Gondrin Things to Do
Perhaps the most intriguing spot is the Chapelle de Notre-Dame de Tonneteau, just west of Gondrin, among the woods at the head of the valley of the Tonneteau stream. During the 18th Century, it is claimed that the Virgin Mary appeared to people here, and it has become a place of local pilgrimage ever since, although not one that is widely publicised. This little idyll in the woods cannot cope with many visitors.
As well as the base of one tower of the former castle forming part of the Post Office, but parts of the northern and eastern outer walls are still visible, as is the northern entrance gateway. One pillar of the southern gateway is also visible. Many of the older houses in the central part of the village date from the 14th and 15th Centuries, including the arcade and "colombages". The colombage style is becoming more and more uncommon these days, but still can be seen in many villages across the region. The church has been renovated many times: it seems to have had more than its fair share of destructive events, including the bells being destroyed by a bolt of lightning! Near the church, the main facade of the Ursuline convent remains.
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Gondrin Off The Beaten Path
The area around Gondrin has a few ancient windmills, but just the basic structures remain. There is one just on the outskirts of Gondrin, on the road to Courresan on the left. Another windmill, harder to find, is at Gelleneuve on the eastern side of the Osse river. There are more windmills along the Osse valley, on the right bank near Larressingle if this is your thing.
As well as the numerous Roman discoveries in the area (most notably in the next town of Eauze), the best evidence of Roman occupation and civilization in this area is the network of Roman roads. Some are obvious (such as the D931 between Mouchan and Gondrin), while others have been replaced over time by new alignments as settlements grew up away from where the Romans wanted!
A particularly nice stretch of Roman road is south-west of Gondrin: as you leave Gondrin, heading towards Eauze, instead of staying on the D931, fork to the left towards Courrensan, then after about 300m when the Corrensan road forks left, keep straight on, but following the road round to the right.It crosses the Auzoue river then skirts to the north of the Foret de Gondrin, one of the largest woods in the Gers before you reach the hamlet of la Pelinguette. The lane continues, ending up on the D931 again for a short stretch before leaving straight ahead again for a short distance. It then crosses the Bretagne d'Armagnac road to reach Cuherque. Shortly afterwards it turns sharply to the south, whereupon it rejoins the D931 just before it crosses the Gelise river. It continues as the D931 into Eauze. A great walk or cycle.
The area to the east and south-east of Gondrin, among the vineyards, is home to medieval limestone quarries. These provided the stone for many of the churches, castles and most notably the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre in Condom. One is at Riquet just outside Gondrin, to the south-east on the lane that runs past the base de loisirs. Another is among the vineyards just north at Chiot (turn left off the main road just before the northern entrance to Gondrin).
However, the best-known is at Polignac, 1.5km north of the village of Roques, on the far side of the Osse valley: the stones for the cathedral comes from ths quarry.
Gondrin Sports & Outdoors
Right slap-bang in the middle of Gondrin is one of the area's best swimming pools. In a circular basin, surrounded by a grass slope, it has three great slides, a platform in the middle, and a separate infants area with a big plastic elephant slide. There are lifeguards on duty as well. There is food and drink at the entrance and a playground; plenty of shade under the trees for mum and dad, and a good number of picnic tables.
It gets a large number of visitors, especially at the weekends, but it seems to soak them all up easily, and it all stays amazingly clean and tidy even at the end of the afternoon.
Parking is down the road alongside running east off the main road.