The historic and pretty town of Bazas in the Gironde

Written by on March 18, 2018 in Aquitaine

Gascony remains unchanged since the 1950s by industry, tourism or major highways, its landscape has stayed resolutely agricultural for centuries. Soft white clouds languish in deep blue skies above fields of bright yellow sunflowers, sun-kissed vineyards that stretch to the horizon, and velvet green pastures dotted with gaggles of geese and cream-coloured cows, Gascony’s appeal is seductively earthy, full-bodied and lusty, like its wines. It’s a culinary heartland of garlic, foie gras, duck confit, and France’s oldest brandy, Armagnac, and is as authentically farm-to-table as it gets.

Bazas in the Gironde Department

Perched on a cliff and surrounded by spectacular vineyards – most notably those of Château d’Yquem – Bazas is a jewel in the Gironde department. For 2,500 years Bazas was the capital city of the Celts, then the Romans. According to legend, its original church held a coveted relic which gave the town its prominence: a cloth with the blood of St. John the Baptist, wiped up by a woman from Bazas. The building of a church began in 1233 to house the cloth, which remained there until the French Revolution in 1789, when a fanatic ripped it from its shrine and threw it into a cesspool.

This amazing Gothic cathedral was finally completed in 1635 and sits on an imposing rise at the end of an unusually vast, arcaded square that provides shelter and shade for shops and cafés. It’s serpentine, cobbled streets beckon admirers to view an eclectic variety of bourgeois houses and gardens.

Bazas was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998. It lies just off the Bordeaux-Graves-Sauternes Wine Route, where you can journey through 7,300 hectares of vineyards and visit some 494 winemakers in 52 villages for wine tastings.

Sue Aran is a local guide and expert on the area, find her at www.FrenchCountryAdventures.com

Read the expert’s guide to Gascony in the Autumn issue of The Good Life France Magazine which is free to read online, download and subscribe to.

Related Articles

Best things to do in Dordogne for families

Dordogne really does have something to please everyone. And, when it comes to families, there’s heaps to do for the kids too. Accommodation for families When taking kids on holiday, choosing the right accommodation right is a big part of a successful break. Chateau de Sadillac near Bergerac is the perfect holiday home for families […]

Continue Reading

The best tours of Dordogne

The Dordogne Valley in south west France is special. It’s the sort of place that you go to once and always long to return. Luscious landscapes, rivers and forests, vineyards and orchards peppered with the prettiest of villages and historic towns like medieval Sarlat and lofty Rocamadour. There’s no better way to discover the very […]

Continue Reading

Ten brilliant things to do in Dordogne

Dordogne in southwest France is one of those places you can’t help fall in love with. It’s a verdant land of medieval villages and majestic chateaux, vineyards and pretty villages, forests, rivers and lakes. We asked the team at the private family holiday Chateau de Sadillac to share their top ten things to do in […]

Continue Reading

The best Bordeaux Wine and discovery Tours

Bordeaux nestles on the edge of a river, surrounded by world famous vineyards in sunny south west France. A 20 year rejuvenation project has left the UNESCO listed neoclassical architecture of the city gleaming and given it a unique air of vibrancy and joie d vivre. When it comes to visiting Bordeaux, you’re utterly spoiled […]

Continue Reading

What to see and do in Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

The lovely hilltop town of Saint-Emilion in Bordeaux, surrounded by vineyards is a wine legend. UNESCO listed, as well as a “plus beau village de France” (officially one of the most beautiful villages) its medieval streets are an absolute delight. Here’s what to see and do in Saint-Emilion. You don’t have to be a wine […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top