What to visit in Mont-de-Marsan: discover the must-see attractions of the Landes capital!

Published on 08/11/2022

A former 12th century fortified town that has become the capital of the Landes, Mont-de-Marsan is a town of art and history that deserves more than a simple diversions. What to visit in Mont-de-Marsan, what to do, where to go and where to walk? This is what we will discover in this article.

THE OLD TOWN OF MONT-DE-MARSAN

In the heart of the Landes, at the confluence of two rivers, the Midou and the Douze, Mont-de-Marsan (32,000 inhabitants) is one of the most touristic cities in the South-West. A must-see during your camping holiday in the Landes!

Founded in 1133 by Pierre de Marsan, the current prefecture of the Landes was the main fortified town of the Landes. It once housed a medieval fortress built around the "Bourg Vieux" and a castle located on the site of the current Theatre, known as "le Castelnau".

From this period, the ancient fortified town of Landes has kept part of its ramparts, about ten metres high, built between the 12th and 13th centuries, and the Lacataye Keep, the town's major defensive building. Several Romanesque fortified houses, the medieval covered passages of the Rue des Arceaux and the old river port built on the left bank of the Midouze still bear witness to the rich historical past of the city of Montpellier.

But what makes this Gascony city so original are the numerous sculptures that decorate the streets and squares of the historic centre, the parks and gardens, which earned it the nickname "Capital of Sculpture".

THE DESPIAU-WLÉRICK SCULPTURE MUSEUM

Housed in a group of medieval buildings from the 14th century, under the belvedere of the Lacataye keep, the museum houses more than 2,000 figurative sculptures (from 1850 to the present day) based on the work of two sculptors born in Mont-de-Marsan: Charles Despiau and Robert Wlérick. Other graphic works have progressively enriched the collections, which now include more than 11,000 paintings, engravings and drawings. The visit continues in the sculpture garden, where several monumental works are on display.

THE MARKET OF SAINT-ROCH

Classified as one of the "100 most beautiful markets in France", the Saint-Roch market is held twice a week on the eponymous square. You will find all the products that the Landes region has to offer for a fine palate. A short digestive walk is then necessary on the banks of the Midouze, along the cale de l'abreuvoir, to discover the river heritage of the old port area.

THE MADELEINE FESTIVAL

Mont-de-Marsan is also a town with a sense of celebration and every year it organises the famous Madeleine festival. During the third week of July, more than 400,000 festayres dressed in blue and white flood into the town. Bullfights mingle with Landes races in the Plumaçon bullring, while float parades, joyful bandas and bodegas enliven the streets of the city centre.

THE ANIMAL PARK OF NAHUQUES

Created in 1978, the Mont-de-Marsan animal park offers an original walk that is very popular with families. In the shade of large oak trees, you can see llamas, deer, ponies, Patagonian hares and many other animals. A great place to go with your children. And what's more, it's free!

THE JEAN RAMEAU PARK

Well known to the inhabitants of Montois, this park was formerly called "La Pépinière". It now bears the name of a novelist and poet from the Landes region at the beginning of the 20th century. Located in the loop of the Douze, the 6-hectare park is organised around a Japanese garden, a hydrangea garden and a fern garden, with nearly 80 different species of trees.

You might be interested in this news

Blog valise au Camping le Vieux Port 5 étoiles dans les Landes

Packing: the ultimate checklist to avoid forgetting anything when camping

We don't always think about it, but camping holidays can be organised. Starting with your suitcase! And packing at the last minute is the best way to forget the essentials. So here's a little checklist of the essentials to pack (or not!) for your holiday in the Landes!

The camper's first challenge: travel light!

Very often, we tend to take too many clothes when we go on holiday. The aim is to avoid unnecessary clutter, starting with your wardrobe. Forget the superfluous! If necessary, you can go to the campsite launderette to run a machine.

Blog parcs et jardins proche du Camping le Vieux Port 5 étoiles dans les Landes

A breath of fresh air: parks and gardens where you can recharge your batteries

In the Landes, the parks and gardens will soon reopen their doors to the public, and with them, the possibility of (finally) reconnecting with nature...

At a time when the need to get some fresh air is felt more than ever, parks and gardens offer a calm and green setting to give free rein to our desire to stroll and escape. Here is a small selection of places not to be missed to get some fresh air, enjoy nature and go green in the Landes.

arrow_back
arrow_forward