Visit Lectoure: from the Roman city of Lectora to the craftsmanship of Blue!

Lectoure
Visit Lectoure: from  ...
Lectoure is a “ town of art and history ”. From prehistoric times to the Gallo-Roman and medieval capital of the Lomagne its gentrification in the nineteenth century, its rich past can be read throughout its architectural heritage. Today, it is still recognized for its artisanal pastel blue, but also for its watchmaking and its village of second-hand dealers. Located on the Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, it is also the ideal place to survey the Gers countryside and the Lomagne Valley.

Photos of the article ©   Guide of the Gers


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From Lectora to Lectoure, a story rich in twists and turns

Occupied since prehistoric times, inhabited in the Mesolithic, it is the “ Lactorates ”, a Celtic people, who lay the first stones of the city, at the foot of the hill, on the banks of the Gers. The heights are reserved for the oppidum and a necropolis. It seems that this fertile land has welcomed Roman worshipers of Mother Goddess Cybele, in the third century. Remains of altars bear witness to the importance of this ancient cult.

The ancient city of Lactora will develop rapidly thanks to these very first pilgrims. Later, it was the Christians who took these Roman roads, and in particular that of Le Puy. Born from this enthusiasm and this faith, the religious heritage is growing in Lectoure: churches, chapels, Benedictine convent, hospitals… The medieval city becomes an important stage on the Ways of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. The section from Lectoure to Condom of the Via Podensis is also classified as a " UNESCO World Heritage ".


Lectoure
Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais Cathedral

Lectoure grew and ramparts were built to strengthen it. In the Middle Ages, it was considered the capital of Lomagne and the County of Armagnac. The twelfth century Cathedral is a splendor that shows the wealth of the city. In the sixteenth century, during the Wars of Religion, it would join the Protestants, led by Blaise Monluc. If it becomes Catholic in the seventeenth century, its vocation as a place of worship has never failed and has, historically and even today housed many religious communities.

With the centralization of powers under Louis XIV, the counties withered away and its status as capital is only a distant memory. It was not until the eighteenth century, his tannery and crafts in general have allowed the bourgeoisie to prosper. Beautiful mansions and mansions were built.

Lectoure has preserved many vestiges of this glorious past and offers its visitors a very rich architectural heritage. She turned to art and offers all kinds of cultural activities and outings.


Orientation table
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From the Roman city to the charming 19th century residences, an exceptional heritage

Lectoure has been classified as a “ city of art and history ” for its many monuments. Here is a selection of visits, listed chronologically:  

The remains of the Roman city

To find the traces of the Romans, the easiest way is to follow their path… Between Astaffort and Lectoure, the current road still follows the old Roman road!

If you prefer to take a less symbolic path, you can contemplate beautiful pieces at the Eugène-Camoreyt Museum , which brings together a collection of lapidary and archaeological objects, including taurobolic altars , used for the cult of Cybele by the Lactorates.

the good idea To discover the key moments in the history of Lectoure, the tourist office organizes themed guided tours (fr): "City heart of Lectoure, from the Roman city to the bourgeois city "; " The Cathedral of Lectoure ", which dominates the medieval fortifications; "Charming residences" on the evolution of Lectoure in the nineteenth century.


The fortifications of the Middle Ages and the construction of the Cathedral of Lectoure

  • The Old Bastion Promenade which leads you along the city wall. Stop at the Belvédère du château, to contemplate the view.
  • The Albinhac Tower, built in the 13th century, rebuilt in the 15th century. You can admire it during your visit to the city or enjoy it, since it hosts a restaurant.
  • The medieval garden, at the foot of the Albinhac tower.
  • The Cathedral Saint-Gervais Saint-Protais de Lectoure, built between the 12th and the 13th century, typical of the Gothic style méridionnal.
  • The Fountain of Diana and arcades of the 13th century.
  • The Carrelots are medieval streets. They are unusual because they are quite wide, which was not common at the time. They were used for transporting goods, hence their size, corresponding to the width of the carts.
  • The portal Cordeliers, the remains of a church from the 16th century.

Medieval garden
Lectoure
Lectoure   Lectoure

    Charming residences and mansions from the Renaissance and the Classical period
    • The Corhaut Tour Executioner or the 16th century. It is converted into housing in the 18th century.
    • The mansions of the rue Nationale are quite eloquent on the prosperity of Lectoure.
    • The town hall, housed in the former Bishop's Palace from the 17th century.
    • The Carmelite Chapel of the 17th century, the Hotel of the 18th century.
    • The house of Clarinets, a mansion of the 19th century.

    City Hall
    City Hall

      The artisanal and artistic heritage of Lectoure
      • The old hospital transformed into a village of second-hand dealers
      • The Royal Tannery
      • The General Watchmaking Manufacture
      • Lectoure Art and Photography Center
      • L'Atelier du Bleu in Lectoure

      Lectoure
      Lectoure second-hand dealers

        Did you know Until the 16th century, "Fleuree pastel" was the only blue dye in Europe. Subsequently, we will prefer indigo from India, but it will remain an agricultural tradition in the Gers. The " Bleu de Lectoure " has resumed its place and its culture in Lectoure, saving this local and traditional craft.


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        Activities around Lectoure

        Hiking to discover the Lomagne Valley

        Lectoure is classified among the " most beautiful detours in France ".

        You can also walk the Gers countryside on the Chemins de Compostelle.

        If you are looking for a more unusual theme for a walk, go to the Pigeonnier de Soupton, typical of the small heritage of the Gers. You will meet many others on the hiking trails of Lomagne, available at the Lectoure tourist office.


        Visit the surrounding villages

        • As a priority, the village of Castéra-Lectourois is nicknamed the “ Petit Lectoure ” because its structure is very similar. To see on site: the ramparts, the ruins of its two castles.
        • La Romieu and Angeline's cats.
        • Fleurance, a medieval bastide.

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        We hope that these few ideas made you want to visit Lectoure during your next vacation in the Gers. We just have to wish you wonderful discoveries in this village steeped in history.


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