VISIT SAUVETERRE DE BÉARN
It is a journey through history that you will experience in the community of communes of Béarn des Gaves. Located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, this site is home to famous medieval villages that exude history and authenticity.
Sauveterre-de-Béarn is one of the most beautiful communities in Béarn. Why not spend your next holiday there? Before you go, make sure you book your stay at the Beau Rivage campsite. This is an excellent 3 star campsite in the Pyrenees. It’s only about 20 kilometres from Sauveterre-de-Béarn, which is about 20 minutes by car.
Sauveterre-de-Béarn, a village of character with a rich past
The medieval town of Sauveterre-de-Béarn was founded in the 11th century. At that time, it was a refuge for the most destitute. It was between the 13th and 14th centuries that Sauveterre-de-Béarn joined the list of the main villages of Béarn.
One of the pilgrims’ routes to Compostela
Sauveterre-de-Béarn was also enriched by the frequent visits of the pilgrims of Compostela. The latter used to take the Vézelay route, which is very close to the medieval village.
A Scottish writer by the name of Robert Louis Stevenson also walked this path and visited Sauveterre-de-Béarn. “When you walk, you must let your thoughts take on the colour of what you see”, he said of the town.
Visit Sauveterre-de-Béarn: historical and cultural monuments to see
In this exceptional destination, you will have the opportunity to admire the remains of the medieval architecture, witnesses of the rich history of the city.
The Bridge of Legend
Among the famous monuments of the city, figure the Bridge of the Legend. Built between the XII and XIII century, it constituted in the time, the door of entry of Sauveterre-de-Béarn. It owes its name to the legend of Queen Sancie. It is said that she was thrown into the waters of the Gave – one of the rivers in the Béarn des Gaves area – with her hands and feet tied!
The Monréal Tower
Listed as a historical monument since 1886, the Monréal Tower was built in the 12th century. Standing 37 metres high, it allowed soldiers to keep an eye on possible Basque and Spanish intrusions. Today, the Tower houses precious objects from that period, as well as a model of the medieval village of Sauveterre-de-Béarn.
The Pigeon House of Coulomme
Listed as a Historic Monument since 1981, the Pigeonnier de Coulomme is one of the most beautiful houses in the town. It is a notable house built in 1640.
Fort Tolose was built in 1580, during the Wars of Religion. The construction made it possible to fortify the northern part of the ramparts of Sauveterre-de-Béarn.
Things to do in and around Sauveterre-de-Béarn
In addition to the historical and cultural monuments, local events are also an integral part of the history of the medieval city.
The Belles Blondes
It is an annual festival which makes the village vibrate during all summer. As tradition dictates, the magnificent Blondes d’Aquitaine take over Sauveterre-de-Béarn to adorn the walls with art and precision.
The event is rounded off by the Blonde d’Aquitaine Fair. This includes livestock exhibitions, garage sales, small local markets, a popular dance and many other activities.
A good number of guided tours are organised in Sauveterre-de-Béarn. Through these, a guide will accompany you to visit the historical monuments of the city, such as the Monréal Tower, but also the natural sites of the region such as the valley of the Gave d’Oloron.