Self-guided tour through picturesque Pézenas

By June 25, 2019TO SEE, TOWN
TO SEE | TOWN
Pézenas

The historic centre of the town of Pézenas has an unexpected and charming artistic vibe. Once the political capital of the Languedoc region and an important trading town, Pézenas has known great periods of prosperity. You can still visit many traditional artists and craftworkers, and of course you can follow in the footsteps of the famous French playwriter and actor Molière. Another option is to go on a self-guided city tour and explore the town at your own pace.

Hôtel de Lacoste

Although in the past I have loved strolling through beautiful Pézenas, I never really knew where I was going. So this time I decided to visit the Office de Tourisme first, and, to my surprise, they offered me a guide (in English!) with a marked out route along the town’s highlights. You can follow the long tour over about 2.5 hours; I opted for the short version of about 1.5 hours. Starting just a few steps from Tourist Information, I followed the numbered arrows that indicate the route. The first monument on the tour is the Hôtel de Lacoste of the Montégut family on Rue François. You can even go into the courtyard of this 16th-century hotel and marvel at its rib vaulted staircase.

Hôtel de Lacoste

Maison Consulaire

I spotted some nice restaurants on Rue François Oustrin, but unfortunately I didn’t have time for lunch. Will save that for my next visit. Arriving at the Place Gambetta, the first building my eye was drawn to was the Maison Consulaire. This classified historic monument from the 17th century used to be a consular building and now functions as a 300m2 art and crafts centre where 200 artists and craftworkers exhibit their work. It’s called La Maison des Métiers d’Art, and if you have the time it’s definitely worth having a peek inside (it’s closed on Mondays and Sundays).

Maison Consulaire

Maze

My self-guided tour led me from the Hôtel de Peyrat, with its two corbelled turrets, to the enclosure of the feudal castle. This castle, first mentioned in historical records in 990, was completely destroyed in 1632. Via the Rue du Château and Rue de la Foire I went back into the city centre through a maze of little cobbled streets. Here I lost track a little, as the many delightful shops distracted me from my route…

Rue de la Foire Pézenas

Facades

Through the Porte Faugères, one of the last remaining sections of the medieval town wall, I entered the Pézenas of the 17th and 18th centuries. From the Cours Jean Jaurès, with its many elegant facades, I walked to the fountain on the Place de la République and back into town again. The last part of the walk was a bit less interesting I thought. Although… it led me to the Avenue Aristide Briand and Avenue Verdun with their many antique and second-hand shops. Altogether, the guide helped me to discover Pézenas in an informative and fun way: at my own pace and with plenty of time for an ice cream.

Cours Jean Jaurès Pézenas

Info

Pézenas is a lovely town to visit throughout the year, although it is more lively during the Spring and especially Summer time. There is a big food and non-food market every Saturday from 09h00 till 18h00. Also the biennial Foire à la Brocante looks like it would be interesting and worth a visit: it takes place every year on the first Sunday in May and the second Sunday in October.

Parking

There is free parking at the Promenade du Pré Saint-Jean, although it is nearly impossible to find a spot during peak hours such as on a Saturday during the market. Otherwise you can also try the paid parking lot Voltaire on Boulevard Voltaire, which is close to the Office de Tourisme.

Office de Tourisme
Place des États du Languedoc
34120 Pézenas
33 (0)4 67 98 36 40

website

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