Monday, August 9, 2010


View from the terrace.

L'Eglise St. Andre, 13th century.

Remnants of the infamous Bridge of Legend.

A while back I visited the lovely town of Sauveterre-de-Bearn, and simply forgot to write a little something about it on my blog. It's only a short distance from Salies, however, the main reason I went was to admire the view from the terrace of its 13th century chirch, l'Eglise St. Andre. The view is beautiful and looks over a bend in the river and the Bridge of Legend.

The bridge won its name from an event which took place in 1170 when the viscountess Sancie was accused of murdering her newly born and malformed son whilst her husband, Gaston V, was away. Note: Rumours of witchcraft were rife at this time.

Her brother, the King of Navarre, ordered that she be submitted to the judgement of God and thrown into the river, with her hands and feet firmly bound. She ended up surviving the incident and was thus declared innocent.

The town was originally built as a walled refuge during the tumultuous times of the Dark Ages and grew in importance as its legenday bridge was on one of the main routes to Spain – used by pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. From what I could see, not much remains of its once glorious fortifications, however, enough remains to spark the imagination of what this once important town must have looked like.