Mont de Marsan is the administrative centre of the Landes department, in the Aquitaine region. It is located at the edge of the Foret Landaise (Landes forest, the largest forest in western Europe), and of the Chalosse area. With 60,000 inhabitants, called the Montois, Mont de Marsan is the largest city of the department.
Owing to its location, at the entrance door of the Landes department, Mont de Marsan is a city of passageway, as it is situated on the main way to go to the Atlantic coast for people coming from the south west.
The town of Mont de Marsan was built around 1133 by a local Count. Its main purpose was to be a fortress in this highly strategic place, which at that time was crucial for the access to Spain. Its thick ramparts are still standing, as well as the breathtaking Madeleine & Saint Medard churches and many Roman houses.
Mont de Marsan is also called the ‘Town of the three rivers’, as it is situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Douze and the Midou, which merge in the town to create the Midouze. Located at the crossroads between the Gers department and the Landes one, Mont de Marsan culture and way of life were taken from both areas.
Houses in Mont de Marsan are full of character and tradition. This explains why the prices are pretty stable in this lovely town, which boasts a very particular ambience. The average price for a property in Mont de Marsan is €1,804/sq m. The average rental price is around €7.82 /sq m/month. These are quite reasonable prices for this French southern region. As the population in the town is slightly increasing each year, the prices should remain stable, though the financial crisis may have an effect on these trends.
To get updated info about housing prices in the Dordogne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Climate: Mont de Marsan benefits from an outstanding climate in summer and a mild weather in winter. The forest around the town brings fresh air during winter, and the sea (just 40 miles away from the area) is also a source of coolness during summer, and a great place to spend the weekend for example.
Architecture: with its several medieval churches, thick ramparts and limestone roman-style properties, Mont de Marsan actually stands as a medieval town. From the local dungeon, you can overlook the town and the area around. The gorgeous traditional houses are the main asset of the town. Mont de Marsan is the town in Aquitaine where there are more traditional Roman houses.
Culture and festivals: summer time in Gascony rhymes with festivals and Ferias. They are traditional local festivals, which originally come from Spain, and which take place in every single town and village once a year during 4 or 5 days (including the week end). During these ferias the whole town follows the rhythm of the bandas, the local Spanish-like music group. In Mont de Marsan these ferias are called the Fete de la Madeleine and they take place during the second week of July. Mont de Marsan is also renowned for being a Flamenco centre. During six days, before the Fete de la Madeleine a Flamenco festival takes place.
Gastronomy: Mont de Marsan’s food and gastronomy delights are based upon the local rearing such as ducks, geese, capons and chicken. Local vegetables or fish like the asparagus from the Landes, the salmon and wild trouts are some other gems. Oysters are obviously a famous dish too. With this, to refresh your mouth a glass of Armagnac is simply ideal. While in Mont de Marsan discover the Saint-Roch market (on Tuesday and Saturday mornings )with its vegetables, its flowers and its poultry… it is among the hundred most beautiful markets in France because its authenticity, the wide range of its products and the way they are displayed. It was renovated recently but has kept its charm of former days.
Longères properties: the longère is a lengthwise house oriented with the back of the house facing the dominant wind direction. These are usually very simple and affordable houses. The materials used are local stones, and often, longères offer accommodation on only one storey.
Maisons Landaise: the original Oustaù is a half-timbered property boasting a wood pigeon-shaped roof. These houses are generally located in or around woods. A carpenter would basically build the whole house, using local wood and trees. The walls are traditionally made up of a clay mixture with straw, filled with cob (sometimes replaced by bricks).
Bastide houses: this type of house is larger and more elegant than the classic Mas. The shape of the house is square or rectangular with a tiled - almost flat - roof, the walls are made up of stone and sometimes covered with stucco or whitewashed. The layout is very practical and generally speaking, a large - pleasurable - piece of land comes with the house, ideal for your summertime BBQs!
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