Aquitaine Traditional Longères

Some Longère-style houses can be found in predominantly rural areas of Aquitaine. Longeres are found foremost in areas along the Atlantic coast. They are lengthwise houses, the name itself meaning “rectangular shape” in French.


The longère is traditionally oriented with the back of the house facing the dominant wind direction. Similarily to other traditional properties in France, regional materials were often used to build a longère. Many longères offer accommodation on only one story. Often the attic is converted into a first floor accommodation to increase the total living area available. Originally, the stairs used to access that attic were located outside the main part of the longere house, to save space in the house itself. They are also common in Brittany, Normandy and other areas of western France.

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The "maison longère" is in most cases a rural house or dwelling, in the French Aquitaine region it often represents accommodation for vine-growers or forest labourers. Moreover, these Aquitaine longères or lengthwise houses are often in fact single-storied properties with living-room and bedroom being connected together, also built of timber frame, in which day labourers were housed. In the famous vine-growing Gironde, longère houses can also be found. In that part of the Aquitaine French region, a longère was used both for housing and wine making. That's why it has often one or two bedrooms + a living-room, directly connected with a chai (wine warehouse), with sometimes an upper floor (nowadays, often converted into a bedroom or attic). As for the farmers' families, the house was also the workplace and thus needed to provide useful rooms, for each purpose.



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