Mont d'Astarac, Midi-Pyrenees: tourism & sightseeing
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The village of Mont d'Astarac is situated on a small hill in the quiet countryside of the southern Gers department (Gascony), north of Saint-Gaudens and south of Auch.
With a history dating back to 930 AD, Mont d'Astarac was at one time an important regional centre and capital of the Astarac region, with fortifications including a deep ditch and walls around the town.
Exploring Mont d'Astarac
Now a very small and quiet village, it is interesting to visitors in search of the authentic 'France profonde' during their travels, and deserves to be visited for its monuments that are registered as Historic Monuments.
The original entrance to the village is a gateway in the recently restored stone tower. Opposite the tower and also largely restored in recent years, you can see the church and tower.
The highlight is the exceptional murals dating from the 15th century, discovered in the Church of Saint-Laurent in June 1968 and which allowed the church to regain its former magnificence, a small reminder of the times the counts of Gascony were established here in Astarac.
The murals tell many stories from the bible such as the Last Judgement, the resurrection and the entry into Jerusalem as well as a large panel depicting the 'Tree of Jessé' which traces the lineage of Jesus from Jessé, the father of King David.
Note; these two monuments and several other houses together represent almost the whole of the village of Mont d'Astarac so a visit really does only take a short time: a place to visit if you are passing or want to see the murals rather than somewhere to travel a long way to reach.
Route des Peintures Murales
One attractive route to follow through the region if you are interested in church art and frescoes is the 'Route des Peintures Murales et des Sculptures' proposed by the Gers tourist authorities.
This route visits Mont d'Astarac, then Belloc-Saint-Clemens, Lourties-Montbrun, Seissan and Simorre to the north of here, Chelan and Ponsan-Soubiran to the west and Sariac-Magnoac, Monleon-Magnoac and Boulogne-sur-Gesse to the south. Not all these churches are always open - see the map and church opening times at Route des Peintures Murals de Gers.
The region around Mont d'Astarac
Exploring the surrounding region you will be struck by the peaceful countryside and the slow pace of life here in Gascony.
Among towns and places of interest a little further afield we suggest you visit the market town of Auch and the village and cathedral of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges. If you are visiting during the first half of August be sure to visit Marciac, home to one of the most important jazz festivals in France.
Photos of Mont d'Astarac
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Map of Mont d'Astarac and places to visit
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Address: Mont-d'Astarac, Masseube, Mirande, Gers, Midi-Pyrenees, 32140, France || GPS: latitude 43.329167, longitude 0.568889
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardin de la poterie Hillen: remarkable garden (4km)
- Montmaurin Gallo-Roman Villa: national monument (13km)
- Gorges de la Save: site of natural beauty (13km)
The French version of this page is at Mont d'Astarac (Francais)