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Through time

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  • 17 Million years ago Before the Gascons

    After 120 million years beneath the sea, the water finally retreated in the early part of the Tertiary era, some 24 million years ago. The Gascon territory was then shaped by the orogenesis of the Pyrenean mountain range, extensive erosion and sedimentary deposits. During the Miocene era, between twenty-four and five million years ago, the area was a subtropical jungle which can be discerned in the important palaeontological sites of Montreal-du-Gers (17 Million years old) and La Romieu (13 million years old) where a huge wealth of fossils are to be found.

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  • 5 Million Years Ago to 2000 BC Prehistory

     The Gascony region in the Gers was occupied by humans in prehistoric times — traces are found at La Romieu from 300,000 BC. Nomadic Homo sapiens from the Upper Paleolithic (38,000 to 10,000 BC) made short stops at La Brette (near Condom ) along the migration routes of large wild herbivores. Neolithic people settled permanently in the Aquitaine basin around 5000 BC where they invented agriculture and domesticated animals... a new world was born!

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  • 2000 BC to 100 BC Celts and Gauls

    In the first millennium BC, after the Bronze Age, the Celts settled in the area and mixed with the Aquitaine peoples, going on to occupy the entire territory. Divided into many tribes, such as the Nitiobroges, the Elusates and the Lactorates, their descendants founded Gallic towns and oppida (high, often fortified strongholds). They organized the territory around natural trade routes, promoting exchanges and the development of new settlements.

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  • 100 BC to 476 AD From Aquitaine to Roman Novempopulanie

    After the Roman conquest of 56 BC, the romanization of Aquitaine spread out from the river Garonne and the old Gallic trade routes. The north-south path of the “Ténarèze” was particularly developed. From the third to the seventh century AD, the new province of Novempopulanie — “the new people” — was created, with its capital at Elusa, the ancient name for Eauze. This Roman city reigned over a landscape of large agricultural domains, at the head of which can be found a country residence, the villa of Séviac. From the fourth to the sixth century, the area was hit hard by the so-called “barbarian” invasions. The region, by then Christianised, underwent a major economic downturn.

    The Gallo-Roman Villa at Séviac

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  • 500 AD to 1453 AD Medieval Gascony

    At the end of the seventh century, the Basques took possession of the lands to the south of the Garonne and gave their name to Gascony (Vasconie) which then fell under the aegis of the dukes of Aquitaine in the eighth century and the Counts of Fézensac in the ninth and tenth centuries. From 1100 to 1300, feudal fragmentation led to the independence of local fiefdoms, against the government Aquitaine and the king of France. Gascony was soon covered with castlesand new constructions — “sauvetés”, “castelnaux” and “bastides” such as those at Larressingle and Montreal. The important religious upswing of the time made a major contribution with the Cistercian Abbey of Flaran, La Romieu, and the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela.

    Flaran Abbey

    The village of Larressingle

    Bastide de Montréal

    Bastide de Valence sur Baïse

    Pont de l'Artigue

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  • From 1453 to 1789 The Modern Era

    Once integrated into the Duchy of Aquitaine, Gascony was involved in the conflict between the French and English royalty, and the quarrel between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians which were considered an endemic pest! During the Renaissance, with the arrival of reformist arguments, the area around Monluc became a battlefield, before the region was integrated into the royal domain under king Henri IV, in 1607. While the regions famous sons, such as D'Artagnan covered it in glory, the Gascony of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was administered, year after year, like any other royal generality.

    The Episcopal City of Condom

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  • From 1789 to the Present Day A Rural Society

    Established in 1790, the département of “$1Armagnac ou de Gers” was caught up in the turmoil of the revolution and the Napoleonic Empire which followed it. Ever faithful to their ancestors, the Gers people, with famous figures such as Marechal Lannes, distinguished themselves, both on land and sea. The Second Empire brought an economic boom, marked by the arrival of the railways and the increasing fame of Gers wines which reached its zenith in 1870. The rural exodus and the phylloxera outbreak of 1878 put an end to this golden age of the Gers countryside.

    See the Church Museam of the Pradau at Condom

  • From 1789 to the Present Day One conflict to Another

    Despite the benefits of the traditional agriculture and the certification of Armagnac - the local "firewater", the Gers country, like all rural departments, suffered extremely heavy losses during the First World War. Depopulation increased afterwards and the area became a land of immigration — up to 10% in 1936. During the Second World War, after the southern part of France was occupied, its position "between the two seas", along with its unique landscape, made it an ideal base for several centres of the French Résistance, notably in Castelnau and Meillan.

    Armagnac Museum at Condom

    The Village of Castelnau sur l'Auvignon

  • From 1789 to the Present Day Entering Modernity

    A wonderfully preserved département with a remarkable heritage, both structural and cultural, the Ténarèze enjoys its privileged location, at the meeting point of many unique features. The pilgrimage way to Santiago de Compostela, the smooth roaming paths along the river Baise, beautiful landscapes to discover, wonderful food and armagnac to savour, celebrations and festivals, museums and architectural heritage, and the intimate atmosphere of the Cistercian abbey of Flaran...

     

    Everything comes together to fulfil all your expectations and ensure you have the very best of times!

    Flaran Abbey

    The Double Canal Lock at Graziac

    The Armagnac Greenway