"Pays d’art et d’histoire" Top 5 Page for this destination Pézenas by JLBG
Pézenas Travel Guide: 37 reviews and 106 photos
Pezenas is a 8,000 inhabitants city with a long and rich history. It is 20 km inland from the Mediterranean sea, 50 km west to Béziers, 25 km east to Montpellier and 20 km north to Sète.
Until the mid XXth century, the coast of Languedoc was sparsely inhabited as it was a series of unhealthy swamps, with a lot of malaria. The living part of Languedoc was inland, like Pézenas. The “Foires du Languedoc” (Languedoc fairs) were held three times a year in Pézenas and were famous since the Middle ages for wool trade. They brought together traders from the whole Mediterranean basin, from Spain to Italy, Greece and Turkey.
I had often been in Pézenas in the past and knew it was a culture dedicated city and officially labeled as “Cité d’Art”. The memory of Molière is still living. No wonder that the city celebrates its living memory and had a monument for him, a restaurant named after him, a scenovision.
The whole old city is a “secteur sauvegardé” and the upper town “site classé”. More than 30 monuments, buildings, mansions, etc, are inscribed at the “inventaire des Monuments Historiques”.
Before Molière, born as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, was looked at in Paris as a great play writer and a great actor, for ten years, he strolled the roads of the Languedoc province with his “Illustre theatre” troup. Pézenas being the seat of the “États du Languedoc”, he played often in Pézenas. Writer Marcel Pagnol wrote “Jean-Baptiste Poquelin est né à Paris ; Molière est né à Pézenas” (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was born in Paris ; Molière was born in Pézenas). Several of his plays are based on characters he met in Pézenas.
Brasserie Molière stands just outside of the old town, 100 m away from the Tourist Office. It is a pub and brewery with... more travel advice
Church St André is one of few examples of Gothic architecture in the South of France. It was designated with three naves... more travel advice
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