Visit Larressingle, the little Carcassonne in the Gers

Larressingle
Share Visit Larressingle, the little Carcassonne in the Gers
Visit Larressingle, t ...

In the Gers, Larressingle is one of the essential visits. Nicknamed the " Little Carcassonne du Gers ", this fortress conceals many treasures. We take you on a historic, informative and fun journey. Beautiful ladies and valiant knights, put on your finery for an incredible stroll through Larressingle.

The village of Larressingle is part of a group of fortified villages and medieval bastides. It is located next to Condom, an important stage on the Ways of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle and its religious heritage is really worth the detour. On site, you can learn about the art of war in the Middle Ages, because a siege camp has been set up there and offers you many activities. In the heart of lush greenery and overlooking the Baïse, beautiful walks allow you to contemplate this architectural jewel in all its facets. Moreover, it has been classified among the " Most beautiful villages in France ".


Opening photo : @Guide du Gers


sponsored content

Larressingle, in the heart of Armagnac

Dominating the valley of the Osse, Larressingle is a small Gallic village on a hill. But it is at the heart of the Armagnac wine region... The clay-limestone soils of the region and this land composed of tawny sands, between sand and silt, is particularly interesting for viticulture. The vines flourish there and produce quality white grapes.

Below, we can see the Baïse. Admittedly the river is a little capricious, with passages making navigation difficult, but it still allows the transport of the first wines to Lot-et-Garonne. From there, it joins the Garonne and allows exports to Europe by river.

The Romans are lovers of good wines, according to the tastes of the time of course! Even if we cannot precisely date the beginnings of viticulture, the vine is one of the favorite themes of Roman artists. It is also widely represented in Eauze, the ancient capital and on the mosaics of the Gallo-Roman villa of Séviac, in the town of Montreal-du-Gers and therefore just next to Larressingle.

Occitania is a fertile region. The Romans are not mistaken and are keen to take advantage of the fruits of this generous nature. At that time, the attacks are numerous and the conquest is assured, but the astonishing resistance of these villagers will put this village, whose name we no longer remember, on the path of its destiny...

vines

The vines at the entrance to Larressingle. Photo @Guide du Gers  

Larressingle, a Gallic village with an extraordinary destiny

Thus, a few words were enough to anchor Larressingle in history. It may only be a legend, but it seems that the siege of this small village was complicated for the Roman troops. Giving up, Lieutenant Crassus ends up pronouncing his fallback signal : " Retro singuli " (rear one by one!). The expression stuck, it even became the emblem of these courageous villagers. Over time, it has distorted slightly to give its name to the village of Larressingle. In the thirteenth century, the treaty mentions the "castrum Retrosingula", confirming this theory. Other etymologists, less poets, claim that its name dates from the Middle Ages, at the time of its fortification and renovation. It would correspond to the Latin word " cingulum ", which means pregnant and " re " for reconstruction. So it would simply be " the re cingulum ", the new enclosure, in a way.

siege camp

The medieval siege camp at the entrance to the village, where you can enjoy entertainment during the summer. Photo @Guide du Gers

We jumped into history and found Larressingle in the XI century, in the Middle Ages. Father Hugues de Gascogne is an important figure. He is the founder of the Abbey of Condom and one of the heirs of the Dukes of Gascony. When he became bishop of Agen and Bazas, he found a successor to take charge of the Abbey of Condom and, to ensure him income, also handed him over the lands of Larressingle.

In the thirteenth century, the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine jostled the political balance of the region. The Gascon lords fortified the towns to protect them selves from the claims of the English as well as the French, because let's not forget that at the time Aquitaine was not yet French! The famous act of paréage 1285, dealing with fortification Retrosingula, has also been signed by King Edward 1 of England... Larressingle is part of a large defense system to protect the Episcopal city of Condom, including the bastide of Valence-sur-Baïse (fr), the fortified village of Montréal-du-Gers and the bastide of Fourcès. Fortunately the castle was not affected by the " 100 Years War ". Its beautiful heritage has therefore been preserved and maintained for centuries.

The fifteenth century is the golden age of the Ways of Saint Jacques de Compostela. The small fortified city is one of the stages, near the path, between Condom and Beaumont-sur-l'Osse. His position will offer him relative calm, for two centuries, apart from a few stormy episodes, especially with the Montespan family, during the wars of the Protestant League. The castle will remain the residence of the bishops until the 17th century.  

larressingle

Larressingle occupies a strategic defensive position. Photo @Guide du Gers

Larressingle, one of the "Most beautiful villages in France"

Larressingle is the smallest fortified village in France and yet its defensive architecture is clearly reminiscent of the beautiful citadel of the Aude. This is why it is called the " little Carcassonne du Gers ". The fortification of the village dates from the thirteenth century. Originally, an imposing three-storey keep and a Romanesque church sit at the top of the hill. They will be surrounded by 270 meters of high walls connecting eight towers. Inside, medieval houses are attached to the surrounding wall.

For the defense of the site, the inhabitants relied on crenellated towers with straight or cross archers ; the famous dungeon ; a walkway on the ramparts ; moats, dug at the foot of the surrounding wall ; and a single masterful entrance door with a drawbridge at the time, now replaced by a small bridge. The church is also modified with a refuge room, overlooking the keep.

larressingle

The entrance to Larressingle and its small bridge. Photo @Guide du Gers

heritage detail   heritage detail

Details of the village architecture. Photos @Guide du Gers

sponsored content

In the fourteenth century, the castle dungeon turned Gascon. Then in the sixteenth century, arrangements are made for the comfort of lords : a tower with a spiral staircase, numerous mullioned windows to bring light... Finally at the end of the sixteenth, the castle was abandoned profit from that of Cassaigne. It will degrade for nearly two centuries before its restoration in the early twentieth century by the Duke of Treviso.

Since its renovation, Larressingle will follow up the rankings for its protection, but also to improve the experience of its visitors : " Historical Monuments ", " UNESCO World Heritage ", " Most beautiful village in France ", " Grand Site d 'Occitanie ".

entrance   moat

Larressingle is the smallest fortified city in France, but it has everything a big one! Photos @Guide du Gers  

What to do in Larressingle

Guided tours are organized by the tourist office to appreciate the architectural features of the site and better understand the defensive system of Larressingle, as well as its curious church. To locate the “ Petite Carcassonne du Gers ” or contact the nearest tourist office, consult the Larressingle file.

Tourist Office

Guided tours organized in season. Photos @Guide du Gers

From spring to autumn, a medieval siege camp is set up in the meadow adjacent to the fortress. It presents war machines : catapults, trebuchets, stones, rams… powder artillery and lifting devices used for the construction of buildings. You will learn " The Art of War ", its techniques of siege and tactics of attacking the castle. Coin-minting and stone-cutting workshops, etc. allow you to experience the trades and certain activities of everyday life for yourself. It is also an opportunity to introduce you to archery or crossbow shooting... If you want to experience a real immersion in the Middle Ages, we lend you suitable outfits! Go to the file of the medieval siege camp of Larressingle to organize your visit.

sponsored content

Leaving the village, you can admire the fortress in all its facets, taking the GR65 , on part of the road to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Here is the hiking sheet (fr).

The D'Artagnan Échappées Gascogne (fr) offers cruises on the Baïse : commented stroll, lunch on the water, wine initiation, or you can rent boats without a license to navigate independently.

glacier

Take a walk in Larressingle and enjoy a delicious ice cream while admiring the fortifications. Photo @Guide du Gers

larressingle   larressingle

A pleasant village where you can stroll quickly, go and enjoy the surroundings too! Photos @Guide du Gers

entrance to the pin

We hope that these few ideas made you want to visit Larressingle during your next vacation in the Gers.


Did you like our article? Find more on our Blog.

Follow us on the Guide du Gers Facebook page and on Instagram @guidedugers


Back to "Culture and Heritage"

You will like also

The most beautiful bike rides in the Gers

The most beautiful bike rides in the Gers
The most beautiful bike rides in the Gers

Larressingle

The most beautiful villages of the Gers

The most beautiful villages of the Gers
The most beautiful villages of the Gers

Larressingle

Excursion in Condom

Excursion in Condom
Excursion in Condom

5,2 km - Condom

Visit the circular bastide of Fourcès, the jewel of Armagnac

Visit the circular bastide of Fourcès, the jewel of Armagnac
Visit the circular bastide of Fourcès, the jew ...

8,4 km - Fourcès

On holidays in fourcès

On holidays in fourcès
On holidays in fourcès

8,4 km - Fourcès

Events nearby

CINÉMA "L'APPEL DE LA FORÊT" EN PLEIN AIR À LA BASE DE LOISIRS DE GAUGE

CINÉMA "L'APPEL DE LA FORÊT" EN PLEIN AIR À LA BASE DE LOISIRS DE GAUGE
CINÉMA "L'APPEL DE LA FORÊT" EN PLEIN AIR À LA ...

30/07/2021 to 30/11/2021

4,3 km - Condom

Divers

MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS DU DIMANCHE MATIN - CONDOM

MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS DU DIMANCHE MATIN - CONDOM
MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS DU DIMANCHE MATIN - CONDOM

01/01/2021 to 31/12/2021

4,6 km - Condom

Marchés

MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU MERCREDI MATIN - CONDOM

MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU MERCREDI MATIN - CONDOM
MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU MERCREDI MATIN - CONDOM

01/01/2021 to 31/12/2021

5,4 km - Condom

Marchés

MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS DU SAMEDI MATIN - CONDOM

MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS DU SAMEDI MATIN - CONDOM
MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS DU SAMEDI MATIN - CONDOM

01/01/2021 to 31/12/2021

5,4 km - Condom

Marchés

ABBAYE DE FLARAN - EXPOSITION KEN PAINE, LA DONATION SIMONOW

ABBAYE DE FLARAN - EXPOSITION KEN PAINE, LA DONATION SIMONOW
ABBAYE DE FLARAN - EXPOSITION KEN PAINE, LA DO ...

01/01/2021 to 31/12/2021

7,9 km - Valence-sur-Baïse

Expositions

MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU VENDREDI - MONTRÉAL-DU-GERS

MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU VENDREDI - MONTRÉAL-DU-GERS
MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU VENDREDI - MONTRÉAL-DU-GERS

01/01/2021 to 31/12/2021

8,8 km - Montréal

Marchés

EXPOSITION "ETENDUES" A L 'ARTOTHEQUE DE GONDRIN

EXPOSITION "ETENDUES" A L 'ARTOTHEQUE DE GONDRIN
EXPOSITION "ETENDUES" A L 'ARTOTHEQUE DE GONDRIN

02/10/2021 to 30/10/2021

8,9 km - Gondrin

Expositions

MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU MERCREDI MATIN - VALENCE-SUR-BAÏSE

MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU MERCREDI MATIN - VALENCE-SUR-BAÏSE
MARCHÉ TRADITIONNEL DU MERCREDI MATIN - VALENC ...

01/01/2021 to 31/12/2021

8,9 km - Valence-sur-Baïse

Marchés

LES JEUDIS D'ÉCRITURE CAUSSENS

LES JEUDIS D'ÉCRITURE CAUSSENS
LES JEUDIS D'ÉCRITURE CAUSSENS

21/10/2021

9,1 km - Caussens

Divers

EXPOSITION AU VILLAGE DE BLAZIERT

EXPOSITION AU VILLAGE DE BLAZIERT
EXPOSITION AU VILLAGE DE BLAZIERT

04/09/2021 to 31/10/2021

13,4 km - Blaziert

Expositions

You will like also

Larressingle

Larressingle
Larressingle

The fortified village of Larressingle is a must in the Gers. A real little Carcassonne, perched on its rock and ...

Larressingle

Camp de Siège Médiéval

Camp de Siège Médiéval
Camp de Siège Médiéval

Located on the outskirts of the fortified city of Larressingle , go back in time and rediscover the Middle Ages and ...

217 m - Larressingle

Espace Saint-Michel

Espace Saint-Michel
Espace Saint-Michel

A PLACE TO MEET ART Located in Condom , at the entrance to the city by the road of Auch , the Space Saint-Michel , ...

5,0 km - Condom

La citée épiscopale de Condom

La citée épiscopale de Condom
La citée épiscopale de Condom

Condom is an episcopal city, a city with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Magnificent mansions punctuate the ...

5,2 km - Condom

Abbaye de Flaran

Abbaye de Flaran
Abbaye de Flaran

Flaran Abbey : Visit a great exceptional site ! THE CISTERCIAN ABBEY OF FLARAN (XII°-XVIII°S.), CROSSROADS OF ...

7,9 km - Valence-sur-Baïse

Ride around

LA VALLÉE DE L'OSSE

LA VALLÉE DE L'OSSE
LA VALLÉE DE L'OSSE

2,0 km - Beaumont

Walking

LE SENTIER DES CHÂTEAUX

LE SENTIER DES CHÂTEAUX
LE SENTIER DES CHÂTEAUX

3,8 km - Condom

Walking

VERS LE CHATEAU DES EVEQUES

VERS LE CHATEAU DES EVEQUES
VERS LE CHATEAU DES EVEQUES

3,8 km - Condom

Walking

CIRCUIT DÉCOUVERTE CONDOM - ABBAYE DE FLARAN

CIRCUIT DÉCOUVERTE CONDOM - ABBAYE DE FLARAN
CIRCUIT DÉCOUVERTE CONDOM - ABBAYE DE FLARAN

3,8 km - Condom

Bike / road Velo hybrid Mountain bike

MOUCHAN, LA CLUNISIENNE

MOUCHAN, LA CLUNISIENNE
MOUCHAN, LA CLUNISIENNE

4,6 km - Mouchan

Walking