Video: Pézenas, France

Pézenas was the seat of local Government for the Languedoc during the 16th and 17th centuries. The entire old town, one of the first in France to be protected by the state historic monument department, is rich with “hotels particuliers” – period mansions – with wonderful wrought iron balconies, stone sculpture and ornate doorways. The interior of the Consular House dates back to 1552 and it is recorded that the consuls of Pézenas met on this site from 1242 until the Revolution in 1789.

Pézenas is a town rich with the sort of good living that the Languedoc is famous for. The Boudet family have been manufacturing “berlingots de Pézenas”, a unique variety of hard boiled sweet, for many years. Legend has it that the recipe dates back to the time of the medieval fairs. Another specialty, the “petit pâté de Pézenas”, was brought to the town by Lord Clive of India in 1768. The recipe is proudly kept secret by the town’s bakers who to this day almost all produce the famous pâtés.

Pézenas is a town that has always been popular with actors, singers and all manner of performing artists. It was this love of the arts that attracted the famous French playwright Molière to Pézenas back in the mid 1600’s. Molière is reputed to have created some of his famous characters in Pézenas in the barber’s shop (now the tourist office).

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