I Love My Town: Nérac
Since being in South West France and working as an estate agent - I am lucky that I get to see many different towns in my region - it is one of the many perks of the job and I have learnt so much...
One I keep finding myself revisiting is Nérac: it lies on both sides of the Baïse river just on the southern edge of the Lot-et-Garonne department and is one of the many medieval towns to be found in France and holds some historical importance.
Nérac was the capital of the historical Albret region on the northern edge of Gascony. You find a lot of historical regional names down here - Gascony, Perigord; Quercy - Albret has an interesting history, so much so that you find a lot of tourist information is used to describe the region around Nérac.
One of the buildings that always strikes me is the Chateau Henry IV - there’s a reason it attracts the most visitors to Nérac - it is just amazing. Even though only part of the original chateau remains today, it is a very impressive wing that must be seen to be appreciated!Go along and visit the museum that is now housed in the castle itself, absorb the history of the region and the Albret family - it is quite an experience to stand in place that holds such historical significance.
Of course there’s also the town hall, it used to be the town’s prison, a fire in 1611 destroyed the original town hall - a shame as I understand it was one of the oldest buildings in Nérac at the time. There’s also a huge church - Église Saint-Nicolas -that is quite a feature with its baroque style facade from the 18th century. It is well worth a poke around inside for the wall paintings and stained-glass windows that were added around the middle of the 19th century. I could go on about the many attractive buildings around the centre of Nérac!
I definitely recommend taking a wander up to the viewpoint (belvedere) where you can experience the views over the town and the river. Or even have a walk through the Parc Royal de la Garenne. It used to be a royal hunting ground and now is really lovely with fountains and foliage. One of these days I am going to have a better look at this beautiful stretch of the Baise river and take one of the boat trips on offer.
So far I have enjoyed the market days on Saturday mornings and last year I made it to the flower market in May which was just a lovely sight. When it gets to summer I go to the night markets which are on every Tuesday throughout the season, lots of delicious cuisine and music and a real mixture of locals, tourists and expats. What’s more I have noticed this town in very family friendly with its schools and colleges, water park and a ludo.
If you are looking for a lifestyle that gives you access to this type of culture, and much more that I simply cannot put into words...have a look here at the properties in this area