Place de Tardets

Tardets, Gateway to Haute Soule


The small municipality of Tardets is ideally situated at the foot of La Madeleine chapel in Haute Soule, 20 minutes from the Kakuetta Gorges and the starting point of the Holzarte footbridge hike, and 15 minutes from Mauléon.
Many unique discoveries can be made at, for example, the Basque Mythology centre, where the history of this small town and its many Souletin legends will be revealed to you.

An enchanting fortified town

A unique and colourful architecture

A stunning, brightly coloured town square surrounded by archways, some of which date back to the 12th century. The town square is actually a triangular shape, due to the river’s course, which is unusual for a fortified town. The house facades have been repainted to reflect their original colours. Those who lived in the town centre, merchants or noblemen, would use bright colours that were frequently renewed in order to demonstrate that their spending power was greater than their neighbours.


The history of the province is a succession of bloody battles that frequently opposed the Bearnais and the Souletins.

In 1307, Auger III of Mauléon fled to Navarre rather than submit to the King of England. He founded the fortified town “Villeneuve les Tardets” in 1299.

History in every corner of the village

If you stroll through the town, you will inevitably find yourself facing the 19th century church and its impressive gold and pink coloured altarpiece. It is open from 9am to 8pm.  You will be able to pause for thought and reflection opposite the stele for the French escapees. This memorial honours the resistance fighters who left France during the Second World War to join the Liberation Army via Spain.

It is situated near the old communal wash house, which reminds us of the women's essential role during the Occupation. They used this household task as an excuse to transmit secret information to the passeurs, who guided escapees over the high mountain paths.

A lively village

Joseph Augustin Chaho’s village

Joseph Augustin Chaho or Agosti Xaho, born on 10th October 1811 in Tardets, is a Basque academic and author of an impressive work, completed almost on his own, promoting the Basque language and culture.

He is the inventor of the “zazpiak bat” formula: “the seven (provinces) are one” which has since become the Basque Country motto. He recommended that the Basque language be taught in schools, and was one of the first to write a number of theses advocating independence for the Basque Country.

A commemorative plaque behind the covered trinquet pelote court reminds us that here was born a great man.

The Prefosta youth association, founded in 2015, is working to bring new cultural life to this building. It offers multiple activities in partnership with different local inhabitants to promote local culture and encourage social ties in a friendly atmosphere.

These events are often on Friday evenings.

A relaxed and festive lifestyle.

Les couleurs de la bastide médiévale sont reposantes et les restaurants de la place sont tous aussi bons les uns que les autres.

Quand les beaux jours pointent le bout de leur nez, les baignades, les balades dans les petites ruelles et les pique-niques sont au rendez-vous.

La fameuse foire au fromage, qui a lieu chaque année le premier jeudi après le 15 août marque le début des fêtes de Tardets. En hiver la sortie incontournable est le carnaval de Tardets.

The medieval town’s colours are relaxing and the restaurants in the town square all serve delicious food.

Swimming, picnics, and walks through the picturesque streets await you on sunny days.

The famous cheese fair, which happens every year on the first Thursday after 15th August marks the beginning of the celebrations in Tardets. In winter, be sure not to miss Tardets carnival.


Berripaperan harpide

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