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A Gascon bastide

The town of Gimont, which lies in the eastern part of the Gers department of south-west France, between Toulouse and Auch, is an ancient bastide town which still retains traces of the walls and fortifications built so long ago. Gimont is a surrounded by the gentle and unspoiled countryside typical of the Gers, and, with one or two notable exceptions, is a peaceful rural haven for anyone seeking a retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Impressive bell tower and interesting artefacts

The church in Gimont, the Church of Notre Dame, dignifies the village with its impressive hexagonal bell tower. Below, the houses are pretty in pastel and natural pale stone, topped with rich terracotta roof tiles. The whole is built on top of a long narrow hill where the Cistercian Abbey (no longer in existence) once stood, when Gimont was first constructed as a commune in 1266. The parish church, which carries the date 1331 in the stone lintel above the entrance, contains some interesting artefacts, including the altar, a Planselve triptyque, some exceptional stained glass windows and an imposing organ with an important history.

The best Foie Gras in France… probably!

Gimont hosts two markets; one held on Thursdays, when all the usual array of fresh produce, fashion and crafts are on display, and another, more famous market, on Sundays. This is the Foie Gras market, when avid fans of the goose liver delicacy queue outside the town awaiting their chance to buy the best Foie Gras in France. (Probably!)

Bullfighting and gavage

The delicacy, which is produced by a method of force-feeding known as "gavage", attracts as much controversy as the bullfighting for which Gimont is also known. Animal rights campaigners, who dislike both the practice of gavage and bullfighting, have held peaceful demonstrations in Gimont hoping to have both activities banned. At the time of writing it seems unlikely that they will succeed on either count, as Gimont is determined to hold on to its heritage and sources of income.

What to do in Gimont

The town, although small, offers some good shopping and has most amenities on hand. One shop which you might like to visit, especially if you wish to buy local specialities to send back to friends and relatives in the UK, is Ducs de Gascogne, a very high quality emporium selling Foie Gras, confits of duck and goose, Armagnac and other locally produced goodies. There is a small selection of restaurants of a high standard, though it is hard to escape from Foie Gras and other duck and goose products on the menus!

Out and about

Once you have exhausted the charms of the town itself, you might like to explore the wider area. The countryside of the Gers lends itself well to a variety of sports, and you will find horse-riding, golf, cycling, walking, swimming and sailing all within easy reach of the town. For those who like a slice of big city life, Toulouse is close at hand, but the sleepy pace of life back in Gimont is always waiting to ease you back when you return!

How to get there

Getting to Gimont is easy, as the town is situated not far from Toulouse, with its airport (served by British Airways, bmi, bmibaby, easyJet and flybe) and its TGV station.

Property prices in and around Gimont

If you are seeking rural property in the south of France without a millionaire price tag attached, Gimont could well be the place to begin your search. There are many lovely farms and barns still available here, and the climate is almost as warm and sunny as that of the famed Côte-d'Azur, which lies to the east on a similar latitude. Gers prices are not the cheapest in France, but they are considerably cheaper than other better known parts of the south, although the prices do tend to increase as the area becomes more popular with British buyers.

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Gimont AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Gimont?

Gimont lies in inland south-west France, in the east of the Gers department, quite close to the border with Haute-Garonne.

Gimont Property Map

IN THE REGION OF MIDI-PYRÉNÉES

Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF GERS

Gers Guide

  Gers Map


Population: 2,734


Access: By air: Fly into Toulouse airport with a number of airlines from airports all over Britain. By rail: There is a TGV stop in Toulouse, so it is possible to travel by Eurostar to Paris, change to TGV and travel onto Toulouse.


Economy: The economy revolves around Foie Gras production and sales. There is a very well attended Foie Gras market held in the town on Sundays.


Interesting fact: Gimont is associated with bullfighting, and this can attract controversy to the town, with protests occasionally organised by animal rights groups. In June, the Novilladas (the novice fighters' championships for "wanabee" matadors) take place in Gimont.


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