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Nature in the south west of France
04 August 2016

Following the Garonne: exploring the Marmande area

The area around Marmande is a land of history, a place where you can enjoy the pleasant way of life and a rich and sometimes surprising heritage. As you cruise along the Garonne, moor your deluxe boat and explore the delights of the heart of Aquitaine.

Le Mas d’Agenais

Start your excursion at Le Mas d’Agenais with its 2000-year history. It may be small, but it’s packed with heritage. This is where the magnificent Venus du Mas was found. It dates from the first century BC and is currently exhibited in the Agen Museum. Art lovers take note, there’s an exceptional work of art hidden away in the collegiate church: Rembrandt’s Christ on the Cross, which came to the town by various roundabout routes. If you want to please your own palate, head to the market on a Thursday morning, under the grain market, where you’ll find all the local culinary specialities. If you like staying active you’ll be spoilt for choice on the banks of the Garonne: there’s a green way, walking routes, cycle touring circuits and much more.


Marmande

Let your barge drift down the Garonne towards Marmande, the capital of the tomato! If you’re keen on history you won’t be disappointed: this thousand-year-old town, founded in 1182 by Richard the Lionheart, has historical relics hidden away. There’s the delightful church of Notre Dame de Marmande, with its cloister and superb garden, a little jewel of horticulture, like Versailles in miniature. For art-lovers, the Gallery of Sacred Art is near the cloister, with its collection of 19th century relics. Other curiosities to explore include the Rue Labat and its lovely half-timbered houses, the fortified tower known as the Tour du Passeur, the chapel of Saint Benedict and the historic mosaic.


Nuits Lyriques in the Marmande area

Marmande is the capital of music as well! From 20 to 29 August, the Nuits Lyriques will take place: a whole symphony of classical concerts in various venues around the town. During the final week, there will be an international singing competition, with over 180 young artists representing 30 different nationalities. Make sure you book you seats: the festival’s reputation attracts big crowds!


History, heritage and culture are the treasures of the Marmande area.  Discover it all as you glide along on your barge cruise!

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