The town of Montauban is the prefecture of the Tarn et Garonne department. Located 50km (31mi) north of Toulouse, it stands at the confluence of the Tarn and Tescou Rivers. The town is linked to the Garonne’s canal thanks to a 30km-length junction called Montech’s canal. There were almost 57,000 inhabitants in Montauban in 2008. The town is the second oldest bastide towns of southern France (after Mont-de-Marsan) and imposing ramparts still remain from the past. It is considered as a model for medieval towns and it is understandable when we gaze at its beautiful town centre. Montauban - land of flavours and contrasts - boasts welcoming locals, who are happy to tell the visitors about their culture and history.
The town’s creation dates back to 1144 by the Count of Toulouse, Alphonse Jourdain as a principal bastion of Protestantism in southwest France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Montauban’s history is long and complicated. The town was ruled by the English for 54 years with the Treaty of Brétigny but quickly belonged to France again. It was then the head of the Huguenot revolution that happened in 1621 as the town was one of the four Huguenot strongholds. Montauban is made from the attractive pink stone found in the region, like Toulouse. It is graunted as a Ville d'Art et Histoire (i.e. focuses on preserving the town heritage) and is well worth visiting. You will definitely enjoy discovering this prosperous middle-sized provincial town!
House prices in Montauban are pretty affordable. With an average price of €1,723 / square metre in 2009, property prices in this town are similar to those of towns of same size in the region: €1,564 / sq m in Bergerac, €1,816 / sq m in Castres and €1,886 / sq m in Albi for instance. If we compare Montauban’s house price with the national average (€3,200 / square metre), it is really cheap to buy a property there.
As far as apartments are concerned, prices have been very similar to the national average until the end of 2007. Since then they have been decreasing, the average price being comprised between €1,180 and €1,750 / square metre (October 2008). Renting an apartment is becoming more and more expensive and costs nowadays about €8.5 / square metre. It increases of about 2.8% per year. Given the location of the town in this pleasant and sought-after region, house price for a house to buy is quite reasonable: €162,000 for a 4-rooms house. Property prices for houses have been slightly decreasing in the recent years but are still over the national average.
Investing in a property in Montauban or its surroundings is a real bargain as the region is very sought-after. There are plenty of things to discover, you will not have time to get bored in this wonderful setting!
To get updated info about the property prices in the Pyrenees Orientales departement, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Montauban is an important town on many aspects: it is a commercial and administrative centre as well as an industrial town (electrical, aeronautical, and lighting equipment, furniture and food processing, especially dairy goods). The town is also a distribution centre for the fruit and vegetable production of the surrounding region. There are, in Montauban, tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce and many business and viticulture schools.
Gastronomy: Montauban and its surroundings have a wide choice of delicious products on offer - all of them linked to an ancestral know-how. Do taste the great montauriols: sweets made by chocolate makers, that are actually composed of cherries, armagnac and a shortbread cake called the Jacquou (mix of regional fruits, filled prune, honey, walnut and raisins) - a real delight!
Good transport links: with a central position in the south west part of France, Montauban is easily reachable. Toulouse airport is only 44km away from the town, Bergerac airport (127 km), Rodez airport (131km) and Carcassonne airport (138 km) are not too far neither. Montauban is a railway junction with four daily departures from Paris. It lies on the A62 (Bordeaux-Toulouse) and A20 (Toulouse-Brive) motorway and also communicates with the Garonne river by the Canal of Montech.
Art: if you are keen on neoclassical art, you will for sure enjoy the Musée Ingres. Located on the site of a castle of the Counts of Toulouse, this museum is dedicated to the French painter Jean Ingres (born in Montauban) with most of the work being of him. You will also find works of another local artist called Bourdelle. The Musée Ingres is the largest one of this type in the world! It is the largest museum of Ingres paintings in the world!
Religious heritage: with a wonderful cathedral and a fortified church, Montauban has an important religious heritage. The cathedral is the seat of the town’s Bishopric and received Louis XIII’s vow. Its architecture is classical with an ionic facade with a peristyle mounted by statues of the Four Evangelists. Inside the building, there are pilasters, metopes and triglyphs. The church of St Jacques dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries and is dedicated to Santiago de Compostela. Surmounted by a handsome octagonal tower, the building’s facade is amazing. Several architectural styles coexist in this church: the front was built in a Romanesque style, while the upper levels were built later in Gothic. With its impressive mosaic entrance, this fortified church dominates the town.
Surroundings: Montauban’s surroundings are breathtaking. You will find many ancient villages that are worth a visit such as Lauzerte, Montagudet or Sauveterre. The countryside is full of great colourful orchards and fields. You can be at the heart of a rural setting and reach the town in 5min!
Architecture: you will find many interesting features and buildings to discover in the town centre of this bastide town. Located at the heart of the historical part of Montauban, the Place Nationale (national square) dates back to the 17th century. This square is entered at each corner by gateways which give access to a large open space surrounded by pink brick houses carried on double rows of archways. The ‘pont Vieux’ (‘Old Bridge’) is probably the most amazing architectural building of the medieval town. Dating from the early 14th century, this bridge has 7 archways in oval bricks and offers am outstanding panorama on the historical town. Being built between 1303 and 1335, this wonderful pink brick bridge of 205 metres long! The Old Bridge treadles the Tarn river and was originally built to resist the floods of this river. The prefecture is situated in a palace and is an elegant 18th century large mansion, built in pink bricks and white stones and a steep roof of blue gray slates.
Like Toulouse, numerous buildings in Montauban are made of pink bricks. This medieval town managed to keep its identity thanks to the architecture. You will find many interesting architectural styles while strolling in the pedestrian streets of Montauban.
Castles: you will find many chateaux to buy in Montauban and its surroundings. Surrounded with plenty of acres of park, garden or forest, these properties also often have a private swimming-pool, keeper’s house, dependences, pigeon house, lake, etc. Made of limestone and pink bricks, these castles are of course pretty expensive but they offer an outstanding view on the land. These properties are perfect for tourist accommodation, receptions or hotels.
Cousy houses: these properties are actually farmhouses comprising a barn, hay loft, sheepfold and a well. Such houses are often one-storey properties and have a raised porch. They date back to the 19th century. Usually, the barn were built at the very beginning and the main building and other barns for example were added to the property later. Walls are composed of rendering chalky rough-stone and the roof is made up with chalky flatted tiles, have long sides and a covered gable.
Cottages: located in kind of holiday complexes, these properties are usually of a pretty small size but very convenient for families. With 3 bedrooms, terraces and/or small gardens at the front and behind of them, as well as a parking place, a tennis court and a private swimming-pool, the cottages that can be found in Montauban have many things on offer! Situated in very quiet areas, these properties are also close to all the amenities.
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