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Trie sur Baise - a fortified market town

Trie sur Baise is a rather lovely old bastide town that lies in the south-west of France in the department of the Hautes-Pyrénées. With its colourful weekly market and unusual festival of the pig, Trie sur Baise is both intriguing in itself and also set in a fascinating and beautiful part of the country.

Memories of the past

Trie sur Baise dates back to the 14th century, and there are still many traces of its history and origins as a fortified town visible today. Monuments to see include the 14th century Church of Notre Dame, interesting particularly for its separate doorway for the Cagots, who suffered massive discrimination at this time in history. There is also a 15th century monastery and a fair amount of remains from the ancient fortifications, such as the six towers that still stand out of the original ten, and the one remaining gateway to the town (there used to be four).

Shops and services available

Trie sur Baise is well supplied with shops and services, offering all the usual French essentials such as patisseries and boulangeries, newsagents, wine caves and even supermarkets. The town holds a traditional street market in its market square every Tuesday. There is also a well-being centre and art gallery in town, housed in the same building. The gallery exhibits work by local artists.

Wining and dining in Trie sur Baise

For your relaxation and enjoyment there are also cafés, bars and restaurants where you can enjoy dining out on the delicious fare that is so important to this area. Pork will feature highly on all the menus, as this town has a long history of pig breeding and pork products, and the longer you stay in Trie sur Baise the more you will realise the importance of the humble pig to the local economy and way of life.

La Pourcailhade and other festivals

Trie sur Baise loves its fêtes and festivals, and La Pourcailhade is perhaps one of the most unusual fêtes held in France. A celebration of all things porcine, the towns folk appear to go a little crazy during this festival, which includes a competition (taken apparently very seriously) which entails human beings attempting to sound as much like a pig as possible. Not only this, but there are different classes where they attempt to sound variously like a pig giving birth, a pig procreating, a pig being slaughtered... you get the picture? Take your ear plugs... there is a lot of squealing going on! The festival also involves plenty of eating (pork of course) and drinking, music and dancing. Trie sur Baise enjoys other festivals too, and locally there are many more, including the prestigious and excellent Marciac Jazz Festival.

Out and about

The nearby town of Tarbes, with its military and equestrian traditions, is worth a visit. You will find too that you have easy access to the mountains, to the beaches of the west coast, and also to Spain. Most sports are to be found in the locality, including skiing in the winter, and there are also a number of spa towns where you can indulge in a soothing spa treatment. Some excellent wines are produced in the area, and it always makes a good day out to visit the wine domains and caves where you can learn a little of the wine-making history and processes, and taste the products afterwards (always the best part!).

How to get there

The nearest airports to Trie sur Baise are found at Pau and Toulouse. Pau is served by Ryanair, while Toulouse is served by British Airways, easyJet, bmi, Jet2 and flybe. Those who like to make the journey by train are well served as there is a TGV stop in nearby Tarbes, meaning that you can travel almost all the way from London in comfort and at great speed. Drivers should follow the A64 motorway to find Tarbes, then head north-east to find Trie sur Baise on the D632. If you like the idea of a long ferry journey, it is also feasible to take the crossing to Santander or Bilbao.

Property prices and availability in and around Trie sur Baise

Property is often very reasonably priced in this area, as it has yet to be discovered by the foreign property market in the way that many other areas of the south have been. Whether you choose to live in the town or to seek a country residence in the area, you should be able to find a bargain.

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Trie sur Baise AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Trie sur Baise?

Trie sur Baise is situated in the south-west of France, close to the Pyrénéan Mountains. It lies in the north of the Hautes-Pyrénées department.

Trie sur Baise Property Map

IN THE REGION OF MIDI-PYRÉNÉES

Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HAUTES-PYRÉNÉES

Hautes-Pyrénées Guide

  Hautes-Pyrénées Map


Population: 1,034


Access: By air: Fly to Toulouse or Pau. By rail: The TGV stops at the nearby town of Tarbes. By road: The A64 and N21 are the nearest major roads. By boat: Trie sur Baise is near enough to Bilbao and Santander for the ferry to be a realistic option.


Economy: The economy is heavily based on pig farming and pork products.


Interesting fact: Trie sur Baise has one of the wackiest festivals in France, a celebration of all things porcine including a contest for the best impersonation of a pig!

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