sailors.

    Among the other works of art that contains the Basilica, note also dated from the end of the 15th century Pietà and a sculpture representing Sainte Ursule sheltering under his cloak the Virgin martyr of Cologne. In the nave, a Chair of the 18th century with mahogany wood and marble panels is surmounted by a statue of St. Michael, patron of the Church.

    The stained glass windows are there date mostly from the 16th century, 19th and 20th centuries. The oldest include as well a "tree of Jesse" dominated by red, yellow and blue. The stained glass windows of the choir, due to artist Max Ingrand, replace canopies of the 19th century destroyed by bombing. Several slabs numbered or engraved in the nave reflect custom long consisting of force, for the more affluent, to burial in the Church. This practice fell into disuse during the 18th century for reasons of safety and hygines.

    The Bell Tower forms an independent structure of the shrine. Located several tens of meters off the main portal. Confined buttresses and pinnacles, it supports an openwork arrow built from 1861 to 1869 . 114,60 Meters high, it is the tallest steeple in the South of the France. The bell tower houses a carillon of 22 bells.

    The buffet of organ, Louis XV style, was built from 1762 to 1765 by Cessy and Audebert. The great-organ, organize Micot works, have been restored several times, and notably rebuilt by Joseph Merklin in 1865. They include 41 games for three keyboards and pedals.

    In 2008, large-organs are dismantled to be restored again. This task, entrusted to Bernard Hurvy, Olivier Robert and Stéphane Robert organ factors, is completed in 2011. The inauguration of the restored organ takes place September 16, 2011.

    The Bell Tower of the Basilica of Saint-Michel is equipped with a 22 Bell carillon (although this number is lower than that of 23 required by the national federation of the chimes). After restoration, the carillon is again functional since September 17, 1999.

    The crypt located under the Bell Tower was long famous for its "mummies", which had been discovered during excavation works of the former parish cemetery in 1791. Dozens of bodies preserved by clay soil are exhumed and placed in a circle in the crypt, quickly transformed into a kind of Museum.

    The mummies attract curious, sometimes famous. Victor Hugo visited the crypt in 1843, followed by Théophile Gautier a few years later. The latter wrote "It is never out of the German night of most heinous spectres." The crypt is closed in 1979, the mummies being buried again, this time at the Certosa cemetery.

    a must!

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    treaty of Spain and France, St Jean de Luz

    by gwened Updated Oct 14, 2012

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    this basque town has inmense significance, as it was here in 1660 that king louis XIV married the infanta Maria Teresa of Spain to seal the peace between the two countries and set the limits of the two. Geographical limits that are still the same today. This ended the war of the two countries between 1635 and 1659.

    St Jean de Luz is a nice harbor town with wonderful views of the Pyrenees,and great food. I have the pictures of this treaty here

    Of rose bricks and stones the house of the boat builder Joannot de Haraneder, that was renovated in 1640! had the honor to house the future queen of France ,Marie-Thérèse of Austria, infanta of Spain to married the young Louis XIV,of 22 yrs old. She had already stayed here from June 7-9 1660, and was received here by the queen mother Anne of Austria that already had stayed there for a month. the house is at Rue de l'Infante contact resa +33 (0) 5 59 26 36 82.

    The maison du roi, or king's house; built in 1643 by a rich boat builder named Johannis de Lohobiaque, it house in 1660,during more than a month the young king Louis XIV that came to sign the Treatyof the Pyrenees and married Maria Teresa in the church of Saint-Jean-de-Luz . The house was renovate in 2010 on the towers, the facade Louis XIII in stones (side of place Louis XIV), and paintings in the grand salon. It is only open during heritage days in France.

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    The beaches of Lacanau-Océan

    by gwened Written Sep 30, 2012

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    This is heavens, my family comes here for several years following the French craze on camping park, we rent a mobile home and just 300 meters from these magnificent beaches.

    I am from living many many years in tropical semitropical places, and I can say that when summer is here july and august,these beaches can rank with any in the world.

    You have the south central and north beaches or plage du sud, plage centrale, and plage du nord all along the village town of Lacanau-Océan, not to be confused with the quaint inland city of Lacanau.
    you have bus service from Bordeaux St jean train station in the summer believe is bus 702 but we do all by car.

    The place has all amenities as wc ,showers, changing rooms, plenty of stores and restos in city center very quaint even a grocery store Shoppi.
    And the plus is that you are just across beautiful pine trees roads to the river Garonne and the Médoc wine region, the best in the world. as well as one of the biggest if not the biggest man made lake in Europe, Etang de Lacanau.

    the contact webpage is the officialof the city of lacanau-ocean ,and then this one is of the region including lacanue and nearby beach communities carcans,maubissons, hourtin.
    http://www.medococean.com/

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    Pont Canal de la Garenne Agen

    by gwened Written Sep 2, 2012

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    a wonderful architectural and engineering marvel to amassed the waters of the Garenne so cars and boats can still go thru and use the water for irrigation field in.

    Le canal de Garonne dating from the 19C link the cities of Toulouse to Castets-en-Dorthe near Bordeaux, passing by Agen. It is a needy canal extending the canal du Midi that links the Mediterranean to Toulouse. The two link with the canal des deux mers that link the mediterranean sea to the Atlantic ocean.

    The pont canal de la Garenne is 193 kms long. click the boat on the map at the tourist office below for more information

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    The museum of the course Landaise.

    by kokoryko Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    May be a short visit to this museum is the best introduction to the course Landaise; if you plan to stay a few days a 1-2 weeks in the Landes in summer you will have the opportunity to watch a course if you want; to understand a bit of what happens in the arena, a visit to the museum is helpful.
    There are 3 main display rooms and a small cinema.; in the cinema a video explains the origins of this sport, and the basic rules; history of the course landaise and glorification of the “heroes”.
    One of the rooms displays mainly costumes, a second room is dedicated to history and links with the corrida, the third room about links between landaise culture and course, and the fame hall!.
    You also can see that course Landaise and corrida inspired lots of artists, mainly poster designers like Cel Le Gaucher who is a local celebrity in Mont de Marsan (and the grand father of my sister in law! True!!).
    The other pictures show examples of what is displayed, costumes, hall of fame, also famous cows (!) and at last is a model of a village arena showing how all actors in that game are placed.
    Open from February 14th to October 26th, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and the first week end of each month, 2.00 to 7.00 pm; Five Euros;
    Visit to the chapel is free.

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    Chateau des Milandes

    by nhcram Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Set in the beautiful countryside and overlooking the Dordogne valley is the former home of Josephine Baker. The black American singer, dancer, actress who turned her back on America to avoid the racism and took French nationality after living there for a number of years. She unfortunately lost the house due to financial collapse and was forcibly evicted in 1969. Such a terrible shame as she did so much for the French resistance and the campaigned for civil rights and equality in her native America.
    The chateau itself was built in 1489 and is of renaissance architecture.
    There are art deco bathrooms, gargoyles, stained glass windows large gardens and over 100 magnolia trees.

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    Salies-de-Béarn - "Venetian" spa town

    by aaaarrgh Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The spa town of Salies is also known as the Venice of Béarn. Maybe because of its meandering river and the many old buildings, crowded close together like Venetian alleyways.

    It is also called the 'City of Salt', because of its local salt deposits, and has an annual Salt Festival.

    The whole town is extremely attractive, brimming full with ancient houses. Many have very distinctive Basque verandas and balconies. Others have rooftop terraces.

    The 14th century Eglise Saint Vincent is well worth a visit.

    There is a spa centre where you can have your ailments treated, bathed in the mineral waters. There is also a 'normal' public swimming pool.

    Maybe try the grand Hôtel du Parc for a hot drink and a cake, then marvel at its grand hall and dance floor.

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    In the Southwest Edge of France

    by hquittner Written Mar 4, 2010

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    St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port is a small city (pop. 1700). It lies mostly on the right side of the river Nive (which flows north through town). The town is mostly made up of 16 &17C buildings. At the bank of the stream is the Eglise Notre Dame du Port. On the far side, a small hill heads to the porte d'Espagne which enters Spain 6 km on, first rising to the porte de Roncevaux. At the towngate the ramparts of the 17C are still in place. The pilgrim's road enters the town at the northeast.

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    A Must Stop In This Part of France

    by hquittner Written Mar 3, 2010

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    In the 19C Pau was a resort town for rich English people. This is no longer true but it still remains pleasant. It is made relaxed by its beautiful Promenade des Pyrenees and the sight is especially enjoyable if the weather is clear to the south with views of the range of mountain peaks on view. This did not happen when we were there but luckily we were going directly east on later days and did see the display. There is a grand castle next to the Promenade in which Henri IV was born and where he lived for a while. It has many original items and more that have been returned and added so that it is a fine visit. The walk is on a bluff while below it a narrow spread of land next the Gave de Pau and a Gazebo and the lower end of a funicular up to the Promenade.

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    Lescar Was Once the Population Center for Pau

    by hquittner Written Mar 3, 2010

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    Before the 12C Lescar was an important Cathedral center. It was only in about 1300, that Gaston Febus having taken over Bearn, decided that Pau shound be built up as head city. Slowly the importance of Lescar disappeared but the ancient church still stand s and is of interest for its age and its structure. Inside it there is a rare example of a large portion of the choir area that is a mosaic in the floor that is only seen in a few places at this time. There are also sculpted capitals atop pillars in the nave and some in the choir. Further carved figures cover the modilions around the east end on the outside. These are all 12C.

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    From Jaca Spain via the Col du Somport to Oloron

    by hquittner Written Mar 3, 2010

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    The first city in France that we encountered as we headed north from the border was Oloron-Ste-Marie. We stayed near by. This provided us with the chance an early 12C church that had been used as a stop on the way to Compostela. At the time of its building this was the main town of Bearn. The church was started in 1102 by Gaston IV who was one of the leaders of the First Crusade. There is a splendid facade under a porch on the west end that contains voussoirs with the 24 Elders of the Apocalypse and much more made with Pyrenees marble. It should be seen, as well as all the other details. It is one of the earliest examples of Romanesque monuments.

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    Tarbes Is a Good Rest Stop

    by hquittner Written Feb 25, 2010

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    If you are traveling through Tarbes and wish to have a short stop, you will find a fine park in the northern part of the city called the Jardin Massey. Within it, they have reconstructed a cloister originally in St.-Sever-de-Rustan whose church still stands some 20km northeast of town which has a pond full of various ducks and peacocks. Also one can clearly view a large stretch of the Pyrenees to the South while driving by the area.

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    Start At Bordeaux

    by hquittner Written Jul 24, 2009

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    Bordeaux is the fifth most populous French city and the second largest. It has an active intellectual life with a Grand Theater, site of all sorts of performing activities and a Museum of Fine Arts. There are interesting buildings and open spaces. The famous vineyards are nearby. We used it as a starting point for a car tour of the regions.

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