The Landes capital, Mont-de-Marsan, town of three rivers, has a favoured geographical position on the border of the Landes forest and mid-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees.
This sculpture hotspot will delight lovers of modern and contemporary art in particular, with its remarkable Despiau-Wlérick Museum, devoted to 20th century figurative sculpture, and its Mont de Marsan Sculptures festival which takes place every three years. Established in the ancient Romanesque chapel and the impressive Lacataye medieval keep, the museum is organised around the work of two local sculptors, Charles Despiau and Robert Wlérick, as well as pieces by about a hundred artists from the beginning of the 20th century. The Despiau-Wlérick Museum also has a garden of sculpture on the banks of the Midou, a library, and a beautiful panoramic view of the town and its surrounding countryside, from the terrace of the Lacataye tower.
Those who like walking can stroll to their hearts’ content strolling in the delightful Jean-Rameau Park, which stretches along a loop in the River Douze. This is a verdant six-hectare setting where you can discover remarkable plants, sculptures by Charles Despiau, a bandstand, a children’s play area, as well as a Japanese garden, ferns, hydrangeas and grasses.
In the third week of July, during the Madeleine Festival, Mont-de-Marsan is abuzz with musical entertainment, courses landaises (blood-free cow fighting), parades and a funfair. A great atmosphere is guaranteed.
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