Visit Auch (Midi-Pyrenees, France)
Auch is the capital of Gers (previously called Gascony) in the Midi Pyrenees region and lies about 80km west of Toulouse. It has an attractive medieval centre.
The main square, the Place de la Rebublique is at the heart of the old town in Auch. Its cathedral, Cathedrale Saint-Marie has recently been nominated a UNESCO site as part of the ‘Worldwide Cultural Heritage on the roads to Compostella’. It is an attractive cathedral which was begun in 1489 and completed two centuries later.
It has a classical façade with two 16/17th century towers in Renaissance style. Inside there are hand-carved oak stalls and stained glass windows by Arnaud de Moles.
On one corner of the square is the Tourist Information Office in one of the nicest buildings of the town. The building is 15th century. Pick up the guide for Auch from the office and there are two walks you can do in order to see the main sites. The ‘red route’ is a 45 minute walk in the medieval centre and the green guide is a 45 minute walk encompassing other sites in the town. The guides are available in English.
After looking at the cathedral in the centre of Auch wander round to the Place Salinis and see the Tour d’Armagnac. This is 40metres high and was a prison in the 14th century. Each of the seven upper floors in the tower was a prison cell.
From here the Escalier monumental (Great Staircase) leads down to the lower part of Auch. The Staircase is 35 metres high and has 234 steps. From the top there is a good view over the Gers valley with the Pyrenees in the distance. At the bottom there is a bronze statue of d’Artagnan, one of the king’s musketeers, who was born 30km from Auch.
Other sights to see in Auch
There is a lovely stone and wooden staircase in the inner courtyard of the Maison Henri IV where Henry allegedly stayed with Catherine de Medicis.
Auch Town Hall, built by Bursar d’Etigny, houses a lovely Italian-style theatre.
The Musee des Jacobins is housed in a former Dominican Convent built in 1386. Inside is a collection of pre-Columbian art (one of the best in France) and artefacts from the Gascon culture.
After visiting Auch itself head to the river where there is a 4km ‘discovery trail’ or you can enjoy the planted banks and relax.
The Jardin Ortholan and the Coulome Park also offer a chance to relax or take a picnic.
Photos of Auch
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Address: Auch, Gers, Midi-Pyrenees, 32000 || GPS: latitude 43.646, longitude 0.5855
Map of Auch & places nearby
Highlights close by
Vic Fezensac 26km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Auch, France
- Auch cathédrale St Just (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site
- Ordan-Larroque - ville fleurie 4* (11km)
- Lectoure - recommended detour (32km)
- Blaziert - ville fleurie 4* (33km)
- Gramont Chateau - national monument (35km)
- La Romieu Collegiale St Pierre (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (38km)
- Jardin et arboretum de Coursiana - remarkable garden (38km)
- Jardin de la poterie Hillen - remarkable garden (38km)
- Beaumont sur l'Osee pont d'Artigues (monuments on French pilgrim routes) - heritage site (39km)
- Larressingle - most beautiful village (40km)
Market days in Auch: Regular market(s) are held in Auch each Thursday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Auch (Francais)