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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Follow the Gallo-Roman footsteps - Pau, France

Tour the historic heart of Lescar

Tours and suggestions of the Tourism Office
Medieval walking tour  - A guided tour of the city through the ramparts, the towers, the Episcopal                                                palace and Notre Dame Cathedral

Summer torch lit night tour - A walking tour with costumed guides that includes a hippocras tasting
                                               and an organ concert

Secrets of Bearm - In summer  we offer a guided tour by a local story teller who will tell you all
                               about the traditions, homes and languages in the land of Bearn

Information and bookings:   T:  +33 5 59 81 15 98

At the bottom of today's hill by the Gave, there lived a nomad tribe called  Venami, who settled on the site of  Lascurris (lasca meaning stone and uri water). After roman colonization, in the 1st century
AC the Civtas Benearnemsium (City of the Vernami) was created and became the first urban centre of the area, it soon became the capital, a beautiful city with rich domi (homes)  full of mosaics and protected by the ramparts of which the remnants from the  IVth century can still be seen today.  With time, the name was shortened and changed Beneamensium, Benehamium (from which comes Bearn) in the IXth century, the city was destroyed  by Norman invaders.

There are still many traces of this history present in the Espace Art et Culture.  The collection from the antique era is presented in an environment that portrays the mysteries around Lescar's long history.

1 - Yet, today the Gallo-Roman history reappears in vestiges and furniture, The bronze vase with a
      clovered lip, the sigillated italic ceramic with erotic motifs and mosaic from the Villa in the
      Saint-Michel district are shown at Art & Culture Space

      Espace  Art & Culture - Rue de la Cite' - Lescar      Tel:  05 59 81 15 98

2 - La Cathedrale de Lescar
     The building of the Romanesque cathedral started  in the year 1120., during the Spanish crusades.
     The cathedral has been listed "Historic Monument" since 1843.  During its visit, you will see the
     capitals, the Romanesque mosaic of "the young Moorish hunter"; the romantic organ of the 19th         century, the furniture of the 17th and 18th century, the modillions of the apse as well as the mural
    painting of the 17th century in the choir.  Some of Navarre kings and queens such as the mural
    such as the Henri IV's grand-parents were buried there.

3 - Quickly, Lascurensis became an important cathedral town known as a "septenary city" because
      of its 7 churches, 7 towers, 7 doors, 7 mills, 7 vineyards, 7 woods, 7 fountains.  From this legend,
      the "Esquirette tower-door" closing the West entrance of the city can still be seen.

4 - At the North of the city, there was the Bishop's Palace built in the 14th century and destroyed              during the French Revolution.  The West tower probably used as a prison is today's only remains.

5 - The South wall is facing the Pyrenees. Down on the right, the former "Barnabites" College has            been replaced today by the Lescar High School. In the 17th century, the Barnabites monks from          Italy moved into one of the city towers.  In the late 18th century, there was a building dedicated
     to them.
     Still on the South wall, the octagonal "Presbytery" staircase with a beautiful pinnacle door....

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