Saint-Macaire, Gironde, is a must for anyone looking to enjoy a place steeped in heritage. Indeed, this charming medieval town has narrow streets dotted with beautiful old houses. Remarkably, its arcaded square, named Place du Mercadiou, is surrounded by medieval houses with twin bay windows and Renaissance homes adorned with mullioned windows. A delightfully picturesque place that deserves some attention for a moment, if only to admire the magnificent façade of the former Henry IV coaching inn!
While the City of Saint-Macaire is particularly known for its Place du Mercadiou, it is also known for its Church of St. Saviour and St. Martin, which has beautiful murals within its walls! Dating back to the medieval period, specifically the 14th and 15th centuries, these adorn the vaults of the choir and illustrate the Apocalypse and the life of St. John. Right next to the church stands the former Benedictine priory of St. Saviour, of which the south wing and its Romanesque cloister colonnade remain.
Medieval city of Gironde, Saint-Macaire is located on the right bank of the Garonne, about fifty kilometers from Bordeaux, at the end of Bordelais. The site was registered in the mid-1960s and the town is mainly made up of vineyards.
The commune of Saint-Macaire takes place on a rocky promontory overlooking the plain, about thirty meters. Today it consists of the old town, very touristy, and the new city. Rich in entertainment, the city of Saint-Macaire is also in historical and architectural heritage in excellent condition. The Middle Ages is the place of honor in this city with typical Bordeaux architecture.
Lovers of fine wines will also appreciate to discover the cellars and other places of tasting of the best vintages of the Bordeaux region. Gastronomy is also in the spotlight in this region of good food.
Saint-Macaire is a major tourist town, thanks to its medieval old town and its many old buildings.
Built between the twelfth and seventeenth century, St. Saviour and St. Martin's Church is an old priory of Romanesque and Gothic style. It was built on the site of the old chapel of St. Lawrence, Limestone. including One can discover a carved wooden gate of the thirteenth century and beautiful murals of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Remains of the Benedictine priory, the Saint-Sauveur cloister was built between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Limestone, it is the only remains of the building. It is supported on the wall at the edge of the rock and was built on the remains of a Gallo-Roman settlement.
In the old town of Saint-Macaire, the remains can find several doors and walls dating from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, like the door of Benauge, former main gate of the old city, the door of Thuron with Barbican, and Rendesse door. One can also discover old medieval houses as merchant houses. The Messidan home with its arched ceilings and the home of Ysabeau Gassies particular, deserve a visit.
Place Mercadiou, or market square is framed by arches and has covered streets of the Middle Ages.
One can also find the port, the only existing macarien port, the Port of Nava street that leads visitors from the monastery to the first port of Saint-Macaire, or the theater of nature. The bandstand in neoclassical style, reinforced concrete, was built in the first half of the twentieth century.
The Ursuline convent, the seventeenth century, facing the door of the Benauge. It is now a retirement home.
Now closed to the public except during special events, Caves, underground tunnels dug in the rock that supports the city allowed the removal of stone. On the surface, one can discover a beautiful esplanade of neo-medieval style.
Facing its medieval heritage, the town of Saint-Macaire regularly offers historical and entertaining events.
Saint-Macaire market takes place all year round, Thursday and Sunday morning.
free outdoor film screenings are offered at the Cinésites festival in July.
In early August, Saint-Macaire offers night tours of the old town lit with torches.
The last weekend of August, the medieval days of the Dropt have several activities as costumed parades, a market, a banquet or contests.
In mid-September for the European Heritage Days, Saint-Macaire Night offers its heritage, a guided tour of the old town whose streets are lit by candlelight.