History at every turn of the road
Between Orthez and Monein most of the villages have historical remains (some of which are really well preserved) whether traditional or religious: churches, bastides, châteaux, stone walls, roofs in roman tiles, outdoor washinghouses...
Bellocq is the oldest bastide in Béarn, (13th century) and it has all of the characteristics you might expect: narrow streets set at right angles with a church having a remarkable entrance.
The village of Bonnut is both Béarnais and Chalosse, in particular by its use of sandstone which is also used in the construction of the Sainte-Marie de Castagnède church which dates before the 12th century. Sault-de-Navailles developed around its chateau. Today remains of the 11th century tower dominate the town which was fought over by the English, French and Béarnais up until the 13th century. Arthez-de-Béarn is an important stage on the pilgrim route to Compostella from Le Puy. The chapel of Caubin is to be found there, the last remains of a commanderie founded there in 1154.
Sauvelade is an ancient abbey the church of which still remains today. Its slate roof dominates the clock tower.
The bastide of Vielleségure is built on a rectangular plan around the main square which offers a fine walk.
Lahourcade means oak forests, la chênaie. The church of Saint-Agathe is built-in stone a traditional material much used in Béarn.
Lucq-de-Béarn and its beautiful houses is typically Béarnais. Its romano-gothic styled church has a palio christian sarcophagus serving as its altar.
The commanderie of Lacommande is one of the very rare examples of commanderies still in existence with its St Blaise church and old hospital both classified as Historic Monuments.
Soak up the history from church tower to church tower.