Small village of nearly 400 inhabitants, Esquièze-Sère takes place in Occitania, in the department of Hautes-Pyrenees. It is located in the arrondissement of Argelès, at 720 meters above sea level, in the heart of the Gave de Gavarnie valley.
Recent, the commune of Esquièze-Sère was born in the middle of the XIXe century of the fusion of two villages, Esquièze and Sère-Barèges. Known for its culture of wheat raised at the beginning of the XIXth siege, it is nowadays focused on tourism, and in particular sports tourism.
The village is located at the foot of several ski resorts, those of Luz-Ardiden, that of Barèges Grand Tourmalet and that of Gèdre-Gavarnie. Lovers of ancient traditions and culture will also find their happiness through the important architectural heritage that marks the whole commune of Esquièze-Sère and its surroundings.
Classified as Historic Monuments, the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste is located in the old village of Sère-Barèges. It was built in the Romanesque style in the 11th century and reveals a charming bell-tower. Inside the building, you can admire a high altar decorated with a baroque altarpiece of the eighteenth century, such as the baptism of Christ in wooden sculptures gilt to the leaf. Around it, we find various decorations such as garlands, foliage, or even flowery paintings. Side altarpieces, including the Holy Family and a Virgin and Child, are also attributed to the same artist, Jean Brunello.
Inscribed in the supplementary inventory of Historical Monuments, the church of Saint-Nicolas takes place in the village of Esquièze. More recent, it dates from the 14th century and was decorated with a bell-tower and a square tower in the sixteenth century. Enlarged in the middle of the XIXth century, it presents very beautiful personages and other decorative elements painted or gilded to the leaf like this statue of St. Nicholas surrounded by two little girls and two apostles. Note that the building also features two paintings classified as Historic Monuments as an object, a Spanish-style crucifixion and a nineteenth-century baptism.
On the Place de l'Arole, do not miss the large fountain, nor the large white house of the nineteenth century built by Bernard Verges. The latter is known to have played a very important role in the trade of mules with Spain.
Once a priory of Barège, the Chateau Sainte-Marie stands proudly above the valleys. Built probably in the 13th century, it was burned at the beginning of the 15th century by the English. Already in a sad state in the seventeenth century, the building today has two defensive towers, a round tower and a square keep in pebbles and stones. The castle offers a breathtaking view over the valleys of the Gave de Pau and the Bastan.
Skiing enthusiasts can head to Luz-Ardiden station at an altitude of 740 meters. The ski area extends over sixty kilometers with twenty-six tracks of all levels. Very family-run, it also unveils a Nordic course, alpine ski slopes, snowboard, or snowshoe trails.