As you know by now, market day is my favorite time to visit new places in France.
Saturday Market in Pézenas
Saturday in Uzès is a hard act to follow. Saturday market in Pézenas isn’t far behind.
One of the “most beautiful towns” in Languedoc
Pézenas, considered 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), surrounded by shoppers and tourists on market day.
The French Ministry of Culture designated Pézenas a Protected Area (Secteur sauvegardé) because of its over thirty historical monuments, including a monument dedicated to the French playwright Moliere.
Moliere spent only a few days in Pézenas, where he put on several of his less critical theater works. Nevertheless, the town honors his contributions to the arts in France. I need to learn more about Moliere than I picked up from the movie “Mozart.” Moliere was depicted as far from a “nice guy.”
Marianne, a symbol of the French Republic
One of the more apparent monuments in the center of Pézenas 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 lightning in her right hand. The lighting rod symbolizes human rights, “Droits de l’Homme.”
She stands atop a column that 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.
Architecture in Pézenas
During my short half-day stay in Pézenas, I was struck by the incredible architecture in the town. I understand most of the large buildings were hotels or homes. The French and other Europeans of long ago loved to stay or visit 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.”
Mostly, I was blown away by the vaulted passageways. They are not uncommon in France, but here they seemed more colorful, friendly, and inviting.
Saturday Market in Pézenas
Food and more
As a solo female traveler, one of the things I often judge about a place is how comfortable I feel having a meal alone. In Pézenas, 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
After spending more time than I should have with the designer at a fabulous jewelry shop early in the day… here’s the welcoming sight waiting for me when I stopped in later for an afternoon refreshment.
Pézenas is a MUST-GO-BACK TO! place. There’s so much more to see and do. Stay tuned for more …