Pezenas

Saturday Market in Pezenas, France

As you know by now, market day is my favorite time to visit new places in France.

 

Saturday Market in Uzes is a hard act to follow. Pezenas isn’t far behind.

 

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One of the “most beautiful towns” in Languedoc

Pezenas, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in the Languedoc-Roussilon area of France, was once the political center of the États du Languedoc and the home of Parliament. The Hôtel des Consuls (Consuls’ Palace) stands on one of the main squares (Place Gambettat) which, on market day, is surrounded by shoppers and tourists.

 

Hôtel des Consuls (Consuls’ Palace) on Place Gambetta in Pezenas

Hôtel des Consuls (Consuls’ Palace) on Place Gambetta in Pezenas

 

 

moliere  Moliere in Pezenas

The French Ministry of Culture designated Pezenas a Protected Area (Secteur sauvegardé) because of its over 30 historical monuments, including a monument dedicated to the French playwright, Moliere.

Apparently Moliere spent only a few days in Pezenas where he put on several of his less important theater works. Nevertheless, the town honors his contributions to the arts in France. For me, I need to learn more about Moliere than I picked up from the movie “Mozart.” In the film, Moliere was depicted as far from a “nice guy.”

 

 

 

Marianne, a symbol of the French Republic

One of the more obvious monuments in the center of Pezenas is a fountain with the statue of Marianne — a familiar symbol of the French Republic. Marianne triumphantly holds the flag of France in her left hand and a bolt of lighting in her right hand. The lighting rod symbolizes human rights “Droits de l’Homme”.

Statue of Marianne in Pezenas

Statue of Marianne in Pezenas

She stands atop a column which is surrounded by cherubs riding dolphins. On the column is inscribed with the motto of France: “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.” The statue in the Cours Jean-Jaurès. was molded in 1880. The fountain was built in 1887.

 

"Marianne", a symbol of the French nation, standing in Pezenas

“Marianne”, a symbol of the French nation, standing in Pezenas

 

Architecture in Pezenas

During my short half-day stay in Pezenas, I was struck by the awesome architecture in the town. I understand most of the large building were hotels or homes. The French and other Europeans of long ago loved to stay or visit in Pezenas because of its beauty, culture and proximity to the Mediterranean.  Many of the town’s structures qualify for the  “Inventaire des Monuments Historiques” for their “porte à colonne et ponton” or “entrance with columns and carvings.”

 

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Doorway in Pezenas

Doorway in Pezenas

Pezenas doorway

Pezenas doorway

Mostly, I was blown away by the vaulted passageways. They are not uncommon in France, but here they seemed more colorful, friendly and inviting.

Street scene on market day in Pezenas

Street scene on market day in Pezenas

Passageway in Pezenas

Passageway in Pezenas

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Food and more

For a solo female traveler, one of the things I often judge about a place is how comfortable I feel having a meal alone.  In Pezenas, the scenery around the eateries — especially those in the city squares — is enough to keep you company. Here’s my view at lunchtime that day.

The Plat Du Jour

Plat du Jour in Pezenas

Plat du Jour in Pezenas – Gratin de Fruits de Mer

Jeweler in Pezenas

Jeweler in Pezenas

Later, after spending more time than I should visiting with the designer at a fabulous jewelry shop …

… here’s the view when I stopped for an afternoon refreshment.

 Pezenas is a MUST GO BACK TO! place. There’s so much more to see and do.  Stay tuned for more …

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12 replies »

  1. Deborah I just saw Lynn McBride’s recommendation to visit your blog, merci Lynn. I look forward to contacting you via email. We rented a village house in Pezenas and like you loved the Saturday market. We followed our hearts and dreams of living full time in France in 2012 having visited yearly for twenty years or more. Like you we obtained the long stay visa and renewed it the second year. We just returned to the U.S. for a wedding and to spend time with family for the holidays. Plan to return in early January 2016. So happy you are living your dream in beautiful Uzes, anothe favorite of ours. So looking forward to connecting with you soon. Wishing you much happiness and fulfillment. A tres bientot.

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    • Thank you for reaching out to me and for sharing your happy story. I’m so happy to know others who have acted on their dreams and made a new life they love. Hope you will get to Uzes and we can meet sometime. Love Lynn’s blog! We were almost neighbors in the states!

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  2. I went to Pezenas when I was in Montpelier and loved it! I agree about the solo dining comfort level…I had lunch at the very same restaurant and was very at ease..and there was so much to see! It’s on my list of places to consider.

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  3. Deborah the pictures are wonderful and really give one a feel for this beautiful village. I can hardly wait to visit. The people, the colors and the food look like my cup of tea or perhaps my verre de vin rouge!!!

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    • Pezenas may be that one place that I could have lived if I hadn’t fallen in love with Uzes. They seem very much alike. I’m anxious to visit during the summer for some of the festivals… Next year! Thanks for your note, June!

      Liked by 1 person

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