Béarn is an area located in the south of Aquitaine, France. Located on the plains next to the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. Along with the three Basque provinces of Soule, Lower Navarra and Labourd, it forms the current department of the Pyrenees-Atlantiques.
The classic maison béarnaise, is similar to the etxe, the typical Basque house. A classic Bearnaise house clearly depicts the identity of the family who occupy it. Social “hierarchy” influences the type of Bearnaise house and as a result there is not a single variety of a béarnaise house. Most maisons béarnaises that still exist today date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Before that date, bearnaise houses were predominantly built out of wood and cob with thatch or wooden roofing. Only from the 18th century did they start to be constructed of stone, pebbles, tile and slate. Béarn is a really varied landscape, composed of valleys, mountains, farmland and woodland. This variety is reflected in the property styles present throughout the region since the Middle Ages. As in the other French regions, houses were made with the locally available materials, and the shape and style depended to a certain extent on the local climate and the wealth of the owner.
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