Visit Lavardens, one of the "most beautiful villages in France"

Lavardens
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Larvardens is classified among the " Most beautiful villages of France ". And for good reason, it is a small village that has a lot of character, an authentic atmosphere and a beautiful heritage. This old medieval castelnau was built around a fortified castle. Today, it still represents the heart of the village and has been transformed into a cultural and artistic center.

Photos of the article: © Guide du Gers


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Lavardens, a medieval Castelnau

Lavardens is a medieval village type "castelnau" built near a castle of the XII century. Residence of the Counts of Armagnac, the Fortress of Lavardens was built at their peak. It was briefly considered a military capital and withstood some assaults from the kings of France and those of England. But, alas, it will also be a victim of their decline. His entry into the royal domain in the 15th century sounded the death knell of this prosperous period. The fortified castle is abandoned.


did you know In ancient Gascony, the " castelnau " is a castral village, that is to say built around a fortified castle. This term designates a " castel ", a castle, " nau ", new. These "new castle" appear in the fortification period of feudal mounds of XII century. The stone fortresses thus replace the wooden palisades, surrounding the watchtower(s), erected at the top of the hill, which protected the peasants until then.


It was not until the seventeenth century, that of Henri IV companion weapons will get the king, ruins and land... It will restore it for love, not of old stones, but beautiful and young bride whom he wants to fill with a sumptuous home. If he dies before having fully completed his task, the castle is still saved.

It will go from inheritance to sale, but suffers from a lack of maintenance. Finally its cover collapses and nature reclaims its rights. It is an association which will give it new life and restore it since 1970. It is today a tourist site, a place of cultural manifestation and artistic exhibition.


Lavardens
the castle

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A medieval heritage to discover

Of its medieval past, only pieces of its ramparts remain. These are the watchtowers that have stood the test of time the best, in particular the Tour de Bayonne which still rises to 15 meters and dominates the valley.

Carrelots allow you to stroll through the village. In summer, they are lined with hollyhocks which perfume and color the alleys.


did you know The " carrelot " or " carlot " comes from the Gascon term " carralot " or "carrau ". It means " cart path ". It is an alley, wide enough to pass a cart. In the Middle Ages, the streets were often very narrow and sometimes did not even allow merchants to transport their goods... They therefore borrow the carrelots, which over time have remained very pleasant shopping streets.


Castle Lavardens rebuilt in the seventeenth century to visit. It also houses temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. These stones, steeped in history, form an exceptional setting for works from all over the world or on a wide variety of themes.


The Church St Michael the XVI - XVII century allows you to discover the gothic architecture Gers. It would have been built on the remains of a medieval tower. You will see magnificent stained glass windows and decorations.

The town also has a small remarkable heritage: mills, wash house, cross and chapel... In summer, you can extend your visit by tasting local products at the Lavardens night market.


Lavardens
Lavardens

Activities around Lavardens

Hiking to discover the Lomagne Valley

To discover the Gers countryside, you can take the Chemins de Compostelle.

We also recommend some hiking trails, in partnership with Cirkwi:


Visit the surrounding villages

  • The thermal village of Castéra-Verduzan
  • The authentic village of Castin and its viaduct
  • Fleurance, a medieval bastide
  • Vic-Fezensac, the city of bullfighting

Nearby tourist sites


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    We hope that these few ideas made you want to discover Lavardens and its medieval heritage, 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.

    Article written by Stéphanie Tempier for the Guide du Gers.


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