A name left by the Gallic tribe of the Sotiates, the last implacable Gauls
Up on its headland, Sos dominates the Gueyze and Gélise river valleys. The Gallic people of the Sotiates put up a fight against the troops of Julius Caesar, who mentions it in his “Gallic Wars”. The village also has medieval remains such as the outline of the Romanesque church shown in stone in the central square. Sos belonged to Henri IV and later was the birthplace of Jean de Silhon, one of the founder members of the French Academy, and the residence of Emmanuel Delbousquet, poet and local historian.
Medieval town, birthplace of Armand Fallières (President of the Republic 1906 – 1913)
Mézin looks along the green valleys of the Armagnac country and the Landais forest which begin at the foot of its slopes. Mézin grew during the Middle Ages around its church of St John the Baptist and its monastery (now vanished). Sections of its ramparts recall the past when it was an English fortress during the Hundred Years War. In the 19th century it boomed thanks to cork, the local gold; now you can visit the museum of cork and corks. Wander round the old lanes, look up at the old stone houses and the arcades of the central square then have a green pause in the landscaped gardens.
Capital of Albret country
Built on the site of a Gallo-roman villa, the town really prospered during the Renaissance when it was home to the Albret family and its brilliant Court, the heart of French Protestantism. The future King Henri IV passed some of his youth here and forged his reputation as “le Vert Galant” (Great Charmer) with the story of Fleurette. Visiting Nérac should be based on the navigable river Baïse. Starting at the church of St Nicolas with its view across to Petit Nérac you find the port, the old bridge, the former Tanneries (now an art gallery), and restaurants. Carry on along the old streets to find the Maison des Conférences, the Château of Henri IV and its museum and end up in the Royal Park of La Garenne, remodelled by Queen Margot, wife of Henri IV.
An unusual Gers village, the only round Bastide in Gascony
Listed as one of the prettiest villages in France! This village, based round an old fortress, seduces you with its beauty and its calm. Fourcès opens up like a book of living history. The round “place” shows the outline of the earlier castle, destroyed in the 15th Century. Now you can go there to stroll under the shady plane trees, come to the Fête, play pétanque, be at a concert, hunt down your antiques bargain or swoon with the perfumes of the Flower Festival (last weekend of April). Medieval houses with oak frames surround the “place” with others from the 17th and 18th centuries nearby.
Cathedral and cloister, Museum of Armagnac, smart houses
Capital of Armagnac and former capital of the Novempopulanie people, - a rich past
Eauze is the Capital of Armagnac because it is situated at the heart of the most productive and famous area of this ancient eau de vie. This little town in the countryside has kept its medieval heart intact alongside more modern life: the street patterns, several houses with wood frames (Jeanne d’Albret’s house with its listed façade), remains of the old ramparts, a gateway of the former Priory, the Gothic church built by Jean Marre, the hospital chapel, remains of the old ditches…