Stepping back 400 years in time: Termes d’Armagnac

Within easy walking distance from our farm, Les Sources Sacrées, there is a little village called Les Termes d’ Armagnac. It originally boasted a proud medieval castle of which today only the watch tower remains. Guests on our Walking and Wine Tasting Holidays stop to explore this site on the first walk of their holiday, on their way to Aignan, where they also get their first taste of our region’s exceptional wines.

The original chateau was built towards the end of the 13th century for Jean, Count of Armagnac. The watch tower, or keep, is 36 m (~118 ft) high and has six floors. The castle is strategically built on a ridge on the northern border of the valley of the Adour and the Arros rivers. The chateau is also called the Chateau de Thibault, named after its  most famous inhabitant, Thibault d’Armagnac, who was a companion of Joan of Arc.

The Monument

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The Medieval Camp

Recently, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, we went to Termes to attend the annual ‘Medievales de Termes’.  During this weekend a medieval camp is erected in the grounds of the keep, showcasing typical medieval arts and crafts. There were loads of people including a very obvious police presence, something we are trying to get used to since the terrorist attacks in Nice.

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The Jostling

As those of you who follow this blog may know, we also host ‘Connect with Horses’ Personal Empowerment Workshops, so we were very keen to see the jostling – especially as Iberian horses were going to be involved! We were not disappointed, the riders’ skill was remarkable. The horses were very well trained and it looked as if they were having as much fun as their riders.

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It was really difficult to capture the action and great atmosphere with my camera. I found a video on Youtube that does so much more effectively – one really feels transported back in time when you watch it!

The End

If any of you would like to join us for a walking and wine tasting holiday or for a Connect with Horses workshop during the ‘Medievales de Termes’, it usually takes place on the first weekend of August. August is  a very busy time for us so please book in advance! Should you have any further questions or if you would like to make a reservation, please contact us at welcome2gascony[at}gmail.com.

Travel 400 years back in Time
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22 thoughts on “Stepping back 400 years in time: Termes d’Armagnac”

  1. I do like a good Medieval enactment and they seem popular in France. We live not far from Falaise which was the birthplace of William the Conqueror and they have lots of similar events there …. but like you say, they are difficult to photograph. #AllAboutFrance

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  2. I’m divided in opinion about re-enactments, sometimes I find people just take it all too seriously but this one looks fun and we also have a good medieval fête near us in the village of Biot which is very popular. Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance, I hope you enjoy reading and commenting on some of the other posts linked up.

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  3. Festivals and enactments certainly help me to visualise, remember and categorise historical facts and timelines. This one sounds a good one. I am always interested in art and craft so the opportunity to buy something special appeals also.

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    1. Me too. They had a table where they taught calligraphy from the middle ages – I thoroughly enjoyed trying that! We mostly, of course, went for the jostling on horseback – it was absolutely breathtaking.

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  4. I really enjoyed reading this. While it’s true that the quality of reenactments varies from place to place in France, the best ones (like the one you describe here) really do help me imagine what life was like in the long-distant past. I’ll have to add this to my list of places to visit!

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    1. During the summer we have one of these sort of happenings nearly every weekend. It really sometimes feels as if we are living in the middle ages/roman times during the weekend and in current times during the week. Must say, I think I prefer the comfort of modern times!

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  5. It looks gorgeous – that last pic outside with the little lean to tent and the turret in the background could have easily been from 400 yrs ago (if they had cameras back then!)

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