Situated in the heart of the Albret region, Bruch is a charming little town with just under 1000 inhabitants. Like Nérac, Francescas or Barbaste, this town is a cultural jewel that will enchant historians, lovers of the medieval era and tourists eager to make new discoveries. To help you, we have prepared a detailed Bruch tourist guide.
What to visit in this medieval village? Where to eat? Where to sleep?
What to do in Bruch?
The small medieval town of Gascony is a place steeped in history. The origins of the village are unclear. However, it is known that during Roman antiquity the place was occupied by a people of Gauls. Around 50 B.C., Romans took possession of the village and made the Via Aquitania (the Roman road to Aquitaine) pass below it.
Little is known about the history of this commune. The village of Bruch keeps its secrets and it is still difficult to discover them. Today, there are few documents available to us that allow us to know more about the evolution of this place over time.
Nevertheless, this village contains historical places to discover. Our Bruch tourist guide is here to help you find out what to see in the village.
Visit the remains of the enclosure
The main activity, when visiting Bruch, is a visit to the medieval enclosure. The village has kept several medieval elements including :
- the old fortified town: the commune has preserved some remains of the old wall that once protected the place from potential invaders.
- the South Tower: together with the North Tower, it is one of the most important monuments to be visited within Bruch. A defensive construction, the South Tower was once a symbol of power and nobility. Unfortunately, it was destroyed and its second level completely razed to the ground. It was not until the 18th century that the South Tower was redesigned. It then housed the municipal belfry, a tower from which people kept watch.
- the North Tower: it is one of the two former entrances to Bruch. Presumably built in the 13th century, you will probably be surprised by its atypical architecture . Indeed, this tower combines the architecture of a defensive tower with the refinement of the seigniorial buildings of the Middle Ages. The north tower is the symbol of this commune of the Pays d’Albret.
Getting to Saint-Armand Church
The parish of Bruch is mentioned as early as the 13th century. However, the nuns of the Paravis Priory began its reconstruction in the 15th century.
It was not until the 19th century and the intervention of an architect from Bordeaux that the Saint-Armand church was restored again. A rib vault was built and you can still admire it today.
What you need to know : this religious building with its Gothic architectural style has been listed in the inventory of Historical Monuments since 2005.
Strolling around the town
Bruch is one of those picturesque villages in Gascony in which you have to stroll. With its narrow streets and typical medieval half-timbered houses, Bruch guarantees you a leap back in time alongside the Knights of Navarre.
As you walk around the village, you will see the fortifications and buildings of the village built in the 13th century. It is believed that before the final construction, Bruch was a castle mound. The castle mound (or feudal mound) was a fortification system consisting of a mound of earth on which a tower made of wood and earth was erected and used to defend the village.
During your walk in the village, you will have the opportunity to discover the Fountain of Saint-Armand, the Town Hall square and some vestiges of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Also to be discovered: The producers and craftsmen of Nérac
When to travel to Bruch?
The villages of Gascony, including Bruch but also Nérac, Barbaste or Mézin, can be visited in summer and winter.
However, to avoid high season tourism and the winter climate, it is best to tour the Pays d’Albret between April and June.
At this time of year, the weather in the region is mild and the number of tourists is limited. You can fully enjoy the medieval charm of this region.
Bruch is a small village. The offer of accommodation there is relatively limited. On the other hand, Nérac, capital of the Pays d’Albret, is about ten minutes drive from the village. There, you will find a much more extensive range of accommodation with :
- L’hôtel Henri IV
- L’Albret CHR
- Le Château de la Cauderoue
Alternatively, on the outskirts of Bruch there is Le Cheminard, a bed and breakfast from 45€ per night and located +/- 3 km from the medieval village.
Where to eat at Bruch?
To eat in Bruch itself, only the Café de la Paix offers a catering service. A small village café run by Véronique, this unpretentious place welcomes you every day of the week for a copious and accessible lunch.
With a 14€ menu, you are entitled to :
- a homemade soup ;
- an appetizer;
- a dish;
- a dessert;
- a glass of wine or coffee.
The Café de la Paix is a nice place to take a lunch break during your tour of Gascony.
How to get to Bruch?
Bruch is only accessible by car. Bruch is located about 10 kilometres from Nerac and it takes about 15 minutes to reach the medieval town from the capital of Albret. How to get to Bruch from Nerac? Simply take the D136.