Perched on a gentle promontory above the rushing waters of the Gave d'Oloron, the medieval town of Sauveterre-de-Béarn not only has a remarkable architectural heritage, but also a wonderful natural environment...
This particularly harmonious scene can be admired from the picturesque Legend Bridge (Pont de La Légende). A listed Historical Monument, of which an arch and a fortified gate remain, it once played an important role in the defence of the town. Take the time to soak up the atmosphere at this wonderful site, admiring the view of the Gave d'Oloron surrounded by greenery, the Monréal Tower, the bell-tower of the Church of St Andrew and the walls of Sauveterre-de-Béarn.
There are also beautiful views from the heights, and more specifically from the terrace of the church, where you can admire a relaxing, verdant landscape overlooked by the Pyrenees in the distance... Near the viewpoint, the fortified church built in the 12th and 13th centuries is worth visiting for its tympanum and carved capitals. Another landmark in the village, the mighty Monreal tower, is a former keep standing 33 metres tall, built in the 12th century to protect the town.
A trip to Sauveterre-de-Béarn is also an opportunity to go canoeing-kayaking, fishing or stroll along the educational trail at Glère Island, a classified Sensitive Natural Area.
At the gates of the Béarn, on the edge of the Basque Country, built on a rocky spur, Sauveterre whose name comes from "saveté" was born around the eleventh century. Refuge for the population under the protection of the clergy at first, it was one of the main boroughs of Béarn thanks to two great viscounts, Gaston VII Moncade in XIIIe century then Gaston Fébus in the XIVe s. The town also enjoyed great prosperity until the 16th century, as witnessed by its numerous fortifications and vestiges (Eglise Saint-André, Monreal Tower, Pont de la Légende, Maison Forte...).
Today Sauveterre is the meeting place for lovers of old stones but also white-water (canoeing, rafting), fishing (trout, salmon) and hiking. The city is also known as the birthplace of the Blonde d'Aquitaine breed, an animal that it celebrates every year on the 3rd weekend of August.
To visit: Sauveterre, the Monreal tower. In the majestic setting of the Monreal Tower, you can be transported to the medieval Béarn from the 13th to the 16th century, thanks to a modern and playful design. In the center, the reconstruction of the city, made of thousands of stones, beams, joists in the 100th, calibrated and assembled, invites you to discover all around, spaces dedicated to the great hours of Sauveterre-de-Béarn, its heritage, the history of Béarn, Navarre, France...
To see in the chapel of Saint Martin of Sunarthe (district of Sauveterre to 1,5 km of the center town), the model of the medieval city in the 100e, realized in stone and wood, and its multimedia spectacle which tells the history of Monuments of Sauveterre by linking it to that of the Béarn des Gaves.
At the foot of the ramparts, in the middle of the Gave, the island of la Glère offers a magnificent view of the upper city. It is classified as a Natural Area Sensitive and is followed by the NFB. It is home to a rather exceptional flora for the place (wild black poplars, lichens foliicoles, large buxaie in the heart of the island...). There, only the sound of the birds and the waves of the Gave are heard. The ideal place to soak your feet, for a picnic break or a nap...
Many activities are proposed on Sauveterre. First of all the white water (canoeing, rafting), fishing (salmon, trout), hiking (guide with 60 walks and hikes in Béarn des Gaves). Treasure hunts for children to visit the city in a playful way.
In July-August, Sauveterre celebrates its Medieval. A very nice family day where the medieval market alongside medieval workshops and various events (music, dance, medieval shows).
The 3rd weekend of August Sauveterre lives to the rhythm of the fair of the Blonde d'Aquitaine. craft market, garage sale, livestock show, parade of the brotherhoods, competition Borit, Basque-Béarn games, meals and dinner Blonde... As part of this fair, the same week is organized a walk for landscape discover and understand the landscape of Sauveterre, its history but also to visit a breeder farm with tasting of Blonde d'Aquitaine. Finally, Art Cow contest is organized beginning in late August. Everyone is free to create on paper, painting, sculpture a work on the theme of the cow that will be exhibited in the halls of the Town Hall every August and submitted to a public vote.